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Obsidian’s Cancelled Xbox One Exclusive Game Would Have Played Like The Witcher, Featured A “Million-Man Raid”


Raids in MMOs are usually the most time-consuming, but rewarding experience you could have in the endgame. Usually, you will need to form a party of six to eight to take down these big bosses.

But what if that number could be bigger, let’s say, one million people?

As reported by Eurogamer, Obsidian once had a deal with Microsoft to produce an Xbox One launch title called Stormlands. Unfortunately that deal fell through, which Eurogamer reported in detail here, but it has shed light on how ambitious Microsoft’s ideas for games were, which explained why many of their exclusives didn’t materialise, like Platinum’s Scalebound.

Here is  Feargus Urquhart, CEO of Obsidian, recounting the concept of the million-man raid:

“We were given a proposal, the million-man raid. Conceptually what came from Microsoft was this idea: imagine you’re playing The Witcher, maybe with a friend. What happens if at points in time a giant creature pops up that you can see in the distance and it’s not just popping up while you’re playing, it’s popping up for everybody who’s playing. You all rush this creature and there’s this haze around it, and as you’re all rushing through the haze the game is matchmaking you into 40-man raids who are going to fight the creature.

“Then you fight it, but while the creature is being fought all the footage is being recorded up into the cloud. Then at the end we would come up with some kind of intelligent editing thing which would deliver everybody who fought a personalised, edited video of their participation in the raid. That is what was proposed to us.”

A Witcher-like RPG with crazy huge raids sounds intriguing, but of course Obsidian didn’t take Microsoft’s million-raid concept at face value, hence the 40-player count mentioned. Stormlands even had a vertical slice demo made for the pitch, which used the engine from Dungeon Siege 3 and running on the Xbox 360.

The Stormlands pitch took place during the hard time within Obsidian, famous for developing Fallout: New Vegas, having to lay off staff and their one current project- South Park: The Stick Of Truth- was uncertain due to THQ’s imminent closure (which it did).

While Stormlands is now cancelled for good, the pitch did get reworked with a darker theme in the form of Fallen. No publishers picked up that idea either, so they reworked it again to create Tyranny. The CRPG where the villains have won and your decisions are to pick what shade of evil you believe in was released last year, published by Paradox Interactive (which also published Obsidian’s Kickstartered game Pillars Of Eternity).

(Featured image by Eurogamer)