Why "Biggest and Most Ambitious" Divinity: Original Sin 2 Chose Crowdfunding

The project will "sink us, or go on to be remembered as our best game ever," boss says.

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Just as it did with the first Divinity: Original Sin, developer Larian Studios will raise funds for the game's just-announced sequel through the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. Now, Larian's top boss has explained why the Belgian game developer is taking that route instead of pursuing a traditional publisher relationship.

In a blog post, Larian founder Sven Vincke said the first Original Sin "wouldn't be the game it was" without the feedback and input from fans on Kickstarter and Steam Early Access. As such, Vincke said it is of paramount importance for Larian to take a similar approach with the sequel.

"Without having that same community on board, I think it's going to be very hard for us to achieve the goals we have with Divinity: Original Sin II," he explained. "And so we'll do our very best to convince them to back us once again. The result at the end will be so much better if they do."

What's more, it sounds like there is a lot riding on the game. Vincke called Original Sin II the studio's "biggest and most ambitious" RPG ever, adding that the project will either "sink us, or go on to be remembered as our best game ever."

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The Kickstarter campaign for Original Sin II will go up on August 26, and for now, Larian is not discussing specific details about the game and how it will expand upon its predecessor. But Vincke did tease that the game "goes beyond" anything that's been do in the turn-based RPG genre today.

Some Kickstarter games are announced as concepts only, but Larian already has a playable prototype that it will bring to PAX Prime later this month in Seattle.

Also in the blog post, Vincke addressed the commercial reasoning behind Larian's decision to make Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and how development on that version--due out later this year--affects Original Sin II.

"By now, the investment we did in D:OS EE is beyond what most would consider reasonable, both financially and in terms of time we've been putting in," he said. "But, other than allowing us to perfect the game which I think always make commercial sense, the work that is being done on D:OS EE would in any case still have had to be done for D:OS 2. So it's not as if we haven't been moving forward. On the contrary, all the money we're investing in D:OS EE is also investment in the tech that’s powering D:OS 2. And the tech can do a lot.

"Put simply, if you were to compare what we're doing to what Bioware did back in the day with Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II, D:OS 2 is to be our Baldur's Gate 2."

Vincke also talked about the risks associated with Kickstarter; after all, not every project is a success. He admitted that there is no guarantee that Original Sin II will find an audience.

"If we were to fail, I guess that will mean we're on the wrong track, and that we would have to return to the drawing board," he said. "It would be a real pity if that happens, but there's no certainties in life, and perhaps we're completely wrong about this. But that too would still be valuable feedback."

Finally, Vicke clarified that Larian is investing some of its own money into Original Sin II, noting that the studio already has the budget to do "cool stuff." But the company is hoping to go further and make "very cool stuff" for the game with the money raised on Kickstarter. A funding target has not been announced.

Original Sin launched for PC in June 2014 and went on to win GameSpot's PC Game of the Year award. The Enhanced Edition refinements are also coming to PC for free.

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