Swen Vincke on His Obsession With Ultima VII

Origin’s landmark RPG Ultima VII had such a profound impact on Larian Studios’ founder and CEO Swen Vincke, that he now tries to inject elements of that game into everything his studio does. And if you’d like to learn more about how that happened and what makes Ultima VII so special, you should check out this PC Gamer article.

Here’s a couple of sample paragraphs:

The 1980s were a halcyon age for playground liars, yet to be thwarted by the instantaneous fact-checking power of the internet. Some claimed they had an uncle at Nintendo; Swen Vincke's friend made up a computer game where you could do anything. He spun a tale about a D&D-style adventure on which he had met an AI character who could not only speak, but respond to questions. "He was having me on," Vincke remembers, "but I believed him."

Even once the deception was revealed, Vincke couldn't let go of the game that had been planted in his head, like one of Baldur's Gate III's brain tadpoles. He clung to the dream for years, until he discovered Ultima VII.

"There was so much freedom," Vincke says. "It was non-linear, and you had to interrogate characters to know what you needed to do. You had a party that reacted to what you were doing. It pretty much fit what my friend had told me about so many years before."