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Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment have officially joined Microsoft

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Some rather interesting news here, both Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment (source) have now officially joined Microsoft.

Together, they've made some pretty interesting Linux games such as Pillars of Eternity, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, Tyranny, Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera, The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep and more to come.

Microsoft have been picking up quite a number of studios lately including Ninja theory, Compulsion Games, Undead Labs and also Playground Games so they're continuing to bolster their forces. They're facing huge competition in the console market, so it's likely to help with that more than anything.

News that I am sure will shock some Linux gamers, that's two pretty big studios that have been putting out games for Linux now under the roof of Microsoft. That's a little worrying, but it doesn't mean they will suddenly stop having Linux ports of their games. However, it does make Linux ports of their games slightly less likely I would think. As long as both studios retain a certain amount of freedom, I think we should be okay for future titles. Microsoft loves Linux after all…right?

I have to be honest, I'm a little in shock myself at this news.

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110 comments
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Purple Library Guy 11 November 2018 at 3:16 pm UTC
I'll be interested to see how Valve reacts to this, if at all. Of course, they're unlikely to say that any move they make is a reaction to this, so it will all be just reading tea leaves. But the point is, as someone said earlier this is a shot at Valve's business model. MS strategists may not even be thinking in those terms--I wouldn't be surprised if this is aimed more at the console market and catching Sony. But if they're doing exclusives for Xbox they will make them for the Windows store too, and if Valve see MS trying to promote their store with exclusives . . . well, that's exactly the sort of thing their long patient game with Linux has been intended to counter.
In which case, plausibly they will kick it up a notch or two. Gradual improvement of infrastructure has been happening all this time so they'd have a base for action should they wish to take it. It may be time for them to start taking some actions. I don't think they're quite ready yet--Proton needs to be firmed up a bit more, Big Picture I've heard needs interface improvements, and so on. But you go to war with the army you have, not the army you wished for.

Mind you, I don't think these companies will provide exclusives significant enough to actually shift any centres of gravity away from Steam, so Valve don't need to panic yet. But I'd put in a few more resources and attention if I were them.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy at 11 November 2018 at 3:18 pm UTC
oldrocker99 11 November 2018 at 3:49 pm UTC
Obsidian was snappy after their Kickstarter funding; Wasteland 2, and PoE were released in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

inXile took FOUR YEARS to release T:ToN, and spent so much money on the damn million-word novel that gameplay and story suffered, and, when the player figures that the game is roughly halfway through, the ending abruptly presents itself. It was about 1% of a "Tribute to Planescape:Torment." It did have a puissant amnesiac main character who couldn't die, but that was about it.

In short, I'm worried about the M$ acquisition of Obsidian, and couldn't care less about inXile's acquisition.

It's a damn shame.
DrMcCoy 11 November 2018 at 3:52 pm UTC
oldrocker99Obsidian was snappy after their Kickstarter funding; Wasteland 2, and PoE were released in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Wasteland 2 was inXile.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd9muK2M36c
wvstolzing 11 November 2018 at 3:53 pm UTC
The scope of M$'s 'love' for Linux is limited to the VMs that run inside their 'Azure' servers. Desktop usage, gaming, etc., are entirely outside it.
oldrocker99 11 November 2018 at 3:55 pm UTC
DrMcCoy
oldrocker99Obsidian was snappy after their Kickstarter funding; Wasteland 2, and PoE were released in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Wasteland 2 was inXile.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd9muK2M36c

Oops.
DrMcCoy 11 November 2018 at 3:58 pm UTC
(To be fair, Obsidian did join the development of Wasteland 2. They both worked on it. Both studios have a friendly relationship with each other.)

And yes, I really loved Torment: Tides of Numenera. And Wasteland 2. And Pillars of Eternity (still waiting for all the DLC to drop so I can start the sequel). I'm just really sad now.
Whitewolfe80 11 November 2018 at 3:58 pm UTC
Nevertheless
Whitewolfe80
Nevertheless
Eike
tuubiI don't get all these doomsday attitudes. We probably won't see any more games from these developers on our platform (which certainly makes me sad as a fan), but that's all this means.

With Larian not Porting Divinity 2, that's basically a whole genre (classic CRPGs) gone, no?

With Proton there is just a few games / developers behind walled gardens. The boundaries become more and more not technical.

Well yes and no not having native ports is a big problem because its valve they get white knighted and true they have helped linux because it helps them have an alternative to windows if MS decide to make it difficult to work on windows. Proton is funded by valve and valve does have a patience meter just look at steam machines gone no marketing no mention of them on steam store anymore steam link failed barely mentioned and sold for under a pound last two steam sales. Valve have money and resources but they seem to have a very limited amount of patience.

By closing down Windows MS threatens Valves busyness foundations. So there is two possible ways for Valve to act:
1. Become part of the MS store.
2. Find another open OS base.

I think what Valve does, and did for the past few years, is a very long term enterprise. They never shifted from it, as we can see when we look at Proton. They need Linux, and I think they understood Linux needs more users to be attractive to developers. With the visibility of their strategie they naturally reinforced MS on their strategy. So I guess it's no wonder we see a lot of movement these days:

- Proton makes games playable we never dreamed of.
- Proton makes developers ditch native versions.
- Linux userbase might (hopefully) rise because people that wanted to change to Linux get to play more of their Steam libs on Linux.
- MS might try to deny more games on Linux.
- MS suddenly loves Linux (where it's useful to them).

What we won't see, I think, is Valve stopping what they do.

So from my perspective: F*ck inXile and Obsidian and move on.

Mmm we def see valve differently I see it as a company that abandons products and projects with out any notice after previously being keen and holding press conference after press conference. Valve have helped the visablity of linux gaming for sure but I will never white knight a corporation yes they are helping linux because they expect that investment to pay off. Of course that is to be expected valve is a corporation and needs to make profits yearly I get it but I treat annoucements of support as promises people make in the pub ie it might happen it might not.
Nevertheless 11 November 2018 at 4:45 pm UTC
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Jiskin
Nevertheless
Dedale
JiskinIt's funny how some people reacts to this news: "I planned to buy their games but as Linux support might be dropped, I won't.". This way you reduce the Linux market share and you give another excuse to drop it.

My view is to buy the games now if you intended to, so Linux market share cannot be neglicted.

Maybe I'm wrong as we won't weight enough anyway, but the boycott now is not helpful.

I cannot speak for the others but i am well aware boycotts do not work. In my case, i just do not want to contribute to Microsoft's coffers.

Plus game wise i am not very optimistic. But even if the next Obisidian inXile game was interesting to me, i still wouldn't give a dime to M$

I too think it might be more helpful to give the money to a developer who offers at least a chance of more Linux titles.

Even if I can understand you point of view, just picture it in a capitalistic world: would you help or provide a service to a community hostile in paying you for that ? Obviously no.

We should be inspired by South Africa and forgive. MS is not the old ennemy it was, and whatever you think they have made some great products and major contributions to Linux and PC world.

If the Linux users' mentality do not change, why MS would ?

It's the other way around. Right now it seems (as it's not clear yet) that Obsidian and inXile will no longer support Linux anymore, because Microsoft obviously loves Linux not enough to support Linux gaming as well...
1. Who is hostile here?
2. Do you really recommend investing in an RPG series whose next parts are probably completely unavaillable for your platform?
Nevertheless 11 November 2018 at 4:48 pm UTC
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  • Supporter
Whitewolfe80
Nevertheless
Whitewolfe80
Nevertheless
Eike
tuubiI don't get all these doomsday attitudes. We probably won't see any more games from these developers on our platform (which certainly makes me sad as a fan), but that's all this means.

With Larian not Porting Divinity 2, that's basically a whole genre (classic CRPGs) gone, no?

With Proton there is just a few games / developers behind walled gardens. The boundaries become more and more not technical.

Well yes and no not having native ports is a big problem because its valve they get white knighted and true they have helped linux because it helps them have an alternative to windows if MS decide to make it difficult to work on windows. Proton is funded by valve and valve does have a patience meter just look at steam machines gone no marketing no mention of them on steam store anymore steam link failed barely mentioned and sold for under a pound last two steam sales. Valve have money and resources but they seem to have a very limited amount of patience.

By closing down Windows MS threatens Valves busyness foundations. So there is two possible ways for Valve to act:
1. Become part of the MS store.
2. Find another open OS base.

I think what Valve does, and did for the past few years, is a very long term enterprise. They never shifted from it, as we can see when we look at Proton. They need Linux, and I think they understood Linux needs more users to be attractive to developers. With the visibility of their strategie they naturally reinforced MS on their strategy. So I guess it's no wonder we see a lot of movement these days:

- Proton makes games playable we never dreamed of.
- Proton makes developers ditch native versions.
- Linux userbase might (hopefully) rise because people that wanted to change to Linux get to play more of their Steam libs on Linux.
- MS might try to deny more games on Linux.
- MS suddenly loves Linux (where it's useful to them).

What we won't see, I think, is Valve stopping what they do.

So from my perspective: F*ck inXile and Obsidian and move on.

Mmm we def see valve differently I see it as a company that abandons products and projects with out any notice after previously being keen and holding press conference after press conference. Valve have helped the visablity of linux gaming for sure but I will never white knight a corporation yes they are helping linux because they expect that investment to pay off. Of course that is to be expected valve is a corporation and needs to make profits yearly I get it but I treat annoucements of support as promises people make in the pub ie it might happen it might not.

Valve is not a corporation! I'm not white knighting them. I say they can't go without an open platform to exist on.
Mountain Man 11 November 2018 at 4:59 pm UTC
Interesting strategy on Micorsoft's part. Since they realize that Valve's commitment to Linux is a threat to their ability to control the market on the distribution side, they appear to be cutting Linux off at the knees by taking control of the development side.
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