I"m very skeptical of this.
"All of us at inXile are pretty excited."
Well, no doubt you're excited by the buckload of money you no doubt will be getting, but wasn't that exactly what Fargo was going *against* in his promo-vids with the boy (his son, I believe)? Where he was snarkling the big companies and their managers and CEO's that don't know shit of gaming? Being proud of an independent indie game-developper.
But lo and behold, 3 rather successful games further (thanks to kickstarter-backers, not MS or other big business!) and there is already a sell-out.
I have ZERO confidence in the PC general claim of 'diversification' of MS. I think deep down, no-one believes that, not even Fargo and the people at Inxile. Is it mentioned in the buying-contract with MS the games you make will never be Xbox exclusive? You have hard assurances, on paper, that you can continue to do things as you do now, regardless if you're successful or not with the next few games?
I think this very doubtful. When push comes to shove - and EVERYONE knows this - it's the guy(s) with the money and who owns the IP that has the last word. Really: everyone knows this is the case, always.
MS is a glutton. It gobbles up other companies, but doesn't really care. Look at Fable: another game from an Indie they bought and then just let it whither away and die. Only to bait now and then after a decade. MS is like EA: nothing good can come of it. And EA follows the same principle: buy up stuff, and screw it over (Command&Conquer, anyone?).
I find this sort of thing so deplorable. Why not continue on your own? It was going reasonably well, no? Why not try to become a big name yourself, while staying true to your foundations? I fear this age of game-developers devouring: so many sell out, just to get the quick bucks. and what happens to them? Look at Blizzard, for Christ's sake, and the latest debacle they had with Diablo. Speak of loosing touch with your core fanbase... And when did that happen? Right. After they let them be bought by activision. And they had all the 'assurances' as well, that would stay an independent part.
If this keeps up, you'll end up with 3-4 gigantic game-developer companies that have eaten all the rest up, and are so big and unwieldy, they loose touch with what they should be doing, don't care about the fans anymore - except as cash milking machines , and let great game-titles die because of lack of vision. Innovation is the first thing to go when managers start ruling the game-company, instead of those making the actual game.
One may be happy in the short run, and money-wise you're better off, no doubt. But mark my words: this is the beginning of the demise for Inxile and its particular way of doing things, with games that may not have been perfect, but funny and novel, with their own style. Thinking you'll remain masters of your own fate, when you're bought up by such a mastadon, is delusional. And it's happening more and more. And every time I see it, it gives a pang, because I know things will get worse from now on. In a while, there will be no more indie-games with any important titles left, because all will be gone, and new start-ups can't put up with the enormous resources it needs to make a game with the same impact as, say, 20 years ago.
As long as you have good, well-known titles as a franchise, you can make it, so why not try to get larger yourself - slowly but surely - so you can make AAA games eventually, but not fall in the trap of EA and Activision?
But what am I complaining about after the facts? It's too late by now. Yet another one sold out. Why do so little game-houses have so little backbone? How long will this self-endoresed, self-mutilating butchery go on from the indie-houses? I know money is important, but can't you just make it on your own?
Ah, fuck, I'm so disappointed. And I know what's going to happen next, in the long run. In the best case, Bard's tale 5 will be a thirteen-in-a-dozen 'please-all-crowd' RPG-fastfood, where no-one from the original crew is involved in anymore, and in the worst, it'll just be hold back indefinitely in a limbo-state, and whither away, apart from some mobile-game derivative with micro-transactions.
I know this is not the Political Correct happy news show and congrats that is expected, but I'm saying it like it is. I don't feel like upholding some fake illusion, even if that's more comfortable. I'll say it straight out, and the future will prove me right, just as the history of similar buy-ups has proven it. Nothing. Ever. Comes. Good. Of. It. Not for the game's novelty, style and essence, anyway. And thus not for its future.