InXile boss Brian Fargo is so happy about the Microsoft deal he canceled his retirement

InXile boss Brian Fargo is so happy about the Microsoft deal he canceled his retirement

Wasteland 3, Bards Tale 4 Still Coming to PS4 Despite Microsofts InXile Acquisition

The news that Microsoft had acquired RPG studios inXile and Obsidian came as a not-entirely-happy surprise among at least some gamers who like the studios as it is—and yes, Im talking about myself here. I like the games like Bards Tale 4 that inXile makes, and I really dont want to see that success messed with. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, however, inXile boss Brian Fargo did a pretty good job of making the case that the deal is all upside, as it will give the studio “more resources and potentially more time” to work on its games. 

“Most people in development know a little bit of extra time goes an incredibly long way towards the end. I know it doesnt seem like it but its always the case,” Fargo said. 

"But we want to step it up a bit because there's this uncanny valley between the double-A and the triple-A. We could come out with a game like Bard's Tale [4] and we could say, 'Hey, it's a 35-person team and it's only $35,' but the people playing it are like, 'Nope. I'm just looking at The Witcher 3 and I don't really care.' We don't get to explain; we just need to close the gap."

Microsoft deal will help InXile escape uncanny valley of game development

Black Friday deals: see all the best early offers right here.”When you finally get it together, you feel it, you can really focus on iteration. Is the pacing right? Is it hitting the right messages? Do we like the arcs of difficulty? Gosh if I had 90 more days I could really tune that in. As a smaller company its really hard to get that. Thats what this gives us.” 

InXile isnt going to start producing big-budget games, but Microsoft money will enable it to bridge what Fargo described as “the uncanny valley between the double-A and the triple-A,” a space that has grown dramatically more expensive in recent years.

The veteran designer was discussing the acquisition during an extensive Q&A with Eurogamer, and suggested the buyout will allow the studio close the gap between double-A and triple-A development, because it now has the finances to meet the rising expectations of consumers.

“Its interesting if you think about 2012, when the crowdfunding revolution happened … The budgets back then were $5 million, $6 million, so wed raise $3 million from Kickstarter, maybe do another couple of million in Early Access, throw in some more of our money, and youd be pretty close to having your costs covered,” he said. “But since then, the category of what we all consider to be double-A has raised from $15 million to $20 million in that short period of time. The landscape has changed greatly since then.

"Most people in development know a little bit of extra time goes an incredibly long way towards the end. I know it doesn't seem like it but it's always the case. When you finally get it together, you feel it, you can really focus on iteration," he added.

Some aspects of what the increased funding will allow are obvious: “We want to bring up our visual style and also make sure our launches are smoother,” Fargo said. Others may be more subtle.

“Lets say were doing controller support for Bards Tale 4. They have a whole user group; lets put it in front of these psychologists and gamers they have up there and see what they like and what they hate, and really hone it in before we release to the public,” Fargo said. “Things of that nature allow us to hone our craft.”

Microsoft's recent purchase of InXile Entertainment will help The Bard's Tale and Wasteland creator escape the "uncanny valley" of game development, according to studio founder Brian Fargo. 

Fargo emphasized that inXile will continue to have creative control over the games it makes, and said that theres no plan afoot to merge it with Obsidian, although the two studios will have a “tighter relationship” and may “compare notes” now and then. The buyout also means that inXile will no longer crowdfund its projects, despite Fargo being on the Fig advisory board, and his plan to retire after Wasteland 3 is out the window, too. “Thats off the table. Im not going anywhere,” he said. “Youre stuck with me.”

IGN News / 19 Nov 2018 1:24 PM PST Wasteland 3, Bards Tale 4 Still Coming to PS4 Despite Microsofts InXile Acquisition Share. Wasteland 3 is definitely coming, Bards Tale 4 is probable. By Colin Stevens Though inXile Entertainment was recently acquired by Microsoft, its games Wasteland 3 and The Bards Tale 4: Barrows Deep are still coming to the PlayStation 4.

On Saturday 10th November, Microsoft announced buying Californian role-playing game developers inXile Entertainment and Obsidian Entertainment. Two studios independent which had fought for survival for a decade-and-a-half were now under the Xbox umbrella. The message from Microsoft was reassurance: dont worry, nothing will change, we wont kill them – theyll continue to make the games you love, only theyll have more resources and support available to “fully realise” their ambitions. Nevertheless, questions remained.

In an interview with Eurogamer, inXile founder Brian Fargo went on record saying these two games will come to the rival platform because theyve already been announced for the PS4, and the company doesnt intend to break its promises.

Its interesting if you think about 2012, when the crowdfunding revolution happened. You had myself and Double Fine and Obsidian shortly thereafter – and even Larian [Studios] for that matter. The budgets back then were $5m, $6m, so wed raise $3m from Kickstarter, maybe do another couple of million in Early Access, throw in some more of our money, and youd be pretty close to having your costs covered.

Though initially released in September as a PC title, it was announced that The Bards Tale 4 would make its way to Xbox One and PS4 some time later. Now that developer inXile is firmly in Microsofts camp, Eurogamer asked if the game would still be coming to PS4.

For me, its always… My goal is to always get my company in a safe harbour so we can spend as much time as possible working on our games and honing our craft. That can come if you sell 2 million units – thats a great way to get there which everyone hopes for. Or, a deal like this. But at the end of the day thats all I ever cared about.

“I believe so, responded Fargo. “The only reason I hesitate is I cant remember what weve promised on that. I know we said it was coming to console, in which case theres an asterisk because we havent thought about it much. If weve said its specifically coming to PS4 then its coming to PS4 [the announcement for PS4 was made in an official press release]. Im not trying to evade your question, I cant remember what was promised. Microsoft has already been, like, whatever we promised, we do, so thats absolutely the case.

“Were still working through the issues, and where weve made commitments, we want to keep them. In the short-term, I dont think a lots going to change… Its almost like if my guys didnt know we were bought, they wouldnt even realise. Everything literally remains the same.”

Because both The Bards Tale 4 and Wasteland 3 were announced for PS4 before the acquisition, their coming to PS4 in order to fulfill previous promises makes sense. However, its highly unlikely inXile games that will be announced in the future will hit Sonys console following this.

In our PC review of The Bards Tale 4, we called the game Good calling it a “rousing but technically rough adventure driven by great music, clever puzzles, and challenging turn-based combat.”


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