Obsidian's Newest Game Isn't Quite What You'd Expect

Last night at GDC in San Francisco, Obsidian Entertainment announced a new game. You might expect the company behind RPGs like Fallout: New Vegas and South Park: The Stick of Truth to have another massive adventure up their sleeve, but nope! It's a free-to-play tank game.

It's called Armored Warfare, and it's an online tank-battling game published with the Russia-backed startup My.com. Obsidian is developing the game on the CryTek Engine, and it'll presumably challenge the massively-popular World of Tanks for domination in the world of tank video games. (You can sign up for the beta on their website.)

Your initial reaction might be to say "WTF, Obsidian?" but if you don't mind me putting on my Armchair Analyst hat for a second, here's a theory: Independent studios need money. A free-to-play tank game, while not Obsidian's M.O., could be very lucrative for the company that made their name on RPGs like the upcoming Pillars of Eternity. Even if you don't care about tanks, and you'd rather see Obsidian focus on those role-playing games, it's nice to see an independent studio doing everything it can to stay independent—because independence means having the flexibility to do things like start risky Kickstarters for old-school isometric RPGs.