With the recent release of The Outer Worlds by Obsidian, there has been a revival of talk regarding their other IPs and franchises, most notably Pillars of Eternity.
Josh Sawyer, the Pillars of Eternity series lead (at least to date), actually fielded a question regarding the fate of the Pillars series on his tumblr page. When asked about Pillars of Eternity 3, Sawyer noted that, while it is not something he gets to decide, the low sales of Deadfire will force Obsidian to 're-examine the entire format of the game.'
"The problem is that without really understanding the reason(s), it’s hard to know how to move forward." says Sawyer. "It would be easier in some ways if Deadfire were also a colossal critical failure and we could point to the massive screw-ups that we needed to address."
Sawyer points out that some players did criticize the games main plotline and easier difficulty, but rightfully points out that those criticisms do not explain the difference in sales with the original Pillars of Eternity, even noting that professional critics found Deadfire to be a better overall experience.
Sawyer admits that it is a personal question of confidence as well, as he cannot point to a specific reason as to why the game didn't sell well.
"I don’t have that confidence, which is one of several reasons why I am leery about trying to direct a sequel." said Saywer. "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 Eternity II: Deadfire was well received by critics and fans, but did not go on to be a massive seller for Obsidian, in fact it sold worse than other isometric RPGs such as Pathfinder: Kingmaker and Divinity: Original Sin 2.
It could simply be fatigue for isometric-style RPGs, or it could be some other combination of factors that led to low sales for Deadfire. Regardless, the future of the Pillars series as an isometric RPG is still in the air. Hopefully Sawyer and Obsidian find the answer they are looking for.
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