Obsidian CEO almost talks about canceled Aliens RPG

Kevin Kelly
K. Kelly|09.17.09

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Kevin Kelly
September 17th, 2009
Obsidian CEO almost talks about canceled Aliens RPG
We cornered Obsidian's CEO Feargus Urquhart with a motion tracker (notepad) and a an M41A1 Pulse Rifle (pen) at Austin GDC to ask him exactly what happened with the canceled Aliens RPG the company was working on for Sega. The game was announced back in 2006, and then canceled abruptly in February earlier this year. Of course, it took Sega four months to officially let us know about it. So what did happen?

The good news? There's an answer. The bad news? You're going to have to wait until February 2011 to get it. We hope we remember the question that far in the future. If that makes anyone think about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you get bonus points. Read on after the break for what he said, which did not include the proper pronunciation of his name.

This panel was about developing licensed games in tough economic times. Is that what happened to the Aliens RPG? That was announced awhile ago. What happened?

Of course, whenever a relationship like that ends, there is the letter that we get that has the legal reasons for why this is happening, then there are the reasons that we all have an idea about, but they can't really talk to us about those because it has to be talked about from a legal perspective.

It's a tough thing for us, because it means we're all still under a non-disclosure agreement, at least for awhile. We have our ideas, but they're purely opinions and they could be absolutely wrong. The NDA was two years past termination, so talk to us in February 2011.

Oh, we will. Expect your phone to ring very early that day.

[Laughs, calls security]

How far had development gone?

It had gone pretty far. A lot of it was us building our own internal technologies, and part of that was an understood thing before we got to the game itself. We'd gotten fairly far.

Did you retain that engine?

Oh yeah, we retained that. We own that, it's our own technology.

Are you using it now?

We are. We just signed a deal about 10 weeks ago. We'll be using it on a new product.

The previously unannounced game ... that's still unannounced?

Yes, we'll be using it on that. It will probably be announced early next year. We're working on three things right now: finishing up Alpha Protocol, Fallout: New Vegas, and then the new game which will use that engine.
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