Microsoft is reportedly close to finalising a deal to acquire Obsidian Entertainment, the acclaimed developer behind the likes of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II, Fallout: New Vegas, and Pillars of Eternity.
Word of the seemingly imminent acquisition comes via Kotaku, which cites “three people briefed on the negotiations” as sources. The deal between Microsoft and Obsidian is said to be “90%” complete, with one source stating that “It’s a matter of when, not if.”
Obsidian has remained independent since it was founded in 2003, so talk of an acquisition might initially seem unlikely. However, Kotaku notes that the studio has often faced “financial strain” over the years, almost completely collapsing in 2012 when Microsoft, under different leadership, cancelled an ambitious Xbox One exclusive called Stormlands that the companies had been working on together.
Although Obsidian’s fortunes have seemingly improved since then, in part thanks to the Kickstarter success of its old-school RPG Pillars of Eternity, acquisition by Microsoft would undoubtedly provide stability for the studio.
If reports prove to be true, Obsidian would be the latest in a growing line of developers to be acquired by Microsoft this year, following on from Forza studio Playground Games, State of Decay developer Undead Labs, We Happy Few maker Compulsion Games, and Ninja Theory – of DmC: Devil May Cry and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice fame.
While neither party would comment on today’s rumours (Obsidian was, however, prepared to offer that “the Rumors album by Fleetwood Mac still holds up”), the reportedly advanced stages of the deal suggest that an official announcement could arrive sooner rather than later.