It's been quite a while since Feargus Urquhart has had an opportunity to roll up his sleeves and really make games. As one of the founding members of Obsidian Entertainment, he's had to deal with many of the more business-focused aspects of being a leader, like raising money to keep his niche studio afloat.
But with Microsoft now in charge of the purse strings and Obsidian's future secure, Urquhart seems ready to get back to his roots as a developer. At a recent event hosted by Obsidian, Urquhart talked openly of his desire to get back into making games.
"I want to make roleplaying games. My partners want to make roleplying games. This is the best place to do it, why not do it," Urquhart says.
These comments can be construed as a firm commitment to the studio by Urquhart in the wake of speculation that he might depart after the sale.
"We all joked about sitting on a beach on Fiji," Urquhart says. "I think that would be fun for a month, but after your 47th Mai Tai... my partners and I got into this to make games."
As for what role in game development Urquhart might take, he laughingly says, "Meddling." But then he adds, "I would like to be a game director again."
Urquhart, of course, has a long and impressive history with RPGs in particular. His resume includes the first two Fallout games, as well as the original Baldur's Gate, which was developed in partnership with BioWare.
Apart from that, Urquhart doesn't seem keen to change much at Obsidian Entertainment. While it will have a larger outsourcing budget, he plans to keep the studio at roughly the same headcount. There will be no thousand person teams at Obsidian, he says.
In the meantime, Obsidian just announced its first game as a proper Microsoft studio—Grounded, a co-op survival game that resembles Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. It also recently released The Outer Worlds, a new first-person RPG that has garnered positive reviews.
In the short-term at least, it doesn't seem like Obsidian is going to be shaking things up too much. But regardless what happens, it'll be nice to see a game development veteran like Urquhart climb back into the director's chair.