Larian Studios' team has grown considerably in an effort to bring its ambitious RPG, Baldur's Gate 3, to life.
Following an incident of near-bankruptcy, the developer first tripled in size to finish out a sequel to its popular title Divinity: Original Sin. Nowadays, Larian Studios is almost 10 times bigger than it was in 2014. It's also stationed across seven studios around the world, and that's become necessary to create the kind of game the studio is envisioning.
"I never expected us to be 400 people to make BG3," studio founder Swen Vincke told PC Gamer (opens in new tab). "Nobody expected it. But it's literally what we needed to do it. We had a choice. There was a moment where we started understanding what we needed to do to make this game. We thought we understood. Then we actually really understood. And so we had two choices: we could scale it down, or we could scale ourselves up. And so we chose to scale ourselves up."
There was a series of changes to the game's development that necessitated this staff growth, including the way the team approaches cinematics. It's also changed the way they've worked within the writing process. This was related to how the team had previously worked with writers and sent out new text to recording studios for actors to record their lines the next day
"There are so many steps in between now, so many people that need to look at it," said Vincke. "Cinematic designers, cinematic animators, the casting director, lighting, VFX, SFX. So you don't just add a line like that anymore. You're very aware of your cinematic budget, the cost, and the waterfall that follows from it. We've had to reinvent ourselves, how we work... so that we can still iterate."
Baldur's Gate 3 isn't set to debut until 2023, so there's still plenty of time left for Larian Studios to continue growing, testing out new processes, and iterating ideas for what will likely be Larian Studios' biggest game yet.
Check out our Early Access Baldur's Gate 3 preview.