Baldur’s Gate 3 Devs Open Seventh Studio To Help With Two ‘Very Ambitious RPGs’

Baldur’s Gate 3 Devs Open Seventh Studio To Help With Two ‘Very Ambitious RPGs’

Larian Studios, the enormous team behind recent smash hits Divinity: Original Sin 2 and the GOTY-sweeping RPG Baldur’s Gate 3 have announced they’re opening a seventh studio, this one in Warsaw, Poland. The new recruits will be joining the efforts to work on at least two RPGs, which the studio (unsurprisingly) describes as “very ambitious.”

Larian has been around for an extraordinary 28 years, made all the more impressive when you realize that it’s been the same company all the way through, not some hedge fund-managed ghoul wearing the flayed skin of a long-dead developer. Founded by the man who’s still in charge, Swen Vincke, the Belgian company has expanded all around the world, with enough studios to warrant a bullet-pointed list.

  • Ghent, Belgium
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Quebec City, Canada
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Guildford, UK
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Warsaw, Poland

That’s the sort of spread you might expect from one of the major publishers, not a privately owned, independent company. (Shout-out to my home town of Guildford, the most mediocre place in all of England.) It’s downright peculiar that Larian is only making two games, given its scale, but it hasn’t announced the two games it’s working on, (though one of them is obviously a new Divinity), so it’s not like there’s a reason to fudge that number.

Screenshot: Larian Studios / Kotaku

The company’s success is even more impressive when you remember that its earliest three games, the Divine Divinity series, were pretty average. Not many game studios can build an empire on 6s and 7s, but then in 2014, Larian blew everyone’s expectations out of the water with the surprise brilliance of Divinity: Original Sin, a prequel to 2002’s original Divine Divinity, and thus—counterintuitively—a fresh start. The Kickstarter-funded project was made for a budget of only €4 million ($US4.3m), and was a big success. But nothing compared to its 2017 sequel, which earned $US2 million from Kickstarter, and a protracted Early Access development that would shape how Larian approached Baldur’s Gate 3.

The fantasy threequel picked up where a now pretty bereft BioWare left off and had a reported budget of $US100,000,000—more than 20 times the money behind DOS. Larian is obviously now an apocalyptically different company. It’s reported that BG3 made over $US650 million in 2023 alone, recovering its budget with half a billion to spare. Even assuming hefty chunks went to the Forgotten Realms license owners, Hasbro, you can see why Larian would be looking for ways to expand.

We know that neither of the projects the company says it’s currently working on has anything to do with the Forgotten Realms, Vincke having made that clear at 2024’s GDC, but assuming one is a Divinity sequel, that leaves open the exciting idea that there could be a new, completely original IP in the works. With no publisher above Larian pulling its strings, and no shareholders to demand numbers go up, it’s one of very few studios in a position to take such a risk, and clearly possesses the talent to deliver. It’d be a shame if it proved to be another licensed IP.

Right now, however, Larian has an open call for developers wanting to work in Warsaw, a city that just happens to be the headquarters of CD Projekt Red. I wonder if there might be a large supply of local expert RPG developers looking for a gig without brutal crunch (though CDPR has “promised” that will never happen again).

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