Larian Studios - Swen Vincke Talks The Long Road Of Larian Studios
GameInformer interviewed Swen Vincke about the long road of Larian Studios.
How were you even surviving at this point?
Work-for-hire allowed us to survive to the point to look for a publishing deal, but we hated it. We really didn’t like it because we were making really stupid things. Such as these things go, it’s a vicious spiral. We started doing work-for-hire again, and we were lucky. We convinced a major broadcaster in Belgium to give us a lot of money for what the broadcaster thought was going to be a website, but was actually going to be an online game for kids. It had a unique format, sort of like an American Idol for kids. Kids could make movies, animations, cartoons, and dances in the 3D world, send it to the broadcaster, and then the broadcaster showed it on TV. It was innovative back in the day, and we won awards for it, sold it to the BBC, and sold it to several other broadcasters.
We said, “Why don’t we do a big RPG, but this time we fund it ourselves or as much as we can so that we retain control of the IP?” We didn’t have enough money to do all of it. We needed a publisher. We entered into what is known as a cool publishing deal, except I was still naïve back then. We tried to make a game about a dragon that could fly anywhere and land anywhere. We struggled through that and we found another publisher to help us publish this game. We signed it in 2007. It was supposed to come out in 2008. And then the [financial] crisis hits. This publisher suddenly found itself in incredible financial stress, because they had to make all of their money with games like My Little Pony. All that stuff didn’t sell so they were taking tremendous financial hits. They did what a publisher does in those circumstances; they release a game too early. When [Divinity II: Ego Draconis] came to market it wasn’t ready. It got s--- reviews. Almost killed us. Really dark period for the studio.