Cool Companies: Obsidain Entertainment

3 years ago

business, games, reviews

Ever since we decided to incorporate Astrojone in preparation for the Buck & Miles-Kickstarter campaign I’ve been paying extra attention to how other gaming companies treat their customers. I know how frustrating it can be having to deal with broken games only to realize that the developers have shielded themselves behind a knowledgebase or a forum with no other point of contact.

I had a pretty pleasant encounter with Obsidian Entertainments’ operations manager a few years ago after having bumped into several annoying bugs in Fallout: New Vegas and not being able to find any support channel whatsoever on Obsidian Entertainments’ website:

Our sincere apologies for any difficulties you’re having with one of our games; I can try and help. Let me know which game you’ve having problems with and the symptoms and I can see if we can help out.

Not a great excuse, but strangely enough, Obsidian doesn’t actually have a support department. All of our games so far have been ‘work for hires’ for other companies; we’re hired by publishing companies to create games for them. As the owners of those games, they determine everything else with it: They test and market it, decide when and where to sell it, and they take on all of the post-launch duties, like customer support. For example, Fallout New Vegas is actually owned and supported by Bethesda.

And:

I created a new support page tonight and put it online tonight. We should have had this long ago, but hopefully it’ll help others who stop by our site in the future.

Which is pretty awesome. I mean the guy obviously has better things to do yet took the time to deal with a frustrated customer, and even created a whole new support section just to remedy this specific problem.

This is the kind of stuff we’re going to have to think about if we want to avoid ticking off our own customers once our first game is released, and I think the above mentioned scenario is a good standard to try to live up to.