Massive Xbox RPG allegedly suffering significant development delays

(Image credit: Obsidian)

It sounds like Avowed, the first-person RPG from Obsidian, is in trouble, with various key players on the team changing roles and leaving the project. Though, it may still make an appearance at the Microsoft Xbox and Bethesda Showcase tonight.

Revealed way back in July 2020, Avowed looks like Obsidian’s answer to Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls games. It’s a first-person RPG set in the fantasy world the team established through its Pillars of Eternity games. However, since that first reveal trailer, Microsoft has kept very quiet on the game’s progress. Considering it's one of the Xbox Series X exclusives from a first-party studio, it's been a cause to worry for Xbox fans.

Two leaks today suggest both Avowed will appear in Microsoft’s Xbox and Bethesda Showcase, the next major show that’s part of Summer Game Fest, and that we shouldn’t expect to be playing the RPG any time soon.

The first leak, spotted by Tom Warren at The Verge (opens in new tab), was from a Microsoft employee posting on LinkedIn about games that would be appearing in the Showcase. “Viewers can expect appearances from anticipated Xbox-exclusive flagships Starfield, Forza Motorsport, Redfall, and Avowed,” the now-deleted post claimed.

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Although, it’s since been confirmed by Matt Brown (opens in new tab), senior editor over at Windows Central, that the employee took the text from his website’s hub page for the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase.

Of course, an appearance in a showcase doesn’t mean a game is nearly finished and that is the case with Avowed, Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier claims. In a now-deleted post, he says “Avowed has gone through some reboots and changed directors pretty recently. Dunno if it’ll be there today, but I wouldn’t expect to play it for a while.”

According to Avowed game director Carrie Patel’s LinkedIn page (opens in new tab), she is still leading the project. Of course, if she changed roles recently she may not yet have updated her LinkedIn, or it could be a different director, such as art or sound, though neither of those searches revealed recent changes.

As to why Schreier deleted his tweet, he says (opens in new tab) “I just don't want news sites and forums making a whole thing about a Twitter response I dashed off on my phone while picking up bagels.” So don’t I feel silly…

A still from the Avowed reveal trailer

(Image credit: Microsoft)

One recently confirmed departure from the team is Kate Dollarhyde who, until last month was the senior narrative designer on Avowed. She took to Twitter (opens in new tab) in May to announce “After five amazing years at Obsidian, I'm leaving the studio to pursue my personal creative endeavors”. It’s not clear who has replaced Dollarhyde on Avowed.

If you want to see for yourself if Avowed makes an appearance tonight, here’s how to watch the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase.

Julian Benson
Editor in Chief, TechRadar Gaming

Julian's been writing about video games for more than a decade. In that time, he's always been drawn to the strange intersections between gaming and the real world, like when he interviewed a NASA scientist who had become a Space Pope in EVE Online,  or when he traveled to Ukraine to interview game developers involved in the 2014 revolution, or that time he tore his trousers while playing Just Dance with a developer.