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Layoffs Hit Obsidian Entertainment, Number Affected Unknown

As several projects wrap up, it's appearing some employees have been let go.

Rather quietly, Fallout: New Vegas and Dungeon Siege III developer Obsidian Entertainment laid off an unspecified number of staff last week. 

Since finishing Fallout: New Vegas, Obsidian has continued to work with Bethesda Softworks on downloadable content for the title. It's likely the summer-bound Dungeon Siege III is nearing completion, so while layoffs are always unfortunate news, it's commonplace as projects begin to wrap up. 

As initially noticed by Gamasutra, the Obsidian message boards have collected farewells, sign-offs and goodbyes from some developers affected by changes.

 Fallout: New Vegas kept the franchise moving, while Bethesda moved onto other projects.

== TEASER =="11 years, nearly a dozen shipped titles, Designer, Lead, Producer, cancelled game, survived 7 layoffs, 8th got me," tweeted now-former producer Akil Hooper, part of the company for nearly four years. "Not a bad track record.

"Today marks my 3 year anniversary working at Obsidian Entertainment," said gameplay programmer Justin Reynard. "To my coworkers (and sadly the ones we've lost) you guys are amazing.<3"

"No longer work at Obsidian," said former quality assurance tester Ashley Better. "I guess this means I will have to start buying my own pens. [...] As a follow up, not going to go into details, it is fine no harsh feelings anywhere."

I've contacted Obsidian for further details on the layoffs, and will update this story if I hear back. Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek

Rather quietly, Fallout: New Vegas and Dungeon Siege III developer Obsidian Entertainment laid off an unspecified number of staff last week. 

Since finishing Fallout: New Vegas, Obsidian has continued to work with Bethesda Softworks on downloadable content for the title. It's likely the summer-bound Dungeon Siege III is nearing completion, so while layoffs are always unfortunate news, it's commonplace as projects begin to wrap up. 

As initially noticed by Gamasutra, the Obsidian message boards have collected farewells, sign-offs and goodbyes from some developers affected by changes.

 Fallout: New Vegas kept the franchise moving, while Bethesda moved onto other projects.

== TEASER =="11 years, nearly a dozen shipped titles, Designer, Lead, Producer, cancelled game, survived 7 layoffs, 8th got me," tweeted now-former producer Akil Hooper, part of the company for nearly four years. "Not a bad track record.

"Today marks my 3 year anniversary working at Obsidian Entertainment," said gameplay programmer Justin Reynard. "To my coworkers (and sadly the ones we've lost) you guys are amazing.<3"

"No longer work at Obsidian," said former quality assurance tester Ashley Better. "I guess this means I will have to start buying my own pens. [...] As a follow up, not going to go into details, it is fine no harsh feelings anywhere."

I've contacted Obsidian for further details on the layoffs, and will update this story if I hear back.
Staff
Posted by nachokicks

what


Posted by Pickingwings

Really sucks for people to be laid off.

Posted by Marz

that sucks for them.  New Vegas was actually a pretty good Obsidian game.   

Posted by NickLott

This is really surprising. Alpha Protocol flopped but I was under the impression that Fallout New Vegas has done really well. Also, they have a slew of projects in the pipeline. 

Posted by Vigorousjammer

well, it doesn't seem as nefarious as Activision...

Posted by Agent47

NOOOO!!!!They could have made the BEST Fallout ever if they teamed up with Bethesda!Bethesda could of made the tech and basic gameplay, and Obsidian would do the factions and deeper gameplay mechanics as well as balancing.They could work on the story together come on this would be sooo good.Bethesda can't make F4 on it's own!I mean once I saw New Vegas I was happy to see how much better Fallout 3 could have been gameplay and story wise.

Posted by Blair

Too bad.  New Vegas was fantastic.  Much better than Fallout 3.  I wish it had better DLC.

Posted by Delta_Ass

Well, they released KOTOR 2 and it was an okay game.
Then they released Neverwinter Nights 2 and it was a horrible game.
Then they released Alpha Protocol and it was a horrible game.
Then they released Fallout New Vegas and it was a horrible game.

I gotta say, I kinda saw this coming.

Posted by JJOR64

Bummer.   :(

Posted by Enigma777

Not a big surprise here. 

Edited by Chop

As much as I hate Obsidian, this is sad news. 
I don't like people losing their jobs :(


Edit: Obsidian actually has fucking QA? Okay I don't feel bad for anyone from that department getting the boot...
Posted by mrv321
@Delta_Ass said:
" Well, they released KOTOR 2 and it was an okay game.Then they released Neverwinter Nights 2 and it was a horrible game.Then they released Alpha Protocol and it was a horrible game.Then they released Fallout New Vegas and it was a horrible game.I gotta say, I kinda saw this coming. "
And they are the people behind Fallout 1 and 2.
Edited by Grissefar

It sucks to be laid off but I'm happy that something bad is happening to Obsidian, I mean they just keep pumping out one piece of shit out after another - it has to stop. KOTOR 2, NWN2, New Vegas, just one shitty sequel after the other, and then Alpha Protocol too. Let the big boys handle the sequels, thank you very much.

Posted by jking47

fallout new vegas was awesome, that really sucks. delta_ass is crazy

Posted by Obsidian
@Delta_Ass said:
" Well, they released KOTOR 2 and it was an okay game.Then they released Neverwinter Nights 2 and it was a horrible game.Then they released Alpha Protocol and it was a horrible game.Then they released Fallout New Vegas and it was a horrible game.I gotta say, I kinda saw this coming. "
1/10.
Posted by Xpgamer7

Patrick, the news hunter.

Edited by oysteinBrenne

I love Obsidian so this saddens me deeply..

Posted by m0rdr3d

Sorry for those folks.  Surely they'll land on their feet somewhere.

Can anyone tell me were all the bugs and kinks finally ironed out from New Vegas??  That game had a lot of potential, but I had to stop due to all kinds of issues.

Posted by simonsays

Feel sorry for the employee's, but what downloadable content for Fallout? After Dead money there's been a massive void in downloable content for Fallout and nothing in near future. It's abit of a joke

Posted by Droop

It's never fun to hear about lay offs. I liked New Vegas and Alpha Protocol ;<

Posted by Aishan
@simonsays: Honest Hearts (the Burned Man) had a trailer leaked a little while back.

There's also been talk of two more featuring The Great Divide and Ulysses the "other Courier".

No idea what's happening with the schedules for them though.
Posted by crusader8463
@Delta_Ass said:
" Well, they released KOTOR 2 and it was an great game.
Then they released Neverwinter Nights 2 and it was an ok game.
Then they released Alpha Protocol and it was a horrible game.
Then they released Fallout New Vegas and it was a fuck ton better then Fallout 3.
I gotta say, I kinda saw this coming. "
Fixed it for ya.
Posted by FinalDasa

Thats a bummer, their games at least try to break molds and its great to see console RPGs that don't always play by the rules. 

Moderator
Posted by Little_Socrates

Sucks for the people being laid off, but I think it's clear Obsidian needs to get their shit together.

Posted by GalacticPunt

A bummer, but inevitable.  With New Vegas behind them, I understand that they have to get leaner.  Hell, after the Aliens RPG was cancelled and Alpha Protocol bombed hard, getting contracted for New Vegas is probably the only reason the company still exists.  I hope to see these guys rebuild in the next few years.

Posted by MeatSim

Layoffs are never good but they made some solid games.

Posted by Everyones_A_Critic
@simonsays said:
" Feel sorry for the employee's, but what downloadable content for Fallout? After Dead money there's been a massive void in downloable content for Fallout and nothing in near future. It's abit of a joke "
Yup. And Dead Money fuckin' sucked too.
Edited by pekoe212

Always makes me sad hearing all the hate for Obsidian, even it is deserved, because I still associate them with Black Isle. There's always this moment of confusion where I think "hey! Those guys made some of my favorite games ever!" And then I realize they didn't, at least not as Obsidian. I really applaud them for trying new things though, I hope one day they can surprise us all with an original IP that's innovative and polished.

Edited by Tennmuerti
@Delta_Ass said:

" Well, they released KOTOR 2 and it was an okay game.Then they released Neverwinter Nights 2 and it was a horrible game.Then they released Alpha Protocol and it was a horrible game.Then they released Fallout New Vegas and it was a horrible game.I gotta say, I kinda saw this coming. "

Strange I loved all of those 3 titles.

NWN2 was better then the original, especially with the expansion, which was recieved very positively.
Alpha Protocol was a great RPG years ahead of any competition in terms of how your actions affect the world with a leveling system that rewarded understanding.
Fallout: New Vegas is by most thought to be supperior to F3 and much truer to the originals.

@Everyones_A_Critic said:
" @simonsays said:
" Feel sorry for the employee's, but what downloadable content for Fallout? After Dead money there's been a massive void in downloable content for Fallout and nothing in near future. It's abit of a joke "
Yup. And Dead Money fuckin' sucked too. "
What did you dislike in Dead Money so much?
Edited by DoctorLazy
Delta_Ass said:

" Well, they released KOTOR 2 and it was an okay game.Then they released Neverwinter Nights 2 and it was a horrible game.Then they released Alpha Protocol and it was a horrible game.Then they released Fallout New Vegas and it was a horrible game.I gotta say, I kinda saw this coming. "

Except, you know, three of those four games are great, and the third is ok if you like D&D.
Posted by Vinny_Says

"Quality assurance tester..."

nuff said


but still people losing jobs is never a good thing, hope they get back on their feet soon.

Edited by Kesselrun

*deleted*

Edited by Scorch

Trying to understand what universe I'm living in where F:NV is considered bad and FO3 is good.

Posted by umdesch4

Speaking of Dead Money, was that ever released for PC? I gave up checking after the first couple of months, and just uninstalled FNV 'cuz I needed the SSD harddrive space.

Edited by Animasta
@blacklabeldomm said:

" "Quality assurance tester..."nuff saidbut still people losing jobs is never a good thing, hope they get back on their feet soon. "

one day people will learn that obsidian does not do much of it's own testing, the publishers do.

also this is mad sad :(
Posted by Gabriel
@Laketown said:
" @blacklabeldomm said:
" "Quality assurance tester..."nuff saidbut still people losing jobs is never a good thing, hope they get back on their feet soon. "
one day people will learn that obsidian does not do much of it's own testing, the publishers do. "
Yeah and those people are like yo we can't ship this game it's crazy broken, and Zeni-max still puts the game out. 
Posted by Grilledcheez

:(  I loved New Vegas and Kotor 2

Posted by Tennmuerti
@umdesch4 said:
" Speaking of Dead Money, was that ever released for PC? I gave up checking after the first couple of months, and just uninstalled FNV 'cuz I needed the SSD harddrive space. "
Yes it's out on Steam.
Posted by Vinny_Says
@Laketown said:
" @blacklabeldomm said:

" "Quality assurance tester..."nuff saidbut still people losing jobs is never a good thing, hope they get back on their feet soon. "

one day people will learn that obsidian does not do much of it's own testing, the publishers do.also this is mad sad :( "
uhhh, then what does a "quality assurance tester" do exactly.
" @Laketown said:
" @blacklabeldomm said:
" "Quality assurance tester..."nuff saidbut still people losing jobs is never a good thing, hope they get back on their feet soon. "
one day people will learn that obsidian does not do much of it's own testing, the publishers do. "
Yeah and those people are like yo we can't ship this game it's crazy broken, and Zeni-max still puts the game out.  "
Alpha Protocol was in development for a long time and look at how that turned out, it's not just the "rushed" fallout sequel I'm talking about guys.
Posted by Animasta
@blacklabeldomm said:
" @Laketown said:
" @blacklabeldomm said:

" "Quality assurance tester..."nuff saidbut still people losing jobs is never a good thing, hope they get back on their feet soon. "

one day people will learn that obsidian does not do much of it's own testing, the publishers do.also this is mad sad :( "
uhhh, then what does a "quality assurance tester" do exactly.
" @Laketown said:
" @blacklabeldomm said:
" "Quality assurance tester..."nuff saidbut still people losing jobs is never a good thing, hope they get back on their feet soon. "
one day people will learn that obsidian does not do much of it's own testing, the publishers do. "
Yeah and those people are like yo we can't ship this game it's crazy broken, and Zeni-max still puts the game out.  "
Alpha Protocol was in development for a long time and look at how that turned out, it's not just the "rushed" fallout sequel I'm talking about guys. "
look how it turned out? do you mean how awesome it was? then I agree.
Posted by Arrested_Developer

I played Alpha Protocol for the first time this year and I think that game got a bad rap.  If you could get passed the original Mass Effect combat foibles you can enjoy Alpha Protocol.

Posted by claudius

Man this really sucks, I really enjoyed both Alpha Protocol and New Vegas. My thoughts go out to all those laid off.

Posted by gbrading

And they still haven't announced when the next Fallout: New Vegas DLC is coming either.

Edited by Mumrik

Wait! Obsidian is making DS3? How had I not noticed this?

God Damn... And I was looking forward to that one after enjoying 2. It's off my list now.
These guys are the worst game dev ever from a technical standpoint. They've never released anything that wasn't a buggy mess.

Posted by Dustpan

I hope Bethesda buys Obsidian.

Posted by Bedurndurn

I loved Alpha Protocol; I'm sorry that wasn't a hit from them.  That said, it's always the same lack of polish/poor QA thing that tarnishes each of their games.

Posted by Skytylz
@m0rdr3d said:
"

Sorry for those folks.  Surely they'll land on their feet somewhere.

Can anyone tell me were all the bugs and kinks finally ironed out from New Vegas??  That game had a lot of potential, but I had to stop due to all kinds of issues.

"
On consoles it is still janky, PC wise you can just brute force that shit with a beast of a computer and get it to work.  
Posted by ArbitraryWater

That's a bummer. Even though I think Obsidian isn't an especially amazing game developer (I think NWN 2 is alright and New Vegas is genuinely better than Fallout 3. KotOR 2 and Alpha Protocol can go die in a hole), people losing jobs is always bad. Hopefully Dungeon Siege III will do well for them, even though exactly 0% of that game interests me.

Online
Posted by Oldirtybearon

Obsidian =/= Black Isle.


The main story/creative force is at Obsidian, yes, but it's become quite clear since the destruction of Interplay and the formation of Obsidian that all of their QA department as well as their most talented designers flew the coup. Trying to defend an Obsidian game is like telling people you like having your balls stepped on. Sure, I imagine there is a select niche that enjoys that sort of retarded behaviour, but the vast majority don't.

AP and New Vegas are sterling examples of great ideas wrapped up in absolutely terrible execution. AP was an aimless project that had a severe identity crisis while New Vegas suffered from the tried and true Obsidian way. That is to make a compelling environment and story and then see how much they can break the game around it.
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