Crowdfunding has become one of the most important innovations of the internet in the past few years. Kickstarter allowed creators to collect money from people interested in a project from around the world to help make that project happen. Other platforms have followed suit, such as Patreon and IndieGogo that allow different ways to support artists through a few quick clicks.
Obsidian Entertainment opted to go with video game funding platform Fig for help with the sequel to their Pillars of Eternity RPG. Fig not only allows the usual backer rewards for folks who want to play the game, it allows people with enough money to invest in the game and reap financial rewards from later sales. Trying out something new is always a bit of a risk but this is one that seems to be working so far. The crowdfunding campaign for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire raised a millions dollars within 24 hours of opening and Obsidian stands to reap a lot more.
Obsidian Entertainment is known for being one of the best RPG creators in the video game industry. Members of the company worked on classics like Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment, the original Fallout games and books for classic tabletop RPGs like Champions. Since its founding in 2003, Obsidian created memorable games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Neverwinter Nights 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Dungeon Siege III, and South Park: The Stick of Truth. It created its first original property, the fun but flawed Alpha Protocol in 2010 and used Kickstarter to help create the original Pillars of Eternity in 2012.
Pillars of Eternity was something of a return to form for Obsidian, featuring real-time combat (that can be paused) in 2-d painted environment similar to Baldur’s Gate and Planescape:Torment. It takes a few elements from modern games such as rewards for nonviolent solutions and dynamic parties with side quests made to flesh out companions and build out the player’s reputation in the game. The popularity of Pillars of Eternity resulted in the world branching out into tabletop games with a card game Kickstarted in 2015 now available to the general public.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire looks to expand not just the scope of the world but the type of RPGs available. The sequel takes the player, known as The Watcher on a quest to hunt down Eothas, the god of light and rebirth that destroys the players stronghold from the first game in the opening of the sequel. The hunt takes The Watcher to the Deadfire Archipelago to plop a mix of returning and brand new companions in adventures that involve pirates, trading companies, explorers and more.
Some of the unique rewards like having a character portrait or running an island in the game have already been claimed. New backers can still back at a level to name a pet or create an item in the game. There’s also a level for people completely new to the setting that bundles the new game with the original and its DLC. The crowdfunding is open until February 24th and the more that gets raised, the better the sequel will be coming out of the… gate.
Image courtesy of Obsidian Entertainment
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Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He writes about kaiju, Jedi, gangsters, elves, Vulcans and sometimes all of them at the same time. His blog is here, his Twitter is here and his meat body can be found in scenic Milwaukee, WI.