Obsidian will not start work on Pillars of Eternity III until the developer knows what went wrong with Deadfire.
Writing on his personal blog, series head designer Josh Sawyer noted that Deadfire sold well below expectations. Those poor sales make a new entry unlikely until Obsidian is sure it can release a financially successful game.
“That is not something that I get to decide, but I do think that the relatively low sales of Deadfire mean that if we consider making another Pillars game in this style, we’re going to have to re-examine the entire format of the game,” wrote Sawyer.
“It is difficult to know exactly why a sequel sells worse than its predecessor if both games review relatively well. Is it because the first game satisfied the existing need and the audience just wasn’t interested in the second? Is it because awareness was lower for the sequel? Or is it because despite the strong reviews and sales for the first game, people didn’t really like it? Maybe it’s a combination of all of these things.”
That the sequel received a similar average review score as its predecessor also confuses matters, as it indicates that Deadfire was not a lesser experience than the original.
Sawyer went on to say that until the team understands why Deadfire failed to sell, it will not move forward with a new game.
Sawyer also stated that he personally would not want to work on a future Pillars of Eternity title. Without knowing what problems held back sales, the developer would simply be guessing how to fix them.
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