Obsidian Entertainment, the developer behind Fallout: New Vegas and the forthcoming South Park role playing game, has raised more than $1 million in the past 48 hours for its next ambitious title. The Irvine-based company has already reached its goal of $1.1 million on Kickstarter with a full 30 days still left to go in the campaign.
Obsidian is leveraging Kickstarter to allow Project Eternity, an isometric RPG set in a dark fantasy world, to explore the kind of mature themes that would likely turn off big name publishers from backing the game. The development studio contains key members of the previously-dissolved Black Isle Studios, the developer responsible for classic PC RPGs such as Icewind Dale and the original Fallout series.
To date the developer has largely worked on sequels and entries in other franchises — a trend Obsidian is looking to break by developing an IP of its very own from the ground up. “As all our ideas came together we really had to kind of figure out how we were actually going to make this game,” said Obsidian founder and CEO Feargus Urquhart. “That’s really where Kickstarter came up.”
More than 25,000 Obsidian fans came out on Kickstarter to support the latest project, which is looking to “recapture the magic, imagination, depth, and nostalgia of classic RPGs.” The new game will combine elements from many of the classic titles made by former members of Black Isle Studios, featuring strategic party-centric combat in an expansive open world. Most of all the developer is looking to use the freedom of Kickstarter funding to delve into the kind of mature themes most game projects circumvent due to pressure from the publisher to appeal to the widest possible audience.
Like Double Fine’s throwback adventure game, which seized a staggering $3 million during its month-long Kickstarter run earlier this year, many studios have begun turning to the alternative funding source to test the interest of fans and bring new kinds of gaming projects into the mainstream.
If this and previous developer Kickstarters are any indicator, gamers are more than ready for something other than the annual military shooter to occupy their playtime. Publishers take note.