Avowed, the upcoming Skyrim-like RPG from developer Obsidian Entertainment, was originally planned as a co-op multiplayer game before the developer steered towards single-player. Despite not having a release date yet, Avowed is one of the most anticipated Xbox exclusives due to its developer’s reputation in the RPG genre and its recent gameplay trailer which gaves fans an idea of what to expect.
As revealed in Obsidian’s 20th anniversary documentary series, studio head Feargus Urquhart revealed that Avowed was initially conceptualised as a co-op multiplayer game. The head apparently kept pushing developers towards this direction but admitted that it was the wrong decision. Instead, the game was revitalised as a single-player experience as Obsidian stuck to what it knew best.
Urquhart stated in the documentary:
“When I look back at 20 years, there’s decisions that of mine that I feel really good about, and there’s decisions that I feel not so good about. One of the things where I really pushed was that Avowed was going to be multiplayer, and I kept on that for a long time, and I think in the end – not I think, I know – in the end it was the wrong decision to keep on pushing on it.”
“When you’re asking for 50, 60, 70, 80 million you’ve got to have something interesting to talk about – and multiplayer made it interesting,” Urquhart added.
Other developers shared a similar sentiment such as Justin Britch, who is the head of development at Obsidian. He stated:
“We were too focused on co-op and we were too focused on changing the way our pipelines work and the way that we write conversations and the way we do quests and everything else. After working on it for a little bit, we realized that we weren’t focused on the things that we’re best at and so we made a pivot on the game basically, to refocus really and make sure that it was, at the end of the day, an Obsidian game and not something different.”
Avowed is currently in development for Xbox Series X/S and PC.