Avowed was almost a co-op game, here’s why that changed


In another time, another place, another universe, upcoming RPG Avowed is a co-op multiplayer game. Alas, that’s not the case here.

Obsidian Entertainment revealed that Avowed co-op multiplayer was almost a reality before the developers realized this isn’t what they want. The studio has made a number of single-player RPGs that focus on character-building and narrative including Fallout: New Vegas and Neverwinter Nights 2. The RPG genre is white hot at the moment with the explosive successes of Final Fantasy 16 and Baldurs Gate 3.

In the fifth part of Obsidian’s 20th-anniversary documentary, studio founder Feargus Urquhart claimed that he wanted Avowed to be a co-op multiplayer experience. When Avowed entered development, Obsidian Entertainment was an independent developer.

Urquhart says he pushed for an online component simply because it was a trend publishers were chasing. The documentary video is filled with nuggets like these, both about the enduring studio and its upcoming game. 

Does Avowed have co-op multiplayer?

Avowed is a single-player game, but developers stated that there were plans to make it a co-op multiplayer game. Urquhart stated that he really pushed for the game to have multiplayer.

“It was a more interesting game to the publisher…When you’re asking for $50, $60, $70, or $80 million, you’ve got to have something interesting to talk about, and multiplayer made it interesting,” Urquhart said in regards to pitching publishers to bankroll Obsidian’s upcoming projects.

Obsidian Entertainment went from being independent to being a subsidiary of Microsoft in 2018. This allowed the studio to focus on making good games rather than creating compelling pitches. Because of that, Avowed co-op was left behind.

“I know in the end it was the wrong decision to keep pushing on it. It was this idea of, it’s almost like peanut butter and chocolate, putting it together, like ‘wow it must be interesting,’” Urquhart said.

avowed bear fight

Because of that, Avowed is now a single-player RPG.

“We weren’t focused on the things we’re best at. And so we did make a pivot on the game, basically to refocus and make sure that it was, at the end of the day, an Obsidian game and not something different,” head of development Justin Britch said.

Obsidian is aiming to do what it is historically best at; making deep RPGs with colorful characters and satisfying character progression. Avowed is set in the same universe as Pillars of Eternity. The developers want to appeal to a broader audience this time around. 

Avowed is launching in 2024. No confirmed release date has been confirmed.

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Written by Bilawal Bashir

Bilawal is a software engineer who loves video games, comic books, and anime. But he will never love pineapple on pizza. In over two decades of gaming, he has only broken two controllers. His work has also been featured by TheGamer and WhatIfGaming.

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