The Outer Worlds broke two unfortunate stigmas Obsidian and parts of the dev team had attached to them. One of them refers to the infamous bonus from Bethesda and the other goes further into the past, to the days of Troika Games.
Obsidian Entertainment is a beloved developer studio that has had several tragic occurrences in its history and some key members had them even before the studio came to be. The two incidents with the highest-profile are Fallout New Vegas' Metacritic score and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines' launch date.
The FONV Metacritic score is well-known, despite the fact it happened almost a decade ago. The issue was widely covered when Chris Avellone broke the silence and admitted Bethesda would pay Obsidian a bonus if the game scored 85 on Metacritic. It fell just short of the fabled number with 84 for and while version got 82.
The Outer Worlds still didn't get 85 per cent on , but both and surpassed the number with the scores of 86 and 85, respectively. There is no promised bonus for the studio now but there is the benefit of them being acquired by Microsoft so they don't rely on once-off payments from Bethesda.
Before Obisidian, there was Troika Games where Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky worked on what is one of the most flawed and yet most beloved RPGs to date, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. To cut a long story short, Troika had a deal with Valve not to launch the game before Half-Life 2 since it used Source engine. Activision wouldn't wait for the actual planned release and pushed the game to store shelves on the same day Valve's blockbuster came out.
It was doomed from the get-go and VTMB was a financial failure that eventually resulted in Troika shutting down. Leonard Boyarsky and Tim Cain went separate ways for a while until they reunited in Obsidian.
Fast forward to 25 October 2019, The Outer Worlds released on the same day as Activision's own blockbuster, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Now, Obsidian's RPG didn't outsell COD: MW, far from it, but the game seems to be sellers since release and is laying out strong foundations for a new franchise.