The Obsidian Games development team was founded by people who had previously worked on fantasy franchises from the world of Dungeons & Dragons. After completing Neverwinter Nights 2, they decided to move away from fantasy and dedicate themselves to something unusual - a spy RPG called Alpha Protocol.
From the very beginning, the game interested SEGA, which eventually bought the rights to that intellectual property. However, as original and ambitious as the project was, it encountered development problems year after year. At first, Alpha Protocol was a game that was supposed to include various sequences like from the James Bond and Jason Bourne movies, but as the team was just getting to know Unreal Engine 3, much of the plans for parkour mechanics and motor chases had to be thwarted.
In the end, Alpha Protocol offered a spy adventure with the character of Michael Thorton, who carried out secret missions on behalf of Mother America and directly influenced the situation in the world. His initial mission took him on a terrorist hunt in Saudi Arabia, and he later visited Rome, Moscow, and Taipei. The game used the structure of missions in which the player had main and secondary tasks, and money had to be collected which would then be used to buy new weapons from the black market at the base.
Although this was a spectacle-focused action game, the basics of gameplay were related to sneaking, hiding in shelters, hacking alarms, etc. Other significant mechanics were conversations similar to those in Mass Effect, where a player under time pressure had to choose between four options of what to say or do. Approaches to interlocutors in dialogues were usually reduced to professional, aggressive, and charming. The latter benefited Thorton in seducing other agents and even opponents.
The story ultimately had 32 different endings and although it was sometimes close to exaggeration, many players agreed that it was the best part of the game. The game picked up mediocre scores due to technical difficulties, the poor artificial intelligence of the opponent, and stiff presentation. In the first month of sales, less than a million copies were sold, which dissatisfied the publishing house SEGA.
Due to poor commercial performance, Alpha Protocol never received a sequel or remaster. However, a group of fans gathered around the game and saw something positive in it, and even today one can hear that Alpha Protocol is an RPG that every fan of the genre should play. However, that is no longer possible now because SEGA withdrew the game from sale on Steam and other platforms in 2019 due to the expiration of licenses for certain songs in it.