Larian Studios

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Larian Studios!
Video game developer
IndustryInteractive entertainment
Founded1996
FounderSwen Vincke
Headquarters,
ProductsDivinity series
Number of employees
200+[1]
Websitelarian.com

Larian Studios is a Belgian video game developer founded in 1996[2] by Swen Vincke. It focuses on developing role-playing video games and has previously worked on educational games and a number of casino games.[3]

Swen Vincke[edit]

Swen Vincke founded Larian Studios in 1996.[4][5] As a lead designer in the company, he contributed to all of Larian's early game projects, including (but not limited to), the award-winning role-playing game Divine Divinity (2002) and its sequel Beyond Divinity (2004).[6]

He was later also responsible for the design of KetnetKick [nl], a virtual world for children developed for Flemish children's channel Ketnet.[7] This virtual world has later seen licensed implementations by several other children's channels, such as the British channel CBBC (titled Adventure Rock),[8] French channel Jeunesse TV (titled Gulliland),[9] and Norwegian channel NRK.

Notable works[edit]

Larian's first project was called The Lady, the Mage and the Knight. However, they were unable to gain the recognition of any publishers as none believed they were capable of creating a game.[10] In order to rectify this and to prove them wrong, they developed LED Wars, a strategy game that was developed within 5 months and published by Ionos in 1997.[11] As a result, The Lady, the Mage and the Knight soon evolved into a collaborative project between Larian Studios and Attic Entertainment Software. Due to various problems between the two development studios and its publisher, the project was abandoned in 1999.[12]

In 2002, Larian completed work on Divinity: Sword of Lies which was published under the name Divine Divinity by CDV.[13] In 2004, Beyond Divinity, the sequel to Divine Divinity, was published in two editions: the standard version by Ubisoft Entertainment GmbH[14] and the deluxe version by MediaMix Benelux which contained Divine Divinity, Beyond Divinity and a novella by Rhianna Pratchett called "Son of Chaos".[15]

Also in 2004, KetnetKick, an educational game, was developed for Ketnet and released by Transposia.[16] In 2006, Beyond Divinity was re-released under Gold Games 9 by Ubisoft Entertainment which was a set of 10 games on 6 DVDs.[17]

In March 2008, Adventure Rock,[18] an online virtual world was completed and released. This was followed by the release of KetnetKick 2 in October 2008 by VRT, the national broadcaster in Flanders. In March 2009, GulliLand[19] was published by Jeunesse TV, a French national broadcasting channel. In January 2010, Larian released Divinity II: Ego Draconis - the sequel to Divine Divinity - to the U.S. market on Xbox 360 and Windows[20] simultaneously, after releases in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia and Benelux. Larian has also produced Divinity II: Flames of Vengeance, and built a Gold Deluxe version that holds all Divinity II episodes, called Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga.

In August 2013 Larian released Divinity: Dragon Commander, a game mixing strategy and role-playing elements in the Divinity universe, before the events of Divine Divinity.[21] The game has received an overall positive reception and gained attention thanks to its novel approach to strategy.

Larian released Divinity: Original Sin in June 2014 after several delays. The game was funded partly thanks to a Kickstarter campaign[22] raising over 1 million dollars, out of an estimated 4 million budget, upon its release the game has been the fastest selling game from Larian to date.[23] The game is a turn-based role-playing game, and the events are set between Dragon Commander and Divine Divinity in the story. An enhanced edition was launched the 27th of October 2015, including all formerly published downloadable content and several improvements.

Their latest game, Divinity: Original Sin 2, a sequel to Divinity: Original Sin, was funded through Kickstarter as well, raising the necessary amount to create the game within hours, and reaching all of its stretch goals.[24] The game takes place 1200 years after the events in Divinity: Original Sin and retains many of the gameplay elements that were present in first Original Sin. The game was released on 14 September 2017, garnering very positive reviews from users, with 93% of Steam reviews being positive in the days following its release.[25]

Games developed[edit]

Larian Studios logo for Educational Games
Larian Studios logo, Educational Games

Educational games[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bailey, Kat (6 June 2019). "Larian Studios Shares Its Vision for Baldur's Gate 3: "We Got the Keys to the Toy Box"".
  2. ^ "Larian company information". Gamasutra.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  3. ^ Larian Casino Games Archived July 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Staff, IGN (2003-12-07). "Riftrunner Interview with Swen Vincke at Gamatomic". IGN. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  5. ^ "About Me « Swen Vincke @ Larian Studios". Swen Vincke @ Larian Studios. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  6. ^ "Swen Vincke on the future of Divinity: Original Sin 2, and the pros and cons of open development". pcgamer. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  7. ^ "Privacy settings". www.hln.be (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  8. ^ Adventure Rock Credits, found within the game interface
  9. ^ "GulliLand". Larian.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  10. ^ Paragraph 5, Lines 3-4: Publishing industry skeptical Archived July 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Article about LEDWars at MobyGames". Mobygames.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  12. ^ The truth about LMK (by Lar also known as Swen) Archived 2001-08-15 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Information about Divine Divinity at MobyGames". Mobygames.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  14. ^ "Information about Beyond Divinity Standard Edition at MobyGames". Mobygames.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  15. ^ "Information about Beyond Divinity Deluxe Edition at MobyGames". Mobygames.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  16. ^ "KetnetKick". Mobygames.com. 2004-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  17. ^ "Information about Gold Games 9 at MobyGames". Mobygames.com. 2006-10-12. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  18. ^ "AdventureRock". Bbc.co.uk. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  19. ^ "GulliLand". Larian.com. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  20. ^ ISM signs up Larian Studios Archived December 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "GameStar: Voices of Igromir 2011. Swen Vincke: "It won't be bad, to have an army". Gamestar.ru. Archived from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  22. ^ "Kickstarter Campaign". Retrieved 2013-07-04.
  23. ^ "Divinity Original Sin is Larian Studios' fastest selling game ever". Eurogamer. 2014-07-03. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
  24. ^ "Divinity: Original Sin 2". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  25. ^ "Divinity: Original Sin 2 on Steam". store.steampowered.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  26. ^ "Information about LMK (The Lady, The Mage and The Knight)". Videogames.yahoo.com. 2010-11-09. Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. Retrieved 2013-10-25.

External links[edit]