Microsft’s Xbox & Bethesda Showcase took place last night and while it was packed with some cool announcements, it was definitely missing some key titles from Microsoft’s first-party studios. One of which was Avowed by Obsidian Entertainment. The game is an open-world RPG inspired by Skyrim but set in the Pillars of Eternity universe. Awoved was announced back in July 2020 and is being handled by Obsidian while they also develop The Outer Worlds 2 and Project Pentiment.
It seems that all these games might be a lot to handle at Obsidian. According to Jason Schreier, Awoved underwent a substantial reboot back at the end of 2020 soon after the game’s initial reveal.
Schreier shared a tweet, which he quickly deleted. In a tweet he said
Awoved has gone through some reboots and changed directors pretty recently. Dunno if it’ll be there (at the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase) today but I wouldn’t expect to play it for a while.
Schreier then went on a ramble over on ResetEra as to why he deleted the tweet. In a post he said:
I deleted the tweet because I don’t want news sites and forums making a whole thing out of something I dashed off on my phone while waiting in line to pick up bagels. What I said remains true (and I believe that’s been reported in the past). I have no idea whether the game will be shown off today, but it went through a major leadership change last year and has been rebooted multiple times.
I’m going to sum up a few things and then get to work. (gotta cover Not E3!)
My understanding, based on conversations with multiple people close to Obsidian not named Chris Avellone, is that Avowed has gone through multiple reboots and lost/replaced several directors and leads last year. As I said on Twitter, that’s why I don’t expect it to be out any time in the near future. I did not say “the game is going through development hell and will never come out.” But it has certainly had some real issues.
As it turns out, Avellone was the first to mention in public that the game had lost directors. Given his history, people were understandably skeptical. But when he said on Twitter that the game keeps losing leads, he was not lying.
Anyone suggesting that I’d use Avellone as a source after he was accused of sexual misconduct by four women can fuck right off. I hope y’all understand what a sickening allegation that was, and why it’d have gotten me so riled up, especially given my history of reporting on him and other sexual misconduct issues in the games industry.
I have no idea if Avowed will be at the show today. I personally would love to see it! (And if it ends with a “2023” release window I’ll laugh pretty hard imagining how around this time next year there’ll be a blog post announcing that it has slipped to 2024.) I’m more optimistic for the rumored Disco Elysium-style game. Cannot wait for that one.
Ironically, this whole thing started in a reply to a tweet I wrote about how excited I am for this conference. Which remains true. I think there’ll be many more games I’m personally interested in today than there were at the Keighley thing last week. I know there’s an inexplicable belief among Xbox fanboys that I don’t like their favorite brand, but here in the real world, Psychonauts 2 was one of my favorite games of last year and I absolutely love that I’ll be able to play everything that’s announced today on my PC.”
So Avowed won’t be around for a while. Don’t bank on playing the game until at least 2024.