Fallout: New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity director Josh Sawyer is directing another new game at Obsidian.
We now know that Obsidian is currently working on Grounded (opens in new tab), its newly released early access survival crafting game, and Avowed (opens in new tab), a newly revealed first-person fantasy RPG set in the world of Pillars of Eternity. Whatever Sawyer's working on is totally separate, as he said in a recent tweet (spotted by our sister site PC Gamer (opens in new tab)):
I am directing my own project now (it's just not Avowed).August 5, 2020
Sawyer has worked as a director at Obsidian since 2010, and he's spent the last 20 years working on RPGs. His last project was Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire in 2018, so one assumption would be that he's now working on Pillars of Eternity 3. However, in November 2019, Sawyer said (opens in new tab) that a third Pillars of Eternity looks less likely due to the low sales of Deadfire. If Pillars is going to continue, "we're going to have to re-examine the entire format of the game," he said.
"I’m sure some of the people reading this think they know precisely why Deadfire sold worse than Pillars 1," Sawyer added. "I don’t have that confidence, which is one of several reasons why I am leery about trying to direct a sequel."
Is Pillars of Eternity 3 still a possibility? Yes, but a marginal one at best. At this point, given Obsidian's recent activity, a new IP – and perhaps even a new genre for the studio – seems more likely. Of course, we have absolutely no way of knowing what that might be either. In any case, when we know more, you'll know more.
How Obsidian made Grounded (opens in new tab), a tiny game with big dangers that are nothing like the studio's previous works.