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Speculation on mysterious buyer #550860
07/09/14 07:04 AM
07/09/14 07:04 AM
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henryv Offline OP

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Swen have stated that a company offered to purchase Larian studios. He did not mention the name of the buyer but I have my speculation.

My speculation is Electronic Arts. I recently read an article about Origin's (A studio Richard Garriott founded) experience when they were taken under their roof. One particular paragraph made me think of Larian in its entirety. Let me quote it:

Quote:
A New York Times article on EA (August 8, 2005), "Relying on Video Game Sequels," observes, "Electronic Arts plans to release 26 new games [in 2005], all but one of them a sequel, including the 16th version of NHL Hockey, the 11th of the racing game Need for Speed and the 13th of the PGA Tour golf game." In the article CEO Probst said sequels appeal to Wall Street investors because they have a steady following among consumers. "He added that the company had a goal of putting out at least one entirely new game every year, and had several major original games in its pipeline." Blogger Bill Harris observed, "A 'goal' of one new game a year? Damn, Larry, don't be so crazy ambitious. Remember Icarus."


Larian's flagship game is divinity and it produced cult following after divine divinity, hit mainstream with divinity II and praised by critics and users alike for D:OS. This is where my speculation comes in. An established franchise for stability and security.

IMO though, with Garriott's experience with EA, you shouldn't sell your studio to it. Not only that, there is a reason why it was voted twice as one of the worst company a year and two years ago. Additionally, if you read the article linked from escapist, you will see your studio losing its core value one by one being absorbed into the corporate culture of EA.

Recently, EA released the fourth installment of The Sims, a flagship franchise of Maxis. Now, it's getting its fair share of negativity due to how EA is delivering that product(funny image about developer crying for help) . The lack of content from previous base game of the franchise is seen as a rip off for many for the price of $60 and I share the same opinion.

Anyways, what are your speculations?


Last edited by henryv; 07/09/14 07:12 AM.

"There is no such thing as absolute freedom because we are still prisoners of society"
Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: henryv] #550869
07/09/14 08:58 AM
07/09/14 08:58 AM
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Kaer Morhen
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All I can say is I 100% agree with you henryv.When I heard the news about the proposition that was made to Larian my first thought was EA the bad thing in this is we don't know if they accepted or not.

Last edited by Geralt of Rivia; 07/09/14 08:59 AM.
Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: henryv] #550927
07/09/14 02:14 PM
07/09/14 02:14 PM
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Noaloha Offline
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My speculation is simply: I don't think they'll sell up. From what I've picked up about Larian in the past, the majority of their woes stemmed from lack of control in their product. I don't see dollar signs making up for returning to such a scenario.

My follow-on speculation is that Larian are in talks for access to the Das Schwarze Auge license, with a view to staging a new game upon it. I make this claim only based on what happened with 1999's cancelled The Lady, The Mage and The Knight game, coupled with something Swen recently said about, direct quote, "a certain license we tried to get, but they haven't replied to us [...]."

Last edited by Noaloha; 07/09/14 02:16 PM.

Escape From Smalcatraz: Steam/Nexus. Forum thread.
Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: henryv] #550936
07/09/14 03:21 PM
07/09/14 03:21 PM
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Archaven Offline
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This sounds like very bad news. Larian is just like any other developers out there: to make money. They are not charity. If the money is good, is no brainer to sell off.

Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: henryv] #550937
07/09/14 03:33 PM
07/09/14 03:33 PM
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IMO as well as D:OS has done and the type of game it is, this is small small potatoes to EA and its investors. Not impossible, but I don't see the dots connecting.

There are a handful of indy game that have sold quite a bit more than D:OS that would better fit EA's needs and then that is even questionable.

Chasing shadows at this time.

Last edited by Horrorscope; 07/09/14 03:33 PM.
Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: henryv] #550939
07/09/14 03:43 PM
07/09/14 03:43 PM
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Latest news that this game will be coming to consoles. So great news to console gamers. But bad news for PC gamers. Why? Larian will be part of the console war. It's either XBox exclusive or Sony. And what's bad? Parity across all platforms.

Look at Dragon Age Inquisition (8 active abilities which coincidentally controller has 8 buttons). Why PC has to suffer 8 active abilities? Because of consoles. Look at Witcher 3. Consolised UI menus. Also the visuals of latest Gamescom trailer shows that Witcher 3 may suffer the fate like Watch Dogs. Why? Because consoles cant catch up they will tell developers, all version need to be same which means dumb down PC version.

This means nothing to DOS because it was released for PC already. If this is released multi-platform, then you will notice the shackles imposed by console gaming. If there's a DOS2 and it's multi-platform then you will feel the impact as a PC or old school RPG gamer.

Last edited by Archaven; 07/09/14 03:57 PM.
Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: Noaloha] #551197
08/09/14 06:47 AM
08/09/14 06:47 AM
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henryv Offline OP

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Originally Posted By: Noaloha
My speculation is simply: I don't think they'll sell up. From what I've picked up about Larian in the past, the majority of their woes stemmed from lack of control in their product. I don't see dollar signs making up for returning to such a scenario.

My follow-on speculation is that Larian are in talks for access to the Das Schwarze Auge license, with a view to staging a new game upon it. I make this claim only based on what happened with 1999's cancelled The Lady, The Mage and The Knight game, coupled with something Swen recently said about, direct quote, "a certain license we tried to get, but they haven't replied to us [...]."


I agree that Larian won't sell. The sole reason why they had to do the kickstarter campaign was to release the game without the help from a publisher limiting content and releasing the game unfinished (Divinity II - Ego Draconis). I'm just advising them as a fan as we haven't heard anything regarding it.

That would also be my speculation. A remake of LMK.

Although I would suggest ironing out first D:OS as we haven't heard any significant news from them since after their long holiday. Having the $1 million stretch goal would be nice, if not, ambitious.


"There is no such thing as absolute freedom because we are still prisoners of society"
Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: henryv] #551218
08/09/14 07:20 AM
08/09/14 07:20 AM
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Clearly Swen is following in Richard Garriot's footsteps and wants to sell off Larian so he can become an astronaut. He even twitted about our galactic supercluster recently.

Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: Archaven] #551357
08/09/14 11:34 PM
08/09/14 11:34 PM
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Raith Offline
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Originally Posted By: Archaven
Latest news that this game will be coming to consoles. So great news to console gamers. But bad news for PC gamers. Why? Larian will be part of the console war. It's either XBox exclusive or Sony. And what's bad? Parity across all platforms.

Look at Dragon Age Inquisition (8 active abilities which coincidentally controller has 8 buttons). Why PC has to suffer 8 active abilities? Because of consoles. Look at Witcher 3. Consolised UI menus. Also the visuals of latest Gamescom trailer shows that Witcher 3 may suffer the fate like Watch Dogs. Why? Because consoles cant catch up they will tell developers, all version need to be same which means dumb down PC version.

This means nothing to DOS because it was released for PC already. If this is released multi-platform, then you will notice the shackles imposed by console gaming. If there's a DOS2 and it's multi-platform then you will feel the impact as a PC or old school RPG gamer.


Actually CDPR specifically said about that recent footage was that it was running on low/med settings, to give a rough estimate of what the experience will be for consoles.

And Bioware hasn't been good for the greater part of a decade, so who cares about DAI?

Last edited by Raith; 08/09/14 11:34 PM.
Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: Archaven] #551657
09/09/14 11:55 PM
09/09/14 11:55 PM
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henryv Offline OP

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Originally Posted By: Archaven
Latest news that this game will be coming to consoles. So great news to console gamers. But bad news for PC gamers. Why? Larian will be part of the console war. It's either XBox exclusive or Sony. And what's bad? Parity across all platforms.

Look at Dragon Age Inquisition (8 active abilities which coincidentally controller has 8 buttons). Why PC has to suffer 8 active abilities? Because of consoles. Look at Witcher 3. Consolised UI menus. Also the visuals of latest Gamescom trailer shows that Witcher 3 may suffer the fate like Watch Dogs. Why? Because consoles cant catch up they will tell developers, all version need to be same which means dumb down PC version.

This means nothing to DOS because it was released for PC already. If this is released multi-platform, then you will notice the shackles imposed by console gaming. If there's a DOS2 and it's multi-platform then you will feel the impact as a PC or old school RPG gamer.


I agree with the xplatform issues. It would be better if they have the stance like in ESO which is a console can't connect to another console/PCs can't connect to other consoles. Unless it's possible to xplatform if the companies agreed for xplatform similarly with FFXI.

The thing that they need to revamp to be able to appeal to Console users is the speed of the game. Maybe integrate the movement speed mods and to be able to skip animations/increase animation speed. I might be discriminating but I know console users could be easily bored if the game is slow.

I agree that integrating them into console is not going to be problematic for D:OS because this was developed for PC in the first place.


"There is no such thing as absolute freedom because we are still prisoners of society"
Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: henryv] #551662
10/09/14 01:50 AM
10/09/14 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted By: henryv
The thing that they need to revamp to be able to appeal to Console users is the speed of the game. Maybe integrate the movement speed mods and to be able to skip animations/increase animation speed. I might be discriminating but I know console users could be easily bored if the game is slow.


Is the gameplay of D:OS really that much slower than that of, say... Pokemon? Or Fire Emblem, Paper Mario, Eternal Sonata, Final Fantasy, Disgaea...? I don't think slow-pace is as big a problem for console gamers as you might think.

Last edited by Zebulahn; 10/09/14 01:51 AM.
Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: Zebulahn] #551714
10/09/14 08:28 AM
10/09/14 08:28 AM
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henryv Offline OP

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Originally Posted By: Zebulahn
Originally Posted By: henryv
The thing that they need to revamp to be able to appeal to Console users is the speed of the game. Maybe integrate the movement speed mods and to be able to skip animations/increase animation speed. I might be discriminating but I know console users could be easily bored if the game is slow.


Is the gameplay of D:OS really that much slower than that of, say... Pokemon? Or Fire Emblem, Paper Mario, Eternal Sonata, Final Fantasy, Disgaea...? I don't think slow-pace is as big a problem for console gamers as you might think.


Fair point. Maybe I'm just discriminating. I haven't played a console ever since PS II. What I suggest as an improvement though is that when the player click the skill and click it on the floor/target, the caster will skip the casting process and instantly cast the spell. It's probably me when I have to wait for my character to cast and get annoyed.


"There is no such thing as absolute freedom because we are still prisoners of society"
Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: henryv] #554388
14/09/14 07:27 PM
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I believe it would be more apt to compare to BioWare's {BW} experience. I am new to Divinity but I have played BW's games for a while.

I was apprehensive when E.A. {Electronic Arts} bought them out. I read a little of BW's experience and it is rather interesting and basically the following.

Everyone blames E.A. but they are barking up the wrong tree for the most part. E.A. itself is a conglomerate corporation and fails to make any games. It is a bean countor distributor/publisher of games. The studios it owns make games.

BW {BioWare} said E.A. pretty much leaves them alone as far as what games to make and creative licenses. I am sure if they failed as much as Mythic; Then E.A. may want to 'merge' them with another studio. Instead, BW is a great success for E.A. and ironically E.A. merged Mythic into BW.


Free Market with myriad amounts of competition is something I favor a great deal. Thus I am all for Larian, Bethesda, Obsidian, et cetera all going their own way and refusing to sell out to E.A. or any other conglomerate corporation. I just wanted to say that to dissuade the notion I am supporting E.A. However, I also disfavor hating on corporations for the sake of their profits and capitalism.



I like kick starter since I have seen both Obsidian and Larian use to get more investment capital for games. I think that basically gives game studios less incentive to be absorbed into a conglomerate corporation.
Originally Posted By: henryv
Originally Posted By: Zebulahn
Originally Posted By: henryv
The thing that they need to revamp to be able to appeal to Console users is the speed of the game. Maybe integrate the movement speed mods and to be able to skip animations/increase animation speed. I might be discriminating but I know console users could be easily bored if the game is slow.


Is the gameplay of D:OS really that much slower than that of, say... Pokemon? Or Fire Emblem, Paper Mario, Eternal Sonata, Final Fantasy, Disgaea...? I don't think slow-pace is as big a problem for console gamers as you might think.


Fair point. Maybe I'm just discriminating. I haven't played a console ever since PS II. What I suggest as an improvement though is that when the player click the skill and click it on the floor/target, the caster will skip the casting process and instantly cast the spell. It's probably me when I have to wait for my character to cast and get annoyed.
Dragon Age and Mass Effect are on both consoles and I have yet to hear BioWare or E.A. complain about the game sales for consoles. Both games are as fast, or slow, as the gamer wants it to be. Limiting a game to just the PC fails to make sound business sense; Even Blizzard has realized this and is releasing their Diablo to both PS4 and XBox1. Bethesda is releasing their Elder Scrolls Online to both consoles too.

Last edited by Witkh13; 14/09/14 07:41 PM.
Re: Speculation on mysterious buyer [Re: Witkh13] #554727
16/09/14 11:13 AM
16/09/14 11:13 AM
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henryv Offline OP

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Originally Posted By: Witkh13
I believe it would be more apt to compare to BioWare's {BW} experience. I am new to Divinity but I have played BW's games for a while.

I was apprehensive when E.A. {Electronic Arts} bought them out. I read a little of BW's experience and it is rather interesting and basically the following.

Everyone blames E.A. but they are barking up the wrong tree for the most part. E.A. itself is a conglomerate corporation and fails to make any games. It is a bean countor distributor/publisher of games. The studios it owns make games.

BW {BioWare} said E.A. pretty much leaves them alone as far as what games to make and creative licenses. I am sure if they failed as much as Mythic; Then E.A. may want to 'merge' them with another studio. Instead, BW is a great success for E.A. and ironically E.A. merged Mythic into BW.


Free Market with myriad amounts of competition is something I favor a great deal. Thus I am all for Larian, Bethesda, Obsidian, et cetera all going their own way and refusing to sell out to E.A. or any other conglomerate corporation. I just wanted to say that to dissuade the notion I am supporting E.A. However, I also disfavor hating on corporations for the sake of their profits and capitalism.


This is extracted from the site I posted earlier:
Quote:
Why the holy-fire view of William M. Hawkins III, founder of Electronic Arts? Because (as this exec explained) EA meant to win in the computer game business not only by making good games, but by preventing competitors from making good games too - by actively interfering with their ability to do business. As one example, EA had filed a frivolous lawsuit against Origin. Forced into a costly out-of-court settlement, Origin execs asked Trip Hawkins why he had allowed the suit; he responded, "This is just business. This is the way we're going to win."

Furthermore, EA was all about marketing. For Hawkins the question was never, "How good is this game?" It was always, "How can we sell this?" To high-minded execs at Origin - makers of the Ultima and Wing Commander series, the high priests of the high end, who valued commitment to an artistic vision - this attitude was sacrilege.


Even without EA's intervention, EA still had the final say as a publisher especially being owner or parent of those studios for that matter. Deadlines? Let's extend it or release it (usually release it and release other content for DLCs later). Manpower? Let's put some to online gaming first and neglect single player (why Ultima 9 was not welcomed by the community and Origin studios got sank for that matter). Cancel the game? It didn't sell well so we'll cancel it ( Threaten the fans for its success).

I didn't say I hate EA or any for-profit big corporations. What I didn't like is how they sacrifice a quality of the game with their direction. They also have the notion that making online games is the holy grail of gaming. For cash grab it is, but the quality of the game is being sacrificed for a quick return.

Sims 4 was initially developed for an online platform. The reason why the foundations of the game fell short was for that reason. Dungeon Keeper was also ruined because it was developed for a mobile platform. Command and Conquer was discontinued because it will be an F2P RTS and the community didn't like it. Mass effect 3 ending would also be different had there no intervention from EA. You know what happened with the release of Sim City and et cetera.

In fact, D:OS would also have been a disaster had it not for the kickstarter and early access release from Steam. Especially the early access because people have tried it out and gave out feedback.

Quote:
I like kick starter since I have seen both Obsidian and Larian use to get more investment capital for games. I think that basically gives game studios less incentive to be absorbed into a conglomerate corporation.


I also like kickstarter. It gives marketability for the product as well as the funds. Don't forget steam early access.

Quote:
Dragon Age and Mass Effect are on both consoles and I have yet to hear BioWare or E.A. complain about the game sales for consoles. Both games are as fast, or slow, as the gamer wants it to be. Limiting a game to just the PC fails to make sound business sense; Even Blizzard has realized this and is releasing their Diablo to both PS4 and XBox1. Bethesda is releasing their Elder Scrolls Online to both consoles too.


I'm really not against console releases once it has been released for the PC first. PC games are easily patchable and won't cost a dime a compared to console releases. Additionally, PC users would also enjoy full interface as compared with a limited interface a console user will have. I will probably see a limited interface with a D:OS console release like changing hotbars into quick keys or dial keys just to satisfy controller support.

Talking about ESO, they had a disastrous launch during the PC. Lot of bugs and exploitable glitches. Good thing they moved the console release to iron out first the bugs or it'll hurt them in the long run.

Last edited by henryv; 16/09/14 11:23 AM.

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