“…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,” Sawyer wrote.
Check out IGN’s full interview with Sawyer from June 2018.He said that gamers criticized the sequel’s story and how easy it was, but he doesn’t think that was the reason for the weaker sales. He also doesn’t believe that its real-time combat system was the blame.
“It is difficult to know exactly why a sequel sells worse than its predecessor if both games review relatively well,” Sawyer said. “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? Is it because despite the strong reviews and the strong sales for the first game, people didn’t “really” like it? Maybe it’s a combination of all of these things.”
He cites that the turn-based Divinity: Original Sin II was more critically and commercially successful, but Pathfinder: Kingmaker was also able to outsell Pillars of Eternity II with similar real-time combat.
“I’m sure some of the people reading this think they know precisely why Deadfire sold worse than Pillars 1,” Sawyer wrote. “I don’t have that confidence, which is one of several reasons why I am leery about trying to direct a sequel. I couldn’t give our (Obsidian’s) audience the game that they wanted and without understanding where I went wrong, I would be guessing at what the problems are and how to remedy them.”
Pillars of Eterntiy: Complete Edition Nintendo Switch Screenshots
In our review of Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire from the game’s launch, we said that the “central conflict pales in comparison to its rich sidequests and deep, customizable tactical combat.” The first Pillars of Eternity game was recently released for the Nintendo Switch in August 2019.
Sawyer previously stated that Obsidian is open to other studios working on Pillars of Eternity games. But that was before Microsoft acquired Obsidian so the rules may have changed.
Petey Oneto is a freelance writer for IGN.