Taking the Lid Off of Avowed: MICROSOFT’S Inside Role in the Development of Avowed

Amid the maelstrom of game development pipelines and billion-dollar launch windows rests a tiny jewel that has caught the eye of RPG fans all over the world: Avowed. This is a game developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the studio known for its story-based role-playing games. Avowed has been quietly touted by its creators as the next big RPG release, and it offers an interesting case study for industry observers looking to understand how fans react to a studio’s strategic decision-making regarding new titles. We’re going to take a tour of what makes Avowed interesting, how it got accidentally leaked, and how MICROSOFT is handling its road to release.

The Accidental Revelation: A Glimpse into Avowed's Launch Plans

Avowed shone at the Xbox Games Showcase in June 2022, which was hyped for months before the event. The game was simply set to release in 2024, but just four months later, a blog post by Obsidian Entertainment confirmed the game’s release date as 12 November 2024 before editing the slip out.

MICROSOFT and Obsidian: A Symphony of Ambition and Expertise

It’s hard to fathom what might have prompted the rapid editing of the post announcing the game’s release date, but the questions it raises about MICROSOFT and Obsidian’s marketing techniques are intriguing. Was the game’s release date being withheld until a later date for maximum impact? Was this an internal target that wasn’t quite ready for wide public consumption? Whatever the circumstances, it’s undeniable that MICROSOFT is setting the agenda for the release schedule of its library of exclusives.

Why Avowed Could Be the Crown Jewel of MICROSOFT'S RPG Offerings

Avowed is one of the most anticipated Xbox exclusives for 2024 (next to STALKER 2, of course, by GSC Game World). Obsidian Entertainment, known for their demanding RPGs like Fallout: New Vegas, are looking to blend the God of War/Dark Souls melee combat mechanic, magic, and ranged weapons in an AAA open-world The Elder Scrolls-style RPG.

The World of Eora: A Canvas for Narrative Excellence

Set in the mysterious land of Eora and beginning where Pillars of Eternity (2015) left off, Avowed will explore The Living Lands and bring with it a lore that promises to be both expansive and confronting. A magical plague will serve as the backdrop to the plot, and a dialogue system promises the potential for world-leading RPG storytelling.

Harnessing the MICROSOFT Ecosystem for a Seamless Experience

Because it’s a MICROSOFT game, it also means access across the company’s platforms – when the game launches, it will hit Xbox Series X|S and on Windows PC via the MICROSOFT Store or via Steam. MICROSOFT makes its Xbox exclusives available on Xbox and PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate as well, and this will be no exception.

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Understanding MICROSOFT: The Behemoth Behind the Scenes

But MICROSOFT’s audience engagement with gaming is bigger than just publishing and distributing games. As a technology company in a real sense, MICROSOFT has long leveraged its large ecosystem – from cross-play between consoles and PCs to the original game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass – to help drive gaming forward. And it has several inroads in shaping the next generation, such as its purchases of studios (notably Obsidian Entertainment), that place MICROSOFT in a strategic position to drive future gaming in a way other platforms simply cannot.

That’s an aerial shot of Avowed as it existed in a wide-open, if accidental, reveal. It’s a far cry from the epic, open-world role-playing game that we could all be immersed in by this time next year. Yet its evolution from accidental reveal to potential masterpiece speaks volumes about what Obsidian and MICROSOFT have done together. This dynamic duo of imagination and execution is an intriguing example of what two companies – ambitious in their own right, with distinct differentials of expertise – can do together. The world watches as MICROSOFT continues expanding its sci-fi universe.

Jun 10, 2024
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