Before the Xbox One was released, developer Obsidian Entertainment – known for creating Fallout: New Vegas and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 – was in the midst of creating Stormlands, what they were calling a “premiere RPG.” However, Microsoft ending up shelving the project in 2012 with nobody really knowing why.
Now, however, Obsidian boss Feargus Urquhart has shared his side of the story in an interview with IGN. Speaking to the publication, Urquhart said that the decision to cancel Stormlands was Microsoft’s, and Microsoft’s alone. In Urquhart’s words:
“It comes down to budget and it comes down to having a champion [at Microsoft]. I can see games that had champions and weren’t canceled until $80 million were spent. There’s games that had a $10 million budget and had a champion and ended up the budget was $60 million and it shipped.”
The Obsidian boss went on to say that, when it comes down to developing games, whether or not a game gets made really comes down to publishers. The actual developers rely heavily on someone who can defend the project and assure the higher-ups the game is going to be good. In the case of Stormlands, unfortunately, Obsidian didn’t have someone like that to champion the game at Microsoft. Urquhart continues:
“There has to be someone with that attitude and the ability to defend the game. For a game to truly be big, it often has to be pushed and it has to have ads and PR. Why did Stormwinds get canceled? Stormwinds got canceled because we didn’t have an advocate.”
According to a number of reports, Microsoft canceled Stormlands in March 2012 during the final meeting before it was to get a green light. Obsidian reportedly laid off 30 developers as a result of the game’s cancellation. So far, Microsoft has yet to comment on the reasoning behind cancelling the RPG.