Josh Sawyer, director of Obsidian Entertainment’s recently released game Pentiment, has admitted that the game would never have been made had it not been for Xbox’s Game Pass service.
The statement was made in the most recent Waypoint Radio Podcast episode “The Year of the Narrative Banger Continues with Pentiment.”
“I never would have proposed making Pentiment without Game Pass,” Sawyer declares. “Like, I literally just wouldn’t have done it. I just don’t think it would have been possible.”
Sawyer goes on to say that while he had the general concept of the game for years, he believed it to be far too niche to justify the time and funding required to develop it. Microsoft’s purchase of Obsidian Entertainment motivated Sawyer to pitch the game, as belonging to a much larger studio meant more freedom for experimental games, as well as Game Pass being the ideal home for such a game.
Sawyer also admits that he “kinda just bullied [his] boss into” the project, promising a tight scope and a small team to keep resources at a minimum. All of these factors combined made for the perfect scenario to have a game like Pentiment come to life.
Pentiment is a narrative driven adventure game set in 16th century Bavaria. The player controls journeyman artist Andreas Maler as he investigates a murder that his friend is accused of committing. The game’s plot spans over 25 years, and never reveals the full mystery; instead, the player must decide based on the conversations and choices that they have made throughout the tale who they believe the murderer is.
Pentiment is noteworthy for its unique art style, with the game beginning with a late medieval art aesthetic, and then changing to an early modern art appearance as the game progresses.
Xbox’s Game Pass subscription service began in June 2017, and allows gamers to play from hundreds of titles for a monthly price. This subscription model allows for games with smaller scope or lower marketing appeal to reach a wider audience. Gamers are able to try out games that they think may be interesting without the fear of wasting money by purchasing a game outright.
Have you played Pentiment? If so, what are your thoughts? Does the game interest you, and do you think Game Pass is a good fit for the experimental adventure game? Are there any games that you fell in love with after trying it on Game Pass? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and on our social media channels!
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