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Eurogamer has published an article-style interview with the CEO of Larian Studios, Swen Vincke, who explains why Larian pursued a Kickstarter campaign for Divinity: Original Sin II, why he thinks the title will be Larian's Baldur's Gate II, how they are improving on the original title with the Enhanced Edition that is going to be released on PC and console, and more.
Easily the biggest leap from the earlier Divinity games to Original Sin was its focus on these kind of systems, which was only possible with the crowdfunding model. "We're independent now. That's the big difference. With a publisher, our games had to be written to convince the marketing people, and then once the contract was signed, it was then trade shows and press and no time. Here, there was real focus on what we were doing. We knew we'd be making Original Sin 2 when we made Original Sin, so the systems had to be very solid. You're right, it's a complete flip for us, but that's what digital distribution made possible."
Had the Kickstarter not panned out though, would Larian still be around? Vincke errs on the side of optimism, but only just. "It would have been very close, but we've been through very hard times before. We'd be in the shit situation we were in before, but we'd still be around. At the end, it was touch and go. I had to drive to the last banker in Belgium who would give us money - literally the last banker. We had investors screaming and distributors screaming... you should see my mailbox. The yelling that was being done at me! But I refused to release the game, because I knew that if we didn't release it in a state where it sold, it was all going to be for nothing. Harsh words. So many harsh words. But, later, they changed into nice words. Shows you their value!"
"Now though, we're in a good spot to make Original Sin 2. We've increased in size and resources, and we're trying to make our Baldur's Gate 2 - not literally Baldur's Gate 2 of course, but building on the same engine, giving you lots of skills from the start, building on top of it, working on the UI, trying out new ideas and new stuff on top of our very solid core. And of course, we have an extra advantage that Bioware didn't have when it made Baldur's Gate 2 - we have the community to help us out."