An open letter to Obsidian Entertainment

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by WorstUsernameEver, May 26, 2011.

  1. WorstUsernameEver

    WorstUsernameEver But best title ever!

    May 28, 2010
    This is only tangentially related to Fallout, to be honest, but it's still a notable expression of a running sentiment in press and players alike, so worthy of a post. The Escapist's Russ Pitts editorializes in the form of an open letter, arguing that Obsidian Entertainment has burned all of his goodwill with Fallout: New Vegas' bugs.<blockquote>I know this all comes as a shock. I wish I could put it more gently, but the fact is you've hurt me. I forgave you for the flaws in Knights of the Old Republic II. For the half-ending and the way it didn't quite capture the spirit of the original. I forgave you for Neverwinter Nights 2. It wasn't perfect, but it was - to be fair - as good as the original, or better. You had a lot of room to mess things up there, and that you took all of it and more wasn't your fault. Not really.

    I also forgave you for Alpha Protocol. The fact is, you and I both knew that was beyond you. It would have been a nice surprise if it had ended well for you, but it didn't and we both know why: You weren't ready. You overreached. I hope you can see that.

    You know I forgave you for Fallout: New Vegas, too. Sure, it was you up to your old tricks, tripping once for every two steps, but I thought that maybe if you could spend some time in your old neighborhood you would realize how much things have changed - and how much you haven't. I had hoped that seeing what your friends had done with the place might inspire you to be better. Instead, it seems like it only made you bitter. Made you focus on trying it your own way again, one more time, just to prove you were right when all along, the road to success was right at your feet just waiting for you to take the first step.

    The one thing I can't forgive is this ridiculous bullshit with the New Vegas patches DLC. I was looking forward to "Honest Hearts," I really was. The Burned Man was one of your greatest inventions. I had hoped to hear his story, to revel in your brilliance one more time. But then you had to ruin it like you always do. A patch that broke the game it was supposed to be patching? And then, after you tried to fix what was broken, you broke something again. I fell for this already, with ED-E. How interesting he was. What a story! Except I never got to hear the ending because it was riddled with all of your usual bullshit. Now I can't even begin the new tale because of the problems with the old.</blockquote>Thanks Bewitched.
  2. Briosafreak

    Briosafreak Lived Through the Heat Death

    Dec 18, 2003
    My reply:
    Obsidian really should take some lessons from Bethesda in improving their PR and communication. They are amateurs on that, while Bethesda are giants. But I have a feeling it's too late for that.

    Later I'm posting a new patch intensive play series made by a few tens of people for a modding crew, the game clearly became more stable and much less glitchy than before, the contrary to Pitts thesis.
  3. Cimmerian Nights

    Cimmerian Nights So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2004
    Obsidian is a strange bird, in that they have nearly pigeonholed themselves into doing others sloppy seconds, and as Brios said, not really acting as a fully developed company in some regards. I've always seen them as kind of under-developed business in that regard.

    I disagree with Pitts in viewing them as a continuous extension of Black Isle. I don't care how similar their rosters are, they're not.
  4. Khan FurSainty

    Khan FurSainty Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Apr 23, 2009
    This sounds more like whining to me then anything else. It's sad, but in a company nothing will changes until someone gets fired.
  5. Cimmerian Nights

    Cimmerian Nights So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2004
    I'm no Obsidian fanboy, but like with Troika, I imagine some of the onus rests with the publisher wanting to get boxes on shelves ASAP.

    And, yeah it was a whiny piece, but obv done in a tongue in cheek, break up letter style.
  6. Kerr-Plomb

    Kerr-Plomb It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 1, 2009
    I think it is important to see in which position a developer is. I think Obsidian is not very independent when it comes to games, smaller developers always get less space, be it in time or ressources.

    And I rather drive on the bumpy road with many holes which still gives me an interesting trip than driving on a perfect smooth road where I don't get to see any interesting or new.
  7. ramessesjones

    ramessesjones It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 27, 2010
    Bugs can be patched, crappy content can't.

    The attacks on Obsidian are ridiculous, their games aren't significantly more buggy than a lot of developers, especially ones that make western RPGs, especially Bethesda. Occasional freezes aren't the end of the world, neither is bugged minor sidequest. For as "unplayable" as the game was when it was released, I finished multiple times before it was patched.

    Its always funny when I see comments online like "maybe they could have Bethesda help them with QA" though.

    Also, most professional game writers are terrible. This guy is no exception. Unfortunately a lot of gamers think that just because some dude writes for a magazine they actually know something, when most the time they don't.
  8. Kerr-Plomb

    Kerr-Plomb It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 1, 2009
    What I really dislike in many arguments is the fact that games are always put on one level without even looking behind the facade, a simpel shooter without inventory, any physics, dialogues and linear gameplay are simply easier to fix than complex, freeroam games, with multiple quests and questlines, hundreds of items and basically a gigantiv web of interaction.
  9. SharkClub

    SharkClub Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 6, 2008
    I really will never get over how many people seem to think Obsidian's games are buggier than Bethesda's. They are on the same level of buginess at the very least, though I had a alot more problems attempting to play Fallout 3 than I did playing New Vegas.

    Fallout 3 was buggy as hell but no one seems to bother mentioning it as long as they can slap Obsidian on the cheek for New Vegas being buggy.
  10. Kerr-Plomb

    Kerr-Plomb It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 1, 2009
    It is easier to slap Obsidian, they are smaller, dependent on others, are "only" doing a standalone addon. The bigger a developer becomes the more "divine" it is treated by the industry and the media.
  11. Kerr-Plomb

    Kerr-Plomb It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 1, 2009
    Sorry, Messed up!
  12. Alphadrop

    Alphadrop A right proper chap.

    Aug 21, 2008
    Well looking at his amazingly objective and critical review of Fallout 3 here it's clear he knows what he's talking about.
  13. Khan FurSainty

    Khan FurSainty Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Apr 23, 2009
    Blasphemy! Bethesda games aren't buggy or glitchy! They have a unique game style, innovative and smarter then man programing and hilarious easter eggs! The peasants just can't understand! :monocle:
  14. Beelzebud

    Beelzebud A Smooth-Skin

    Mar 6, 2008
    To me New Vegas seems no more buggy than Fallout 3 is. The actual content is just fine though. I'll take Obsidian's vision of Fallout over Bethesda's any day.
  15. C2B

    C2B Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Aug 17, 2010
    What I also like is how this article is published close to a release date of another game of the developer.

    Totally a classy and non-dick move.
  16. warsaw

    warsaw Still Mildly Glowing

    Dec 1, 2008
    I read that first line and closed the tab. god damn.
  17. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Beside the content, I hate articles / editorials written in that letter-style. It feels so cheap and copied to me and not unique and edgy (edgy is sticking in my head now, hurr). Dunno why.

    Also that text reads as if he only started the whine because an Obsidian DLC needed a patch.
  18. Kerr-Plomb

    Kerr-Plomb It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 1, 2009
    Somewhat fitting:

    CD Project needed 3 days to release a patch for Witcher, they introduced it for monday, after several problems it is now finally out.

    Steam users are jumping in joy, because the 30mb forces the game to download 9gb.

    So where is my hate letter for CD Project?!
  19. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    CDP made a next-gen up-to-date Mass Effect-esque rpg. They don't deserve rage and anger, unlike Obsidian who seem to be stuck in the 90s.
  20. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    The reason behind F:NV bugs is threefold:

    1) A game of this scope requires better, smarter content editing tools, that would do some of their own QA automatically

    2) Bethesda's bastardized Gamebryo engine is like a house where the roof leaks have been patched up, and then it started leaking again, and those patches were patched up, etc etc. It creaks under its own weight, quite visibly, and needs a rewrite.

    3) Synchronizing choice&consequence between multiple DLCs coming out at different times is a nightmare, and eliminating it is even worse. The fact is, Fallout's modular nature does not lend itself to the concept of DLC, only to the concept of fully-fledged expansions, where the content inside is fully synchronized and debugged to work with the actions from previous game.

    A DLC that attempts to follow Fallout's structure would have to be wide, and therefore, spread itself very thinly around the world. Or, they go the current route and make these delightful little isolated, tunneled, amusement parks, which have little to do with what separated Fallout from any other game out there.