While The Outer Worlds will deal with the problems that come with power, Leonard Boyarsky does not want the game to “lecture” players.
The Outer Worlds is a heavily anticipated title by many RPG fans and obviously deals with some political subjects. Despite this, Co-Director Leonard Boyarsky recently told Video Games Chronicle that Obsidian Entertainment is being “very careful” to ensure that The Outer Worlds is not lecturing players on political issues, as that is “the last thing we want to do.”
He isn’t outright denying a political messages like some other developers; instead, Obsidian Entertainment does not want to lecture people about a certain political viewpoint while presenting the themes of The Outer Worlds. “I don’t want people to think this is a really hard, politically-charged game: it’s supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be humorous. So we don’t want to set up strawman or anything and say, ‘look how horrible this is!’ It’s really about looking at all aspects of issues. The last thing we want to do is make a game that people feel is lecturing them.”
Leonard believes that any political focus within The Outer Worlds is on the faulty power structures and how those impact things like capitalism. “I like money: I’m not against capitalism and in a lot of ways I’m happy with our society. But of course there are a lot of ways in which it could be improved.” The Outer Worlds will also touch on how those in power can create their own narrative, which is usually not entirely truthful. “It can be insidious; the way which people control the stories you tell about the world. If you let other people control that narrative, then they can control you to a certain degree. That can be any form of government: if it wasn’t capitalism it could be something else,” he stated.
He went on to compare The Outer Worlds to Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, a cult classic RPG Boyarsky helped create, when it comes to how the games handle the impact of power structures. “But like how with [2001 RPG] Arcanum when we were dealing with racial issues, the story always comes down to balance of power, how people get power and how they use it.”
The Outer Worlds is coming to PC via the Epic Games Store, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on October 25, 2019 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon. If you want to learn more about the game, you can also check out our preview from E3 2019.