Industry veteran Chris Avellone, known for his work on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II and Fallout: New Vegas, recently spoke to VG247 about why he would never work for Obsidian Entertainment again. He cited numerous reasons as to why he would not return to work for the studio, but communication was a major sticking point. Rather, the lack thereof was an issue.
Avellone said that communication is one of the most important things when it comes to making a game, and the communication circle at Obsidian was more of a rectangle. He noted:
Even amongst the owner’s circle—there might be two owners who might actually really know what was going on with a certain project, with a certain issue, and the others might be in the dark. And that would happen at all levels.
Avellone also said that when certain members of the development team aren’t privy to important information regarding a game’s issues or certain decisions made by members of the team, it makes it nearly impossible to properly communicate. He explained that this can lead to bad decisions:
When that information isn’t disseminated, sometimes you make bad choices. Say you’re having a problem with the art for a game. Maybe you should bring in the art director and make them part of the conversation, versus having the art director be the last person to know that you’re going to change all the art in the game. But because you haven’t talked to the art director, not only are they in the dark, but they also can’t inform you as to why those decisions may have been made. It might completely change your mind, versus you suddenly coming in and doing something.
Another of Avellone’s reasons for not wanting to work with Obsidian again was the issue of nepotism. He said that when Obsidian would lay off employees, often employees with personal connections to some of the higher-ups in the company would get to keep their job, while others were not so fortunate. He said that he doesn’t think there is room for these types of practices in a company:
You might even actually have a good reason for keeping that person, but that connection, that’s going to be employee favoritism, so it’s best to just remove that from the equation entirely.
Lastly, Avellone ended the interview on a peacemaking note. He said, “I don’t bear them any ill will, it’s just that I don’t think their management style is healthy.”
What do you think of Chris Avellone’s reasons for not wanting to work with Obsidian Entertainment again? Let us know in the comments below!