160°

'We don't have shareholders, but we also don't think about them,' Larian Studios

"Building games that are actually fun is going to make you the most money, that's it."

PRIMORDUS67d ago

I highly respect Larian Studios. I say fuck all the greedy shit bag shareholders, they are rich to begin with, and only want more and more who sometimes do not even know about the industry they invest in.

XiNatsuDragnel67d ago

Good stuff other studios take notes 📝

Christopher67d ago

Those other companies have shareholders, so they aren't even thinking about this.

XiNatsuDragnel67d ago

Problem is some shareholders are greedy mofos which ruins creativity imo

shinoff218366d ago

Take note of how they handled the physical release to. They seen a demand for it and unlike remedy they decided to meet that demand half way. Have us pay for our pre orders it pays for itself. No money needed from the studio. More studios should do this before outright dismissing.

The_Hooligan66d ago

Exactly! I preorder a physical copy and the amount of stuff it comes with, really speaks to the care they have taken. I'm part of Q2 release so not sure when I'll get it, but it'll definitely be worth the wait.

XiNatsuDragnel66d ago

For real they're doing all the right moves.

isarai67d ago

God this sounds like to good ol days 😌 when the industry was ran by gamers and nerds who just wanted to make something cool.

phoenixwing66d ago

No wonder other companies said they couldn't replicate the standard they set. They're too busy bending over for shareholders to make a good game.

dumahim65d ago

I just watched a video from an environment artist who worked on Forza Motorsport and he talks about this 18/6 contractor thing that MS uses. Work for 18 months, and then you go away for 6 months. He talks about him being there for a pretty short time and his mentor in the role messages him that his contract is about up so big responsibilities are going to fall on him now. I had never heard about it, but no wonder Microsoft studio games just lack passion.

https://www.youtube.com/wat...

BrainSyphoned66d ago

Yet they had to sell 30% of themselves to Tencent. Don't go crying outloud about your purity when you had to take Chinese money to stay afloat. China doesn't censor anything though so no worries about future issues with bear sex.

shinoff218366d ago

China I'm sure has some form of censorship

The_Hooligan66d ago (Edited 66d ago )

As long as it's a normal bear and not Winnie the Pooh

Edit: meant to reply @brain

TheColbertinator66d ago (Edited 66d ago )

If you had read ANYTHING about Larian's involvement with Tencent, you would know their 30% investment still does not give them any voting power or influence. The majority of the company belongs to a private investor in Europe who makes the final call not Tencent, China or anyone else.

dumahim65d ago

"Larian Studios does technically have a single shareholder in Tencent—which owns around 30% of the company. However, an important piece of context is that Tencent appears to own what's called a "preference" share, meaning that Tencent doesn't have voting rights when it comes to Larian's decision making. The rest of the company belongs to CEO and Founder Swen Vincke and his wife."

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40°

‘It’s been really painful’: Ex-Lionhead devs explain why they’ve announced, and shelved, a new game

An independent UK developer says it’s been forced to announce and postpone its game on the same day, and lay off more than half of its staff, due to the sharp downturn in investment in the games industry.

Read Full Story >>
videogameschronicle.com
50°

Former WipEout Devs at Starlight Games Announce Futuristic Sports Title, House of Golf 2 and More

A new studio based in Liverpool called Starlight Games is developing a futuristic sports title and is headed by the co-creator of WipEout.

300°

Starfield Highlights a Major Problem With the AAA Game Industry

Video games -- particularly AAA video games -- have become too expensive to make. The intel from every fly on the wall in every investor's room is there is an increasing level of caution about spending hundreds of millions just to release a single video game. And you can't blame them. Many AAA game budgets mean that you can print hundreds of millions in revenue, and not even turn a profit. If you are an investor, quite frankly, there are many easier ways to make a buck. AAA games have always been expensive to make though, but when did we go from expensive, to too expensive? A decade ago, AAA games were still expensive to make, but fears of "sustainability" didn't keep every CEO up at night. Consumer expectations and demands no doubt play a role in this, but more and more games are also revealing obvious signs of resource mismanagement, evident by development teams and budgets spiraling out of control with sometimes nothing substantial to show for it.

Read Full Story >>
comicbook.com
franwex3d ago

It’s a question that I’ve pondered myself too. How are these developers spending this much money? Also, like the article stated, I cannot tell where it’s even going. Perfect example was used with Starfield and Spiderman 2.

They claim they have to increase prices due to development costs exploding. Okay? Well, I’m finding myself spending less and less money on games than before due to the quality actually going down. With a few recent exceptions games are getting worse.

I thought these newer consoles and game engines are easier-therefore-cheaper to make games than previous ones. What has happened? Was it over hiring after the pandemic, like other tech companies?

MrBaskerville3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

Costs quite a bit to maintain a team of 700+ employees. Which is what it takes to create something with state of the art fidelity and scope. Just imagine how many 3D artists you'd need to create the plethora of 3D objects in a AAA game. There's so much stuff and each asset takes time and effort.

That's atleast one of the things that didn't get easier. Also coding all the systems and creating all the character models with animations and everything. Animations alone is a huge thing because games are expected to be so detailed.

Back in the day a God of War type game was a 12 hour adventure with small levels, now it has to be this 40+ hours of stuff. Obviously it didn't have to be this way of AAA publishers hadn't convinced themselves that it's an arms race. Games probably didn't need to be this bloated and they probably didn't need to be cutting edge in fidelity.

franwex3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

Starfield’s animation and character models look like they are from Oblivion, a game that came out about 20 years ago. I cannot tell the difference between Spider-Man 2 and the first one at first glance. It’s been a joke in some YouTube channels.

Seven hundred people for 1 game? Make 7 games with 100 people instead. I think recent games have proven that it’s okay to have AA games, such as Hell Divers 2.

I guess I’m a bit jaded with the industry and where things are headed. Solutions seem obvious and easy, but maybe they aren’t.

MrBaskerville3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

@franwex
I'm not talking about Starfield.

And I'm not advocating for these behemoth productions. I think shorter development time and smaller teams would lead to better and more varied games. I want that, even if that means that we have to scale things down quite a bit.

Take something like The Last of Us 2. The amount of custom content is ridiculous if you break it down. It's no wonder they have huge teams of animators and modellers. And just to make things worse, each animated detail requires coding as well.

Just to add to animation work. It can take up to a week to make detailed walking animations. A lot of these tend to vary between character types. And then you need to do every other type of animation as well which is a task that scales quickly depending on how detailed the game is. And that's just a small aspect of AAA development. Each level might require several level designers who only do blockouts. Enviroment artists that setdress and lighting artists that work solely on lighting. Level needs scripting and testing. Each of these tasks takes a long ass time if the game is striving for realism.

Personally I prefer working on games where one level designer can do all aspects. But that's almost exclusively in indie and minor productions. It gets bloated fast.

Yui_Suzumiya2d ago

Then there's Doki Doki Literature Club which took one person to make along with a character designer and background designer and it's absolutely brilliant.

Cacabunga3d ago

Simply because they want you to believe it’s so expensive to develop a game that they must turn into other practices like releasing games unfinished, micro transactions and in the long run adopt the gaas model in all games..

thorstein3d ago

I think game budgets are falsely inflated for tax purposes.

Just look at Godzilla Minus One. It cost less that 15 million.

If they include CEO salary and bonuses on every game and the CEO takes a 20 million dollar bonus every year for the 4 years of dev time, that's 80 million the company can claim went to "making" the game.

esherwood3d ago

Yep and clogged with a bunch of corporate bs that has nothing to do with making good video games. Like diversity coordinators gender specialists. Like most jobs you have 20-30% of the workforce doing 80% of the work