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Josh Sawyer on the Possibility of a Pillars of Eternity 3 After the Low Sales of Deadfire (Compared to the Original PoE)

Dancrane212

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,493

Basically comes down to not knowing why Pillars 2 had a notably worse performance, sales-wise, compared the original game that leaves Josh Sawyer "...leery about trying to direct a sequel". If there was to be another game in the current style it would necessitate a reexamination on where to address issues, but that's hard to do without knowing what was "wrong" with Deadfire that caused the lower sales.

Anyways, there more detail in the above blog post and following tweets:



 

clusterdreams

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,091
Atlanta, GA
I think the marketing may have had something to do with it. I recall a lot of people not even knowing that Pillars 2 had been announced let alone released. Which is a shame because Pillars 2 is probably their second-best game after New Vegas. It’s a huge improvement over the first game.

I would love for a third game or at least another Obsidian CRPG.
 

Stroop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
670
I think the marketing may have had something to do with it. I recall a lot of people not even knowing that Pillars 2 had been announced let alone released. Which is a shame because Pillars 2 is probably their second-best game after New Vegas. It’s a huge improvement over the first game.

I would love for a third game or at least another Obsidian CRPG.
Paradox seemed to have a stronger marketing push than Versus Evil, just based on what I can recall.
 

Spacejaws

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,072
Scotland
My reason was that I was still playing PoE1. I wonder how many people skipped it because they never made their way through all of PoE. For me I just kept getting distracted by big AAA titles but always enjoyed coming back and playing a few hours more. Think I clocked 80 by the end.
 

kurahador

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,418
There's a flood of CRPG after PoE 1, so I'm not surprised Deadfire doesn't do as well. I feel like Deadfire should've been marketed more.
 

Dr.Acula

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,558
I enjoyed PoE, but with the expansions it clocked in at over 100hrs for me, so when the sequel was announced I noped out. I played all three Shadowrun games and will eagerly play another, for me I don't want to play anything north of 40hrs, that's gonna be a couple months on just one game and it gets boring for me.
 

Enduin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,653
New York
1. Poor marketing, little visibility to the point that many people had zero idea the game was coming or out even well after release. Switching to Fig over Kickstarter was a mistake from a marketing perspective I think, despite generating more money the overall exposure from Fig seemed to be a good deal less and Versus Evil just wasn't very good at promoting the game after that.
2. Setting, kind of dovetails off of poor marketing, many of those who were aware of the game often seemed to have misconception of the setting. Way too many people saw it as a Pirate game and wrote it off despite A. it not being a Pirate game and B. the Pirate element wasn't even remotely close to that over the top Hollywood Pirate stuff we all know, but a lot more grounded and well done.
3. cRPG community is kind of shitty and popular opinion had dragged PoE pretty hard in comparison to DOS because apparently Highlander rules apply. Which was then compounded a lot with DOS2 releasing half a year before hand and receiving all the accolades so many people pretty much seemed to have written off Deadfire completely before it was even released.

It's a shame, Pillars is one of my favorite franchises and settings ever and Deadfire is a truly fantastic game and the crowning achievement for RTwP combat. I really hope they manage to make PoE3. Not being a direct sequel would be unfortunate with the story they've crafted so far, but I'll be happy with whatever they do.
 

Kieli

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,230
Nothing wrong with PoE2. It's a fantastic game (barring the awful ship combat and the cheap-feeling game board over-world).

It's just that it didn't have the novelty of the first one in the sense of being part of the cRPG renaissance.
 

Paz

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,311
Brisbane, Australia
I’m probably wrong but I always assumed it was a reverse diablo 3 situation, as in the love for the original simply wasn’t there from those who experienced the previous game (it was good no doubt but it never hit that critical mass of praise from its players) which resulted in a lower multiplier for the sequel.

My friends who bought poe1 and were supremely hyped for it also evangelized it to many outside it’s normal market, but while they liked the game well enough it wasn’t the smash they wished it was and so they were in no rush to jump into poe2 and certainly didn’t care enough to try and spread the gospel with the sequel.
 

ThreePi

Member
Dec 7, 2017
1,928
There's a flood of CRPG after PoE 1, so I'm not surprised Deadfire doesn't do as well. I feel like Deadfire should've been marketed more.
Yeah, that's kind of my feeling on it. The genre went from nearly-dead to Wasteland 2, Divinity games, PoE games, Tyranny, Torment, Pathfinder, all within the span of a few years.
 

Sinatar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,643


13% of people who played Pillars 1 finished it.



Hell, less then half of the folks who bought it got out of the first chapter (which is not long or hard). This should have been a pretty big red flag that while interest in a new infinity engine style game was there (as lots of folks bought the game), your implementation was turning a lot of people off.

Also having so much of the marketing around 2 being focused on "It's a direct sequel to 1, it takes place hours later! You can import your character and all your decisions carry over!" when 13% of people who played the first finished it was probably a really god damned stupid idea.
 

Almighty

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,551
Do you want my two cents? Of course, you do.

The first is that making it a direct sequel was a mistake. Deadfire was better than the first one is almost every way, but by making it a direct sequel you force people to believe they have to play, and more importantly finish the first one.

The second was Original Sin 2 once again proved that in comparison to turn-based RTwP is ass. People might have given RTwP a chance for the first game but ain't nothing going to make RTwP good and people weren't going to give it another chance.

Their we go, that is Almighty's summary of why a better game sold worse. If they ever make a third game, and they damn well better, they should make it not a direct sequel and not RTwP. The sales will be better trust me.
 
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AbsoluteZ3R0

Member
Feb 5, 2019
97
I am not sure why It sold that poorly either. Imo pillars 2 was improvement over pillars 1 in every way other than main story and companions. I really hope ms gives them another chance to make a big budget game in the pillars universe. It has such a unique world and interesting lore. I always end up liking the dlc way better than the main game in both pillars 1 and 2.
 

clusterdreams

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,091
Atlanta, GA
Writing. I can't remember a single thing about Pillars 2. No one can forget Grieving Mother and Durance. Wonder what the commonality is?

Also, Versus Evil are a terrible, terrible publisher.
I found the writing in 2 to be an improvement over 1.

I also really enjoyed DOS2 but overall, asa story driven game, POE2 is a lot better than DOS2. DOS2 just has a huge edge in immersive sim style and emergent gameplay.
 

DSP

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,071
I thought first game had a very bland world, I never could care for anything there enough to buy into a sequel. The sequel actually addresses that from what I have seen but it was probably too late for most people. I think it's a case of first game having a lot of hype but not really delivering and people didn't return for the much improved sequel. For 3 or whatever it's called, honestly just make it first person action. That will bring back interest.

Writing. I can't remember a single thing about Pillars 2. No one can forget Grieving Mother and Durance. Wonder what the commonality is?

Also, Versus Evil are a terrible, terrible publisher.
People would have to buy and play it first for writing to be an issue for them. That's something that would impact a sequel so with your suggestion it was the first one that sucked and people didn't care to buy into a sequel to it.
 

Shogun

Member
Oct 27, 2017
867
We as PC gamers let Pillars 2 down. We are always clamouring for top tier isometric RPG experiences and then one which is amazing comes along not enough people bought it. Pillars is such a great and fleshed out lore and world that it would be a shame to see it end after only two entries.

Maybe the publisher aren't great?
 

Branson

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,707
In the weird segment of CRPGs in my mind I consider PoE a pillar of the modern day genre. In my head it’s: Wasteland 2, Divinity 1-2, PoE1-2, and Shadowrun. In no order but when I think of the genre currently those stick out in my head.
 

Dezzy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
816
USA
Does Deadfire stand on it's own fine, or do I need to play PoE1 first? I didn't like the real-time with pause combat so I skipped PoE1. I loved the Divinity OS games though, so is there a good chance I'll like Deadfire with turn-based combat on, even if I didn't care for PoE1?
 

clusterdreams

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,091
Atlanta, GA
Does Deadfire stand on it's own fine, or do I need to play PoE1 first? I didn't like the real-time with pause combat so I skipped PoE1. I loved the Divinity OS games though, so is there a good chance I'll like Deadfire with turn-based combat on, even if I didn't care for PoE1?
the game gives you a recap of the main plot points of 2 and lets you choose outcomes for the major choices at the beginning. OFC you’d miss out on a decent amount of details and the bonds built from playing 1, but you could absolutely play and enjoy 2 without playing the first.
 

Shogun

Member
Oct 27, 2017
867
Does Deadfire stand on it's own fine, or do I need to play PoE1 first? I didn't like the real-time with pause combat so I skipped PoE1. I loved the Divinity OS games though, so is there a good chance I'll like Deadfire with turn-based combat on, even if I didn't care for PoE1?
You could easily watch a story recap and then start from Pillars 2. Obviously you would miss out on the experience but it would be worth it if it's stopping you playing the second game.
 

Window

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,820
Do you want my two cents? Of course, you do.

The first is that making it a direct sequel was a mistake. Deadfire was better than the first one is almost every way, but by making it a direct sequel you force people to believe they have to play, and more importantly finish the first one.

The second was Original Sin 2 once again proved that in comparison to turn-based that RTwP is ass. People might have given RTwP a chance for the first games but ain't nothing going to make RTwP good and people weren't going to give it another chance.

There will go. That is the Almighty sum of why a better game sold worse. If they ever make a third game, and they damn well better, they should make it not a direct sequel and not RTwP. The sales will be better trust me.
They released a patch to change combat to turn based and apparently it’s pretty good.

For me personally though, I just didn’t find the world or characters that interesting. On top of that the RtwP combat pushed me away.
 

arbok26

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,653


13% of people who played Pillars 1 finished it.



Hell, less then half of the folks who bought it got out of the first chapter (which is not long or hard). This should have been a pretty big red flag that while interest in a new infinity engine style game was there (as lots of folks bought the game), your implementation was turning a lot of people off.

Also having so much of the marketing around 2 being focused on "It's a direct sequel to 1, it takes place hours later! You can import your character and all your decisions carry over!" when 13% of people who played the first finished it was probably a really god damned stupid idea.
This. We have to take into consideration the market at the time too. At the time POE was announced and eventually released people were excited for 2D RPGs to make a comeback.
POE was not that great a game, so aside from big fans of the series, I think most people just wanted to hold off and get POE2 at a discount later.
 

HooAmEye

Member
May 17, 2019
733
Deadfire was painfully mediocre in pretty much all aspects of its design. The rare time I'll take the side of the Codex.
 

Hella

Member
Oct 27, 2017
14,457
We as PC gamers let Pillars 2 down. We are always clamouring for top tier isometric RPG experiences and then one which is amazing comes along not enough people bought it. Pillars is such a great and fleshed out lore and world that it would be a shame to see it end after only two entries.
That's not really fair. PoE2 was plagued by issues at release, from nonexistant balancing to things like the ship combat being a literal afterthought. PoE2 has really great (non-ship) combat, and a fascinating world, but nothing in the game made any of it shine. I enjoyed my time with it overall, in spite of the issues, but I don't think its lack of player interest was a player issue.

I want to say "more time and more marketing" would fix its issues, but, well-it is a niche CRPG with a die-hard dedication to being one. Which can't exist with the strings a larger budge would entail.
 

Stiler

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
6,642
The main issue imo is that it was a direct sequel to a game that at least expected you to have some knowledge of it or you were going to be missing out on a few things story/character wise.

I mean yes, Mass Effect 2 sold well, but come on, the ME series was huuuuge, far larger then POE was and it was a lot more accessible to new players who didn't even play part 1.

It also didn't help that, even though the graphics were indeed nice, it (aesthetically) came off a bit bland, I mean you have all these insane story things and races like the godlike, but the world itself just felt very ho hum fantasy/islandy and nothing really jumped out at you as being visually amazing as far as it's setting was concerned.

Divinity: OS2 did most of their things right as far as making a sequel (though not connected as directly as POE2) and making it accessible and inviting for new players, something Obsidian should look at that game and learn from those aspects.
 

SteveWinwood

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,139
USA USA USA
having played neither, my thoughts were always the last tweet

people knew all about poe1

2 didn't have the same 'wow people gave money for this' hype that 1 and some other projects like broken age had

Kickstarter was fun and new and exciting! we had to see what the results were!

it was getting people outside the crpg crowd. 2 clearly didn't even get all of those, and those reasons could be myriad. but even working within the small group of people who care about crpgs in the late 2010s, you're going to be smaller than when you get a decent reach outside it
 

the_wart

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,403
It boggles my mind when people say Pillars has a boring setting. Eora may be the most rich and nuanced fantasy world in the history of RPGs (Darklands doesn't count).

You people don't deserve Pillars 3!
 

Maximo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,886
Played the first PoE and didn't touch Divinity Original Sin 1, its the opposite this time with only Playing Divinity Original Sin 2 after being completely blown away by it.
 

obeast

Member
Oct 27, 2017
65
I like both the original and Deadfire, but I've found them easier to bounce off of for some reason than other cRPGs that I've really loved (I generally make it through any RPG I like, even if the ending is weaker). I made it through Chapter 2 of PoE and then drifted away for years, then restarted it recently and played it through (and quite liked it, overall). I started Deadfire a bit later, made it through everything but 1 DLC and the finale, and then drifted away again.

There were just points where the admittedly good systems just felt like work to operate -- I'd enter a dungeon and pray that each floor I hit was the last. I think that's largely the fault of the RTwP system, as a poster said above. It makes many encounters feel like stressful busywork instead of an engaging strategy game. Simultaneously, the worldbuilding is really solid but the game feels strangely cold and philosophical - again, by comparison to other cRPGs. To a certain extent, I feel like that's a feature as much as a bug, as it makes the world feel unique and interesting, but it dulled my interest in the characters on a human level (even though they were decently written).

I did like both games, and maybe I'll even end up replaying Deadfire (which enthralled me for a little while - perhaps in turn based mode?). I'd like to see them get to make a 3rd.
 

Almighty

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,551
I found the writing in 2 to be an improvement over 1.

I also really enjoyed DOS2 but overall, asa story driven game, POE2 is a lot better than DOS2. DOS2 just has a huge edge in immersive sim style and emergent gameplay.
Because it was. Avellone fans will continue to hype Durance and Grieving Mother as the best thing since sliced bread, but I think the writing was very much improved in the second game.
 

Stabbie

Member
May 8, 2019
1,408
Deadfire is the best rpg of this gen and its not even close

I'm gonna tell you why it bombed despite the good critics :

It launched in one of the most broken states I've seen, and that's including Arkham Knight. Game was broken right, front, left and center. Basically it kept crashing / rebooting people's computers for no reason, to this day the godawful memory leak on steam's version hasn't been solved and very importantly, nothing was working as intended lol

You could have every single allignment on your character at release and nothing would matter, plus a couple of not working quests and a terrible word of mouth in regards to the length of the main quest (which isn't even 7 hours long).

Get the picture yet ? game has a honestly absurd amount of content, unique world building, terrific writing / quests, some of the most unique situations I've played in a rpg, it has the FF XII gambit system but better, and a stellar class system / itemisation ... yeah theres ZERO rpg matching it this gen. None. Nada. But its main design has not helped at all.

People wanna have a lengthy if slightly paded main story quest as the meat. Here, everything thats outside of the main story is the meat. Nobody liked that, it tanked
 

Zukuu

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,926
RTwP is a dead sure thing for a game to bomb. It's so fucking archaic, I fucking hate it with a passion, and I'm a hardcore cRPG fan.
Haven't played the update that enables turn-based, but they absolutely need to embrace that going forward. Look how well Original Sin does it.

There is not a single advantage over turn based. None.
 

Pikagreg

Member
Feb 5, 2018
129
I just finished the first game after slogging through the PS4 versions long load times and bugs but it was still an amazing game and I can't wait for the sequel to make it to console
 

Buttzerker

Powerhouse Protector
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,732
That sucks, Deadfire was SO fun. The RP options were pretty much endless, and the sea travel was a good time. I never once had to compromise my vision of an insane punch-man who gave surprisingly empathetic and friendly advice but literally made people explode with a touch if they wouldn't get out of his way.

Also one of the few times they ever did romance in an Obsidian game and it was so well-done it reminded me I wish they did it more.