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Pillars of Eternity’s Switch port won’t be getting any better

Publisher cites ‘limitations of the hardware’

digital artwork from Pillars of Eternity of warriors fighting zombie types. Image: Obsidian Entertainment/Paradox Interactive
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Pillars of Eternity, Obsidian Entertainment’s epic role-playing game first released in 2015, won’t be patched further on the Nintendo Switch. In fact, the publisher says that it can’t be improved further due to the limitations of the hybrid console’s design. The announcement was made Tuesday on Twitter.

Originally funded with nearly $4 million on Kickstarter, Pillars of Eternity was among the vanguard titles in a renaissance of the isometric role-playing genre which included the Divinity: Original Sin franchise and the Wasteland franchise. Also known as classic computer role-playing games (CRPGs), the pausable real-time title was followed up with Pillars of Eternity: Deadfire in 2018. The Nintendo Switch port of the original game, titled Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition, was released in August 2019, and was developed by Obsidian and published by Versus Evil.

“It has been a massive undertaking to get us to this point,” reads the announcement by Versus Evil. “We have, unfortunately, reached a limit on what we can do with our updates to the game and have exhausted the options left to us from the PC original in regard to the limitations of the hardware we are working with.”

Versus Evil went on to note that “this will leave issues present that have been reported to us,” a reference to certain features of the game not working as anticipated.

Since its launch in 2017, the Nintendo Switch has attracted a surprising number of PC strategy games, including many CRPG titles such as the nearly 25-year-old Baldur’s Gate. Meanwhile, more modern games — including AAA action games like Control and Hitman 3 — have adopted a cloud-based model, streaming in gameplay to the hybrid console over a net connection.

Obsidian, perhaps best know for its work on Fallout: New Vegas, was recently acquired by Microsoft. Like Pillars of Eternity, many of its previous titles — including the award-winning first-person RPG The Outer Worlds — remain wholly-owned by the studio.

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