It's no secret that Xbox has gone on a bit of a spending spree these last few years. Phil Spencer & co. have been building up Xbox's first party lineup for almost half a decade, in part to bolster the Game Pass library. Having said that, the company still had to convince devs to join up, and it looks like Phil's reputation helped massively.
In an interview with IGN, Obsidian's Feargus Urquhart talked about Xbox acquiring the studio back in 2018. The team's initial Avowed pitch ended up turning into an advert to sell the whole studio to Xbox, and according to Urquhart, Phil's reputation as someone who "doesn't BS" helped the team make the ultimate decision.
"I didn't know Phil Spencer well at that time, I probably only talked to him once or twice up to that point [...] But what's so interesting with Phil is he is this - I don't know. I don't want to say ‘persona’ in the end, because he is Phil Spencer and because he runs all Microsoft games. But now knowing him, and even what I knew [about] him back then, his reputation was just someone who was authentic and someone who doesn't BS and loves games. And that was the trust in that."
In the end, the developer's trust in Phil and the team helped them secure the acquisition deal. If it wasn't for Phil's Xbox leadership, we might not be seeing Obsidian as an Xbox studio right now!
Since the developer was scooped up, they've shipped open world RPG The Outer Worlds, launched survival game Grounded into early access, and of course, they've started work on Avowed, a next-gen Xbox exclusive fantasy RPG.
Are you glad Microsoft picked up Obsidian? Let us know your thoughts below!