Pillars of Eternity 2 Deadfire, the sequel to 2015’s original, came out this May for PC and it doesn’t look like it made as big a splash as its predecessor. Quite the opposite, if we’re led to believe the statement of one investor, developer Obsidian has a massive flop on its hand.
As DSO Gaming reports, private investor Dylan Holmes disclosed how much money he made from the game’s launch till this September with an original investment of $1000. The sum Holmes received is shy of $200 which means he didn’t even break even but lost a major chunk of his investment.
That’s the definition of a bad investment. This is a surprise, after all things were looking promising for Pillars of Eternity 2. The original PoE was hailed as one of the exemplary crowdfunding success stories way back in 2012. Obsidian hit a nerve among gaming fans of old school hardcore RPGs and Pillars of Eternity went on to become both a critical and financial success. Pillars of Eternity 2 similarly smashed its crowdfunding goals.
In further Tweets, Holmes states that Pillars of Eternity 2 needs to sell around 580k copies at full price to only start making a profit. Doing some quick math, the sales figure of PoE2 must stand at around 110k at September. Future sales will inflate that number but traditionally the bulk of game sales occur in the first few months. So, the outlook of breaking even doesn’t look very good.
This news is naturally fueling speculations whether Obsidian agreed to their buyout by Microsoft because the company wasn’t doing well financially. It’s impossible to say without any official statement but it wouldn’t be surprising.
Seeing the success of Pillars of Eternity, it didn’t come as a surprise that Obsidian started working on a sequel. It’s difficult to gauge exactly what changed between 2015 and 2018, but one thing is for sure. Those gamers who flocked towards PoE three years ago didn’t welcome PoE 2 with the same enthusiasm.
Pillars of Eternity can be an intimidating experience for gamers who aren’t used to extremely deep and text-heavy isometric RPGs of old like Baldur’s Gate. Maybe it was the many years of drought before PoE1 that enticed a large audience and sales of upward of 1 million. A lot changed in recent years and RPGs gunning for the hardcore crowd aren’t as rare as they used to be.
Either way, bad sales don’t detract that Pillars of Eternity 2 is a very good RPG. With a very high 88 Metacritic rating, fans of RPGs definitely should give the game a chance.