"It's a very hard thing to do well": Obsidian tips its hat to Baldur's Gate 3 co-op, but says Avowed will focus on the single-player RPG experience you expect

Avowed combat screenshot showing magic and sword fighting against a mutant bear
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

We've known for a while now that Avowed is going to be a strictly single-player RPG, and in a new interview, Avowed creative director Carrie Patel explains precisely why.

Talking to Windows Central, Patel heaped praise on RPGs that are able to successfully implement multiplayer mechanics without compromising the single-player experience. There was a time when Avowed itself was being designed with some sort of multiplayer component in mind, but it was ultimately scrapped to allow Obsidian to do what it does best and focus on making a compelling single-player RPG. In this new interview, Patel adds a whole lot more insight into the internal decision to laser-focus on single-player at the cost of any multiplayer element, mentioning Baldur's Gate 3 in the process.

Patel says building a fleshed-out multiplayer experience on top of delivering on the promise of a brand new Obsidian RPG was simply too big a creative and technical challenge for the studio. 

"What's important to us is making sure we have a really solid campaign and [critical] path story that puts the player in this meaningful role as the character moving things forward, making impactful decisions, and really shaping the world and the characters around them, which obviously gets more complicated if you're trying to add a multiplayer component," she said.

"It's not that any of these challenges are unsolvable, the Larian Studios team built an incredible RPG with Baldur's Gate 3, and they've had years of experience with Divinity: Original Sin, working at building multiplayer within a really robust RPG framework. It's a very hard thing to do well, and we wanted to make sure that first and foremost, we were delivering on the things that players come to an Obsidian Entertainment RPG expecting, which is a really well-developed story, meaningful choices and consequences, and the ability to be the agent of change in the world."

Patel's words are music to my ears, and I'm probably not the only one relieved to see the studio staying in its wheelhouse. There's nothing inherently wrong with adding multiplayer to a single-player game, but from an outside perspective it often feels half-baked, tacked-on, and superfluous at best and financially predatory at worst. Obsidian has developed multiplayer modes successfully in the past, but I'm certainly not upset to hear it's focusing solely on single-player in Avowed.

Find out where Baldur's Gate 3 ranks on our list of the best RPGs to play today.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.