Grounded is Obsidian's ant-sized X019 'passion project' for Xbox One, PC

Don't worry... There's no spiders here
Don't worry... There's no spiders here (Image credit: Microsoft / Obsidian Entertainment)

Microsoft has unveiled Grounded, an upcoming Xbox One and PC title from Obsidian Entertainment, its newly-acquired studio of The Outer Worlds and Fallout: New Vegas fame. The new IP, slated for 2020, melds first-person coop survival with a narrative-driven edge. Framed as an Obsidian "passion project," it's a significant departure from the studio's elusive role-playing past, created by a small team of 13 at the studio in recent years.

Grounded saw its unveiling during Microsoft's Inside Xbox broadcast from X019 in London, its large-scale fan event Xbox One and PC. A yard-themed sandbox serves a premise akin to 1989 movie "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," gathering resources and constructing bases while encountering fellow insects. From solo play to four-player cooperative multiplayer, it's a scramble to overcome the scale of the human world and prosper.

Obsidian claims Grounded was in development long before the 2018 Microsoft acquisition, retaining the freedom to launch the project under the Xbox Game Studios banner. However, while role-playing experiences remain intrinsic to the team, the title serves as an experiment outside its trustworthy mainstays.

"Created by a small development team, one of many working on new projects in the studio, Grounded is a true passion project," said Mikey Dowling, Director of Communications at Obsidian Entertainment. This title has given the team the creative outlet to bring their years of developing highly regarded games to bear on the survival genre. RPGs like The Outer Worlds will always be in Obsidian's DNA, but from time to time we want to stretch our creative muscles and try things that might be a little different."

Grounded is headed to Xbox One, alongside Steam and the Microsoft Store for PC, with inclusion under Xbox Game Pass. The title first launches in spring 2020 under the Xbox Game Preview program, ahead of a full-fledged debut at a later date.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.