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Larian Studios NV

Moby ID: 3377

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Larian Studios is a Belgian game developer and publisher founded in 1996 and the only high profile developer in the country. They are located in Oudenaarde, near Gent, but have offices all over the world. They have released many software products such as educational titles and casino games, but specialize in role-playing games such as their original Divinity series and most recently also Baldur's Gate III. The company is led by the founder Swen Vincke.

Their first game was the real-time strategy title The L.E.D. Wars (1997). It was a project used for short-term finance to convince publishers of the large project they were working on: The Lady, the Mage and the Knight (LMK). That game was however cancelled in 1999 after disagreements with co-developer attic Entertainment Software.

In 2002 an isometric RPG was released as a second project: Divine Divinity, followed shortly by the sequel Beyond Divinity (2004).

Next, they created the PC2TV game KetnetKick (2004) where children could create content that was displayed on the national children's channel Ketnet. It was later also adapted as the BBC children's MMO Adventure Rock for the British market. In October 2008 an updated version called KetnetKick 2 was released based on the same concept. In 2009 GulliLand was created as a similar concept for the French Jeunesse TV.

In January 2010 the Divinity sequel Divinity II: Ego Draconis was released. That was their first title also to be released on a console platform.

In 2011 the company released five educational games for children aged seven to eleven to teach mathematics. They were released as five titles in the Monkey Tales series and later also adapted for international markets.

In January 2012 founder Swen Vincke said in an interview that all new Larian titles would be self-published, starting with Divinity: Dragon Commander in 2013.

The company has a studio in Saint Petersburg, Russia called Larian Studios Saint Petersburg, most likely since around 2014. It is based on the team of Elverils, LLC, but it is not clear if Larian acquired the studio or attracted members of the team to set up a new division. Elverils previously worked together with Larian. On 14th January 2015 a Canadian studio was established as Larian QuƩbec Inc. and on 21st January of the same month Larian Studios Games Limited in Dublin, Ireland.

The company released Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition in 2015. Next Divinity: Original Sin II was released in 2016, an open world RPG and a sequel to the acclaimed Divinity: Original Sin. It was funded through a successful Kickstarter crowd funding campaign, raising over $2 million.

In 2020 the studio launched Baldur's Gate III, a new entry in the long-running Dungeons & Dragons franchise. It was launched in Early Access with gradual content updates.

On 6th November 2019 a new development studio was established Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, called Larian GCL Sdn Bhd. The location was chosen specifically to establish a 24-hour cycle, passing work from QuƩbec, Dublin, Belgium, Russia and Malaysia with different time zones.

On 17th February 2021 the company announced the acquisition of Turbulenz, based in Guildford, United Kingdom. It was renamed Larian Guilford and assists with the development of Baldur's Gate III.

On 2nd June 2021, Larian announced the establishment of a new office Larian Studios Spain in Barcelona, Spain, as a seventh studio, following the acquisition of BlitWorks, who previously ported Divinity: Original Sin II to Nintendo Switch and brought Baldur's Gate III to Stadia. The name BlitWorks remained for publishing activities, but the development team was rebranded.

On 3 August 2023, Larian released the full version of Baldur's Gate III on Windows. The game quickly received unanimous acclaim from players and critics, becoming one of the all-time highest-rated games on multiple score aggregators.

Credited on 19 Games from 1997 to 2023

Baldur's Gate III: Digital Deluxe Edition (2023 on PlayStation 5)
Baldur's Gate III (Collector's Edition) (2023 on PlayStation 5, Windows)
Baldur's Gate III (2020 on Windows, Stadia, PlayStation 5...)
Divinity: Original Sin II (2016 on Windows, iPad, PlayStation 4...)
Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition (2015 on Linux, Windows, Macintosh...)
Monkey Tales (2014 on Windows, Macintosh)
Divinity: Original Sin (2014 on Windows, Macintosh)
Divinity: Original Sin (Collector's Edition) (2014 on Windows, Macintosh)
Divinity: Dragon Commander (2013 on Windows)
Divinity: Anthology (2012 on Windows)
Divinity II: Developer's Cut (2012 on Windows)
Divinity: Anthology (Collector's Pack) (2012 on Windows)
Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga (2010 on Windows, Xbox 360, OnLive)
Divinity II: Ego Draconis (2009 on Windows, Xbox 360)
KetnetKick 2 (2008 on Windows)
KetnetKick (2004 on Windows)
Beyond Divinity (2004 on Windows, Macintosh)
Divine Divinity (2002 on Windows, Macintosh)
The L.E.D. Wars (1997 on Windows)

History +

January 7th, 2005

The company licenses the Gamebryo 3D Engine and the Speedtree product for their future titles.

March 18th, 2004

The company is awarded The European Seal of Excellence in Multimedia.

1996

Company founded

Trivia +

Most of the team members are fans of Belgian soccer club AA Gent. Therefore, they always try to include references to the club colours or the club itself in their games.

Larian worked on Divine Divinity as their first game, but they had to develop a the RTS-game The L.E.D. Wars along the way to earn some cash and convince possible publishers of their skills, in order to get Divine Divinity published.

The company is named after the Pilar (also shortened to Lar), the dog of founder Swen Vincke.

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