South Park: The Stick of Truth developer Obsidian Entertainment intends to continue creating large-scale RPG projects, according to the company's chief executive Feargus Urquhart.
Speaking to CVG in a new interview, Urquhart said the studio remains open to further licensing agreements, but noted that the current games market presents significant challenges for independent developers seeking to finance their games.
"For us, and me in particular, I selfishly love working on role-playing games," he said. "It's what I play... That's the trajectory we want to always be on, and [Kickstarter project] Pillars of Eternity is a great example of that."
Despite making strides via crowdfunding, Urquhart believes publishing partnerships remain crucial for large-scale projects. Not just for finances either, he noted, but because of their access and institutional knowledge of shipping games.
"Right now, fewer major games are being worked on by independent developers than almost any time in the games industry. That's one of the challenges of being an independent developer right now.
"I would love to say that I could go up on Kickstarter and raise $15, $20, $30 million dollars to do our own big triple-A console game. But the reality is - minus Star Citizen - that's probably a little bit of a pipe dream. When it comes to making bigger console RPGs, us working with publishers makes sense.
"It's a big apparatus to try to ship these big console RPGs. I think we'll always continue to talk to publishers, not just because of funding - although obviously that's a big part of it - but also just because of the realities of publishing big console projects."
Later in the interview, Urquhart expressed his desire to work with a publisher on a major new project in the future.
"I won't even use names, but for us to go off and do our own Skyrim-like game that's going to be on next-gen consoles, I'd love to do that. I'm not saying we're talking to Bethesda about doing a Skyrim-like game or anything like that, but just saying that's something we continue to call up and talk to publishers about. We have a lot of experience doing that, we love to do it, and if we can get them convinced of an idea, or if they already want to do it, then that would be something that we would choose to do."
Obsidian is currently working on Pillars of Eternity, its crowdfunded RPG which raised more than $4 million on Kickstarter. MEanwhile, the studio is investing in a free-to-play MMO involving tank battles, called Armored Warfare. Players can sign up for the beta here.
Urquhart remains open-minded about future licensed tie-ins, he said.
"Well, if someone called you up tomorrow and said, 'hey, do you want to make a Star Wars game?' What's the answer? I mean, that's how it happened with South Park. They called up and said, 'hey, do you guys want to make a South Park game?' And your quick, knee-jerk reaction is, well, yeah! I could say no because I don't want us to be seen as the developer that just makes licensed games. But then I feel like I'd be turning down the opportunity of a South Park game just because, which seems weird."
"When it comes to Star Wars, I was seven and my mom took me to see Star Wars, and I saw Empire when it came out, and I saw Jedi when it came out. I'm in the Star Wars generation, so if anyone gives me any opportunity to make a Star Wars game I'd make a Star Wars game."