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Larian Studios - Status Update - Funding Secured for Two Projects

by Dhruin, 2011-03-04 22:40:12

Lar writes a status update from the GDC in San Francisco to say he has secured funding for both Project D and E, which is fantastic news. It's a lengthy piece so I'll post two partial quotes and you can head over to the Larian forums for the full piece. On securing the future of D & E:

I'm jet-lagged in San Francisco and that gives me the opportunity to give you another update . I'm here for the Game Developers Conference, though truth be said, I haven't seen anything from the show yet nor have I participated in a single seminar. Instead, I spent most of my time in hotel rooms showing off project D & E. I've got D running on an X360 dev-kit I brought (which due to the transformer I've had to bring is horribly heavy) and for E I've got a video on my brand new Ipad (which I curse about now having seen the IPad 2, I should've waited err.. anybody want to buy a brand new Ipad ?).

Over the last couple of days I've been showing both games to a variety of distributors/publishers, trying to make sure that when either one releases, it'll be available worldwide on day 1, and while they all understand the success of Divinity II, it's still stunning to see how few publishers understand RPG's and the RPG market in general. Don't read that as there's no interest in E & D, on the contrary, I can actually confirm that both games have secured funding so they'll be happening, but it just struck me as strange how many of the larger publishers approach the RPG genre as something alien.

Lar then writes that, having been successful with those two, he though he'd pitch his dream Very Big RPG That Will Dwarf All Other RPGs, which shows something of the current market (although it's hard to complain with two projects signed, I would imagine):

 I'm afraid that I have to report that it's not working out that well, and that our next two games won't be the Very Big RPG That Will Dwarf All Other RPGs, but I did want to mention that I tried ;\) The feedback I got was "we don't do RPGs", "we did an RPG once and all involved got fired", "it's a very hardcore thing, an RPG. We're not into hardcore that much anymore","we're just not active in that space" etc... Now in some cases you need to read that feedback as "well, we just don't have cash and we're looking for developers we don't have to pay" or "we've got cash and we'd like to keep it so the last thing we'll do is spend it on a RPG" to "it hasn't got the words social, free to play and micro-transactions in it, so it's bound to be a failure, what the hell is he thinking", but in other cases it's really a case of not getting it, which is a pity.

There's a strong tendency not to make RPGs among the publishers that haven't made X-loads of money with a RPG in the past, and a strong tendency to stick to the IP's they have among the publishers that did make money with RPGs, meaning that there's very little chance some independent developer will get the opportunity to make something big and new in the RPG space. Given that observation i.e. it's not going to come from publisher interest, I guess somehow we'll have to find a way to make the Very Big RPG That Will Dwarf All Other RPGs ourselves (after which I'm sure there'll be plenty of publisher interest ;\) )

Thanks Alrik!

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