Larian Studios has announced that it will be returning to Kickstarter on August 26 to fund Divinity: Original Sin II, a sequel to its first successful crowd-funded RPG. The original title was one of my favorite RPGs of 2014, combining new technology with gameplay from classic RPGs like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale. Original Sin was one of the deepest RPGs in recent memory, with a crazy amount of interaction in the world and some great writing to boot, so I'm glad to see Larian looking to expand in the sequel.
"Divinity: Original Sin wouldn't be the game it was without the input from our Kickstarter backers & Steam Early Access players," wrote Larian CEO Swen Vincke in the announcement blog post. "There were a lot of them and they pushed us forwards in directions we hadn't anticipated when we started development. Our community was a critical factor for the success of the game."
"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 2, and so we'll do our very best to convince them to back us once again. I'm hopeful that our players will find Divinity: Original Sin 2 a worthy cause to back though; it really goes beyond what's been done so far in turn-based RPGs and it's going to be a lot of fun to play."
Larian already has Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition coming this year to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. According to Vincke, the Enhanced Edition is a result of work that's already being done on the essential systems of Larian's engine for Divinity: Original Sin.
"Divinity: Original Sin 2 builds further on the foundations we've been laying with Divinity: Original Sin (D: OS), and Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition (D: OS EE)," wrote Vincke. "For us, this allows for an unprecedented focus on the gameplay. We won't be "losing time" building the elementary systems that typically take up more than 60% of our development time. Instead, we can start building the world immediately and try out all kinds of things."
"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 2, D:OS 2 is to be our Baldur's Gate 2 - building further on our equivalent of Baldur's Gate; D:OS."
The Kickstarter ecosystem Larian first utilized years ago is not the same Kickstarter of today, but like Harebrained Schemes (Shadowrun Returns) and InXile Entertainment (Wasteland 2), the studio has already proven that it can deliver on its promises. They're also not working from scratch this time; the base engine and improvements are already done, so this time people will be giving money to Larian's amazing team to make more RPG goodness.
Larian will be showing a prototype of Divinity: Original Sin II at PAX Prime this year. If I get a preview, I'll let you folks know about it.