Obsidian Entertainment and Insomniac Games Highlight Microsoft and Sony’s Future Plans
Xbox and PlayStation have taken seemingly opposite paths since the PS5 console generation and the Xbox Series X/S console generations. Although the cost of PlayStation’s first-party titles is rising to $70 per copy, Xbox first-party games are still available through Game Pass from day one. Both Xbox and PlayStation have been investing heavily in their first-party studios. This has resulted in Obsidian Entertainment and Insomniac Games having lots on their plates.
Both Xbox and PlayStation have a wide range of first-party and third-party exclusives. However, Insomniac Games and Obsidian Entertainment are creating games that appeal more to their core audiences.
With the Xbox One and PS4 consoles launch, there was a dramatic increase in third-party live-service games. This suggested that the AAA single-player game model was no longer viable. Third-party studios began to make massive open-world and live service games, a boon for the industry. PlayStation’s internal studios remained focused on creating high-quality AAA cinematic action-adventure games that set industry standards. Uncharted 4 was critically acclaimed, while 2018’s God of War was critically acclaimed. This increased demand for AAA-budget action-adventure games that were primarily consumed by the PlayStation community.
Naughty Dog Productions and Sucker Punch Productions were primarily aimed at the established PlayStation community. Insomniac Gaming 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man was a dedicated PlayStation audience as well as hardcore Marvel fans. Insomniac games may have been a key factor in convincing people to buy a PS4 even though they don’t often play video games. Marvel’s Spider-Man was the best-selling PS4 exclusive. This further indicates that Insomniac Games’ lucrative strategy to reach a wider audience by bringing Insomniac Games in and having them create an action-adventure licensed Marvel Game was a successful one.
PlayStation achieved a strong position thanks to a series of high-quality action-adventure titles during the PS4 era. This helped make PS5 the fastest-selling console. PlayStation has a loyal fan base and is now looking to expand its reach to a wider audience. PlayStation’s collaborations with Travis Scott, PC releases of some of the PS4’s most exclusives, and the upcoming TV version of The Last of Us are just a few examples of ways that PlayStation appears to be targeting an audience not as familiar with the PlayStation brand.
Sony and PlayStation have made it clear that they intend to continue Insomniac Games’ presence and offer a selection of exclusive PS5 titles. This would make PlayStation the preferred gaming platform for many. Insomniac has a prominent role among PlayStation’s first-party developers. The studio celebrated the launch of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. A standalone Spider-Man game called Miles Morales sold a staggering 6.5 million copies as of July 2021. Insomniac released Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart six months after Miles Morales.
Insomniac Games is proving to be a stronghold for Sony, with two major reveals only three months after it released Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. It was both surprising and strange to see Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Marvel’s Wolverine revealed. This is even though these games are still far from being released. PlayStation could have used the stage to announce upcoming games from other first-party studios, such as Naughty Dog or Bend Studios. These games are likely to be further away than those announced by Insomniac Games.
PlayStation recognizes the importance of action-adventure titles, licensed or not, for its PS5 users and seems determined to deliver with Insomniac Games. Fans should expect more exclusive, big-budget licensed games in the action-adventure category if this is a sign of what’s coming. The announcement of the KOTOR remake as an exclusive for PS5 consoles speaks for itself.
While PlayStation seems to be primarily focused on action-adventure games, Xbox seems to create action RPGs. The original Xbox had some great western RPGs that are still unmatched today. Microsoft hopes to revive AAA RPGs with the Xbox Series X/S series. Obsidian Entertainment is currently developing a number of these games.
Third-party AAA AAA western RPGs and first-party AAA RPGs are rare. The vast majority of games in this genre adapt RPG elements. Horizon Zero Dawn and Assassin’s Creed origins are just a few examples. CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk2077 feels a bit lighter on the role-playing aspect of things than its previous venture Wild Hunt.
Some of the most renowned RPG studios now can create modern AAA budget western RPGs with the same DNA as the classic titles. Microsoft isn’t subtle in its intentions, having brought Bethesda Game Studios and inXile Entertainment together under one umbrella. With The Outer Worlds 2 and Avowed, there are many possibilities. These could include a sequel to Fallout New Vegas or a new IP.
Obsidian Entertainment has been shipping Fallout New Vegas for 11 years. Since then, fans have longed for an AAA-budget action RPG from the highly talented RPG studio. Obsidian appears to be firing on all cylinders with Xbox’s resources. Avowed is the first of many RPGs that could redefine the space of this generation. The Outer Worlds 2 could be Obsidian’s vision; if it is indeed a sequel of Fallout New Vegas, then RPG enthusiasts may be in for quite a treat.