Avowed was going to be a co-op game at one point, but Obsidian pivoted during development as it realized it wasn't focusing on "the things it's best at."
As revealed in part 5 of Obsidian's 20th-anniversary documentary, Avowed was almost a very different game as its developers wanted it to have a multiplayer aspect at one point. "When I look back at 20 years, there's decisions that of mine that I feel really good about, and there's decisions that I feel not so good about," Feargus Urquhart, Obsidian's studio head, says in the documentary.
"One of the things where I really pushed was that Avowed was going to be multiplayer," Urquhart adds, "and I kept on that for a long time, and I think in the end - not I think, I know - in the end it was the wrong decision to keep on pushing on it." The studio founder explains that at the time, Obsidian was still an independent studio, and it wanted to sell it as "a more interesting game" to publishers.
"When you're asking for 50, 60, 70, 80 million you've got to have something interesting to talk about - and multiplayer made it interesting," Urquhart continues.
It wasn't just the studio's founder that had things to say about Avowed's possible multiplayer, Justin Britch (head of development at Obsidian) talked more about the studio's decision to change Avowed to a single-player RPG: "We were too focused on co-op and we were too focused on changing the way our pipelines work and the way that we write conversations and the way we do quests and everything else."
Britch continues: "After working on it for a little bit, we realized that we weren't focused on the things that we're best at and so we made a pivot on the game basically, to refocus really and make sure that it was, at the end of the day, an Obsidian game and not something different."
Seeing as Avowed is being described as "a very silly Skyrim," it makes a lot of sense why Obsidian wanted to refocus the team and create a single-player experience instead. Before you get too excited about a new Skyrim-like game, the team has previously revealed that Avowed isn't aiming for an open world as big as Skyrim's.
Avowed is set to launch on Xbox Series X/S, PC, and Xbox Game Pass sometime in 2024 - we're still waiting for that all-important release date.
While we wait, find out what else the studio is working on with our upcoming Obsidian games list.