As part of Game Informer’s extended feature on The Outer Worlds, members of the game’s development team have revealed more about the game’s still mysterious world. That reveal includes more information about what the game has to say about the rise of corporations and the future their bid for power may result in.
“It adds something interesting, with the juxtaposition of this grand space adventure, even as we are going from corporate town to corporate town,” says co-director and original Fallout designer Leonard Boyarsky. “There’s hopefully enough space adventure and heroics in there to satisfy people, and we don’t want people to think this a trip through bureaucracy, but there is that aspect to it.”
Boyarsky states elsewhere that the world of Outer Worlds is a piece of “alternate history” based on certain events between WWI and WWII that played out a little differently. Essentially, he’s saying that The Outer Worlds isn’t strictly a look at the future we face based on our current timeline. That said, it’s clear that the team has been influenced by their own corporate philosophy as well as the events that have rocked companies like Telltale and Activision Blizzard.
“If you go into Obsidian’s kitchen there’s this thing listing employee rights,” says co-director and Fallout creator Tim Cain. “In our fictional world, you go into the kitchen and there’s a list of employer rights.” Boyarsky expands on that idea by stating that in The Outer Worlds, “there’s no greater good than serving the corporation.”
While all of that sounds unpleasant and a bit the start of a great horror story, The Outer Worlds team is quick to note that the game also uses quite a bit of dark humor to comment on the universe’s various evil organizations. In fact, they even share one story from The Outer Worlds‘ corporate-run universe that really sheds some light on just how twisted this fictional society is.
“There’s a product sold called Tartarus Sauce, for dipping Saltuna fish sticks,” says Cain. “What they do is they take mayonnaise and they expose it the caustic environment of Tartarus for just a few seconds, and then put the lid back on, and they sell it. It makes the mayo really tangy, because it introduces a lot of very low-level toxins. There’s not a lot of restrictions on corporate food products.”
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.