An Open Letter to Obsidian Entertainment:
It’s not you, it’s me.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted when we met. I know that’s not fair, but it’s the truth. I hope you can forgive me.
You were passionate, creative and smart. Full of ideas. So many ideas. You seemed like the perfect partner. Whatever I was into, you were into as well. For every fantasy I could imagine, you were ready to take it further. And when we played out some of my favorite stories together, I couldn’t help but fall madly in love with you.
There was a hole in my life then. I’d been burned too many times and had decided to give it all up. When a friend introduced me to you, I wasn’t interested at first, but something about you seemed familiar. Like we’d shared some of the same experiences and dreamed some of the same dreams.
I admit it was perfect for a time. You would spin your tales (so detailed!) and I would wallow in them. It took me a long time to realize though, that I wasn’t really in love with your ideas, I was in love with the idea of your ideas. The difference is subtle, I know.
I’ve been with you since the beginning. Since before the beginning, actually. Since you called yourself Black Isle. Maybe that’s why I hung on so long. Maybe I was still in love today with who you were yesterday. I know that’s not fair, but you’re partly to blame. You changed more than you let on and it took me a long time to realize that.
I know that I changed, too. I used to sit at my computer for days on end, happy to download patches and fixes and hunt for drivers that would make our days together complete. Today: not so much. Today I’m couch-bound, and I’d rather spend my time with you and your ideas than spend time dealing with your issues.
The issues are always there, though, aren’t they? You can’t seem to let them go, and that’s what’s really sad. It seems like now the issues are all we have. Maybe they always were. Maybe it was just easier to overlook them before. Or maybe the struggle was part of the appeal. Maybe I felt I didn’t deserve something perfect, so I settled. Maybe you were always flawed and I was happy to enable you.
I know this all comes as a shock. I wish I could put it more gently, but the fact is you’ve hurt me. I forgave you for the flaws in Knights of the Old Republic II. For the half-ending and the way it didn’t quite capture the spirit of the original. I forgave you for Neverwinter Nights 2. It wasn’t perfect, but it was – to be fair – as good as the original, or better. You had a lot of room to mess things up there, and that you took all of it and more wasn’t your fault. Not really.
I also forgave you for Alpha Protocol. The fact is, you and I both knew that was beyond you. It would have been a nice surprise if it had ended well for you, but it didn’t and we both know why: You weren’t ready. You overreached. I hope you can see that.
You know I forgave you for Fallout: New Vegas, too. Sure, it was you up to your old tricks, tripping once for every two steps, but I thought that maybe if you could spend some time in your old neighborhood you would realize how much things have changed – and how much you haven’t. I had hoped that seeing what your friends had done with the place might inspire you to be better. Instead, it seems like it only made you bitter. Made you focus on trying it your own way again, one more time, just to prove you were right when all along, the road to success was right at your feet just waiting for you to take the first step.
The one thing I can’t forgive is this ridiculous bullshit with the New Vegas patches DLC. I was looking forward to “Honest Hearts,” I really was. The Burned Man was one of your greatest inventions. I had hoped to hear his story, to revel in your brilliance one more time. But then you had to ruin it like you always do. A patch that broke the game it was supposed to be patching? And then, after you tried to fix what was broken, you broke something again. I fell for this already, with ED-E. How interesting he was. What a story! Except I never got to hear the ending because it was riddled with all of your usual bullshit. Now I can’t even begin the new tale because of the problems with the old.
This was the final straw for me, Obsidian. Later on, when you’re awake late at night and wondering why your friends have abandoned you, I hope you remember how badly you fucked this up. Patches are supposed to fix things. That you can’t even get that right suggests you’ve stopped caring. That you’ve given up on us. That everything we had together doesn’t matter enough to you to even try to fix what’s broken. To me, that’s unforgivable.
I wish I could make sense of how something that used to feel so perfect and so right could turn so totally rotten, but that’s where we are. I think it’s best for both of us if I just say goodbye.
What I want now -what I need now – is someone who will be there for me. You are brilliant and I hope that someday you realize that and stop messing round with ideas that are too big for you. I hope that someday you manage to focus on your strengths. You have a lot going for you and if you could only learn how to finish what you start I think you will be as great as you always wanted to be. As we always knew you would be. You are your worst enemy, and I hope you realize that.
Whether or not you understand what I’m talking about, or are able to find your way through the problems you are dealing with, I know there is someone out there for you. I know you will have no trouble replacing me. I see the way others look at you; blind to your faults, like I was. You won’t be alone for long. I’m okay with that. But you and I are through.
And seriously, fuck you.