Obsidian Entertainment has revealed that Grounded, the cooperative survival game announced at X019’s Inside Xbox, was in the works far before Microsoft acquired the development team.
The studio is known for its groundbreaking role-playing games, such as Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II, Fallout: New Vegas, and most recently The Outer Worlds, so many felt that it might have been Microsoft that pushed them to work on something so seemingly different from their roots.
“It’s something that was in production before we became part of Microsoft,” Design Director Josh Sawyer, who previously led development on the Pillars of Eternity franchise, told VG247.
“I know a lot of people associate our studio with RPGs, but we do have multiple teams working on things at different times, so you can expect to hear more about the RPGs we’re working on in the future,” he added.
Microsoft and its Xbox Game Studios organization have been in a similar situation before. At E3 2019, Ninja Theory revealed its new IP Bleeding Edge, a multiplayer brawler that many fans felt was too different from the studio’s most significant success, the story-driven action-adventure Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
At E3, Ninja Thoery Creative Director Rahni Tucker said that the game had been in the making since 2016 with a team of around 15 individuals, and that being acquired by Microsoft allowed Ninja Theory to empower their vision for Bleeding Edge further.
Grounded is releasing as part of the Game Preview program, Microsoft’s version of Early Access, for Xbox One and PC in Summer 2020.