You know, if I'd just released something like Baldur's Gate 3, an incomprehensibly large RPG that was really quite excellent and doing very well indeed, I'd probably be looking to cash out. I guess that—along with some minor issues of ontology and taxonomy—is why I'm not literally Larian Studios, which apparently has no plans to sell up to interested suitors despite previously being a potential target for Microsoft.
In a chat with Bloomberg, Larian CEO Swen Vincke responded to a question about a 2021 internal Microsoft list of potential acquisitions that circulated back in June this year. On that list—which also featured the likes of Sega and Bungie—Microsoft appeared to be toying with the idea of picking up Larian, but apparently it's not to be. Vincke told Bloomberg that while it was "always flattering" to catch the eye of parties like Microsoft, he's not at all tempted to sell the company just yet.
"I'm getting older, but I'm certainly not done yet," the Larian CEO told Bloomberg, who worried that a monolithic corporate owner like Microsoft could end up limiting the studio creatively in the pursuit of profit. To be fair, Microsoft has been—by all accounts—relatively hands-off with its myriad acquired studios over the last couple of years (sometimes to their detriment), but I could definitely imagine a world in which BG3 isn't as wildly ambitious—or as replete with distinct genital tailoring options—because of a corporation's oversight.
Vincke reckons Larian's advantage is that final authority rests with him, not a distant corporate overlord, and he's "very invested in the gameplay" of the studio's projects. "We can do things in service of the games we’re making," said the CEO, rather than pursuing a project management style that prioritises efficiency and profit above all else.
The way Vincke tells it, Larian isn't yet sure what's next to it after BG3. Fair enough, given that project took six years and, I bet, an ungodly amount of energy from the dev team. Still, it sounds like Vincke is hoping to work on multiple projects rather than one massive one, and he has recently been chatting about returning to Original Sin some day.
But those are questions for another day, and we are very much in the hour of BG3 right now. In his Baldur's Gate 3 review-in-progress, PCG's Fraser Brown was a little bit in love with what he's seen of the game so far, writing that "if it wasn't immediately obvious: Baldur's Gate 3 is utterly brilliant". No wonder Microsoft was interested.