inXile’s Big AAA RPG May Be Steampunk Themed, Led by Arcanum Devs
inXile Entertainment has recently had a very successful launch with Wasteland 3. However, the studio (purchased by Microsoft alongside Obsidian about two years ago) already teased two of its upcoming projects, of which one was confirmed to be in development with Unreal Engine 5 and the other is still in the infancy of pre-production.
A keen-eyed ResetEra user may have uncovered the game's setting way ahead of any official announcement, though, by spotting a few Pinterest Boards that are managed by inXile developers Jason Anderson and Chad Moore. These Pinterest boards contain hundreds of steampunk-themed weapons, gadgets, fashion, and other Victorian-era inspired imagery.
A coincidence seems unlikely, especially since both Jason Anderson and Chad Moore have worked on what can be arguably described as the prime example of a steampunk videogame RPG: Troika's Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. Released back in 2001, the game enjoyed strong sales and critical reception, though the studio itself was eventually forced to close after the releases of The Temple of Elemental Evil in 2003 and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines in 2004.
Back then, Jason Anderson (now Principal Designer at inXile) was Joint CEO at Troika Games and also functioned as 'Creative Principal' on Arcanum, taking on a variety of tasks ranging from art to design, from dialogue to scripting and even sound effects. Chad Moore, now Creative Director/Game Director at inXile, was Lead Artist and Designer at the time and worked on the following on Arcanum according to his own LinkedIn profile:
• Collaborated to develop compelling story and lore in a unique fantasy-steampunk setting
• Developed origin stories, quest lines and rich dialog for memorable NPCs and followers
• Implemented engaging game content and scripts using proprietary tools and editors
• Modeled, textured, and animated characters and creatures that resonated with the IP
Needless to say, this is to be considered a rumor for now, but it's likely that the next big RPG from inXile will be set in a steampunk universe. A recent job listing for a Senior Gameplay Designer also suggests that the developers aim to introduce 'powerful, tactile first-person weapons and unique combat abilities' while using gameplay loops from the first-person shooter and RPG genres, which gives us some insight on how this new title should play.