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Default Larian Studios - Swen Vincke to receive first Belgian Lifetime Achievement Award

January 17th, 2020, 21:49
Congratulations Swen!

Swen Vincke to receive first Belgian Lifetime Achievement Award

Even though there's still over a month to go before the Belgian Game Awards 2020 take place as part of 1UP 2020, we're already happy to announce that Swen Vincke will receive the very first Belgian Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony. The award is a celebration of the career and achievements of a game developer who has made an everlasting impact on the #BelgianGamesIndustry, and this man fits the bill perfectly.

As the only soul crazy enough to start a game studio in Belgium during the mid nineties, the sole founder of Larian Studios is effectively the founding father of the #BelgianGamesIndustry. And while he currently runs an internationally renowned studio with 200 employees spread out over three continents, and is creating the sequel to one of the most treasured RPG franchises ever, his road to fame and fortune wasn't without hardships.

Inspired by the freedom of Richard Garriott's Ultima series, Larian Studios was founded to create world class role-playing games, yet no publisher believed this new kid on the block would be able to pull that off. While this contributed to the demise of their first RPG project LMK, they struck back with the action RPG's Divine Divinity (2002) and Beyond Divinity (2004).

Unfortunately, publisher trouble would become a constant in Larian's history. Divinity II, which had great design ideas like mind reading and the ability to roam the world as a dragon, was pushed out of the door massively undercooked, and got a very poor reception, almost driving the studio out of business. It wasn't until Vincke unshackled himself from publisher control and turned to crowdfunding, self-publishing, and the community that Larian's wildest design ideas could blossom into world class RPG's.

He also pushed his company to the brink of extinction in the process. Going all-in on the development of Divinity: Original Sin was a risky move, but one that ultimately set up the studio for international success and expansion. Upon release, follow-up Divinity: Original Sin 2 was named one of the best RPG's of all time, an accolade that surely helped Vincke in his quest to obtain the keys to the legendary city of Baldur's Gate.

[…]
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January 17th, 2020, 23:04
Congrats Sven! Well deserved!

Honestly I'd love to bottle and sell his energy and enthusiasm.
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January 17th, 2020, 23:50
Well done, Swen. Much deserved!
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January 18th, 2020, 00:03
Top bloke that Swen. I'd buy him a beer.
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January 18th, 2020, 11:36
This is an award that is really well deserved. Congrats!
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January 18th, 2020, 11:52
Awards take place at the 1up conference in Kortrijk, Belgium.
https://www.1up-conference.com/

Pay 25 euro to get access to the Belgian Game Awards and party on friday evening with Swen!
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January 18th, 2020, 14:04
An award, yes, definetly deserved.
Lifetime award? But… He's not retired!!!
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January 18th, 2020, 15:14
If it's for Belgion Companies only, then ofc it's well deserved.

Ofc no other belgian developers come to mind right now.

I think the text also shows very well, how hard and risky it is to make new games. It's basically the counter example to Jeff Vogel from Spiderweb.
Ofc there is also survival bias: We can only celebrate them because they were lucky enough to make it that far. As soon as one game really flops at this scale it can be "game over" and it's quite dangerous for such a company to put everything into one basket.

Hopefully DOS2 was successful enough that they'll survive a few mishaps, which will certainly come at some point in time.
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January 18th, 2020, 21:28
Congrats on the reward!!
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January 18th, 2020, 22:40
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Hopefully DOS2 was successful enough that they'll survive a few mishaps, which will certainly come at some point in time.
I don't think a single success will add much margin for error. Especially in their case as they expanded considerable and, I assume, making a higher budget title. Higher risks, higher rewards.

In fact, unfortunately to stay in business the best way is to make several mediocre games instead of putting everything in one big title.
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January 19th, 2020, 16:12
Sven… congrats
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January 20th, 2020, 09:44
Originally Posted by ilm View Post
I don't think a single success will add much margin for error. Especially in their case as they expanded considerable and, I assume, making a higher budget title. Higher risks, higher rewards.

In fact, unfortunately to stay in business the best way is to make several mediocre games instead of putting everything in one big title.
I think Telltale management had similar idea of easy survival.
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January 20th, 2020, 09:53
Originally Posted by Andrew23 View Post
I think Telltale management had similar idea of easy survival.
Yes and no. They stuck to one topic and created lots of titles and basically oversaturated the market.

According to wikipedia they grew from 125 to 160 employees in mid-2013 and to 250 after that (which were mostly fired in 2018).

It's probably one of the prime examples of unhealthy growth without proper diversification.
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January 20th, 2020, 16:58
Congrats to the man!
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January 21st, 2020, 13:41
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Ofc there is also survival bias: We can only celebrate them because they were lucky enough to make it that far.
Unlike every other award in any field..? You're right, no one's celebrating the failures!
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January 21st, 2020, 13:43
Originally Posted by ilm View Post
In fact, unfortunately to stay in business the best way is to make several mediocre games instead of putting everything in one big title.
Today seems to be the day for circular arguments. Ever heard of Darkest Dungeon or Slay the Spire? How many mediocre games did they make? Then there's Terry Cavanaugh (all highly rated games) and Matthew Davis/Justin Ma (FTL, Into the Breach).
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January 21st, 2020, 23:21
Somehow missed this! Congrats Swen! Love your vids and the music!
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January 22nd, 2020, 00:13
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Today seems to be the day for circular arguments. Ever heard of Darkest Dungeon or Slay the Spire? How many mediocre games did they make? Then there's Terry Cavanaugh (all highly rated games) and Matthew Davis/Justin Ma (FTL, Into the Breach).
Circular arguments? Did I miss something?

I assume your point is on the mediocre aspect. You are right, I should have said smaller games or something along those lines.
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January 25th, 2020, 12:10
Well deserved. Especially considering all the troubles he has been going through with the team.
And I mean that the team also has had a hand in him getting that award. Without the whole studio, it wouldn't have been possible.
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January 28th, 2020, 14:18
Originally Posted by ilm View Post
In fact, unfortunately to stay in business the best way is to make several mediocre games instead of putting everything in one big title.
The crowdfunded scene exists to support the endeavour.
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