Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire director urges RPG developers to be more 'radical', says some fans 'resistant to change'

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire is just over two weeks away, and I can't wait. The first game was an homage to classic RPGs like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment, and that was part of why players loved it so much. But the man in charge of directing it, Obsidian's Josh Sawyer, says that the genre needs to be more "radical", and that both Pillars 1 and 2 are "contributing to the problem" of a lack of innovation. 

“Fans tend to skew towards the more hardcore cases and they tend to be fairly resistant to change," he said at Reboot Development 2018 this week. "I don’t want to paint too broad of a stroke there but RPGs can be a lot more than we have done with them so far. There’s much more than we can do and it's much more radical.

“The genre can go in a number of different directions...I’m also contributing to the problem. Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2 are very traditional role playing games."

He said that interactions between combat systems, a character's attributes, and storytelling should be more "fluid", and pointed to Bethesda's success with games like Skyrim as examples of how the genre can change.

“The traditionalists probably get angry about this stuff, but Bethesda’s RPGs are very different from isometric RPGs. They’re much more action orientated, much more focused on the immersive experience. That shows there’s more room for RPGs to grow than just to be what they were 20 years ago. It’s really a matter of finding an audience that matches up with that."

Thanks, VG247.

Samuel Horti

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play.