Obsidian design director Josh Sawyer said combining better planning with increased development time can help improve its reputation for releasing ‘buggy games.’

Sawyer responded to a comment on his Tumblr account where he was asked whether Obsidian has refined its quality assurance. The commenter cited Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire which was ‘more polished than its older games.’

Sawyer said some bugs are endemic to designing choice-driven RPGs with lots of outcomes, but that it’s ultimately up to them to fix those problems.

“We know that we have a reputation for buggy games,” said Sawyer. “And while some of that is endemic to making big, complicated RPGs with thousands of different ways through them, it’s still within our power to reduce bugs on our end with more time.”

He also added that publisher deadlines are also partly to blame for bugs. Sawyer identified deadlines as potentially harmful, but when a developer can move back deadlines it can help mitigate problems.

“With Pillars of Eternity and Deadfire, we were the ultimate arbiters of our ship date. In both cases, when it came down to the wire, we decided to push back the release of the game by a few months. That can make a huge difference.”

Obsidian is currently working on The Outer Worlds, which is due for release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One later this year. The game is set to be published by Take-Two publishing label Private Division and is one of OnlySP’s most anticipated games of 2019.

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Steve Carman
Steve's two passions are journalism and gaming, and he enjoys playing Indies, RPG, and Action/Adventure games on PC and consoles. He can also often be found sharing his views on the industry @stevecgames.

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