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Divinity: Original Sin Larian Studios' fastest-selling game ever

Already approaching profitability. So, what's next?

Old-school fantasy role-playing game Divinity: Original Sin is Larian Studios' fastest-selling title ever, the developer has confirmed to Eurogamer.

The £29.99 game launched proper on 30th June after a stint as a Steam Early Access title, and has already shifted 160,000 copies. At the time of publication it was the top-selling game on Steam.

And it's already approaching profitability, Larian boss Swen Vincke told Eurogamer. Divinity: Original Sin cost around €4m to make, following a successful Kickstarter that raised just under $1m.

"It's doing pretty well," Vincke said. "We're very happy about it. And to be honest we didn't expect it. We thought it was going to do well but not this well.

"It's definitely the fastest-selling game we've ever published. The last figures I saw we were at 160,000. For us that's pretty good. We're definitely going to break even and hopefully we'll make sufficient profit for our next game."

To work out how much money Larian has made from Divnity so far, it's not as simple as taking the revenue from the game then taking out Valve's standard 30 per cent cut.

For Larian, which as a Belgian studio works in euros, its rule of thumb is to take the dollars generated then half that figure it to arrive at a euro amount. So, if a game makes $100,000, the studio makes €50,000.

Divinity: Original Sin costs $39.99. If it's sold 160,000 copies, that's $6.39m in revenue. Half that and we get €3.19m (£2.5m), which means the project is well on its way to breaking even.

Vincke put Divinity: Original Sin's success down to its Steam Early Access and Kickstarter communities.

"The feedback we received from them was worth its weight in gold," he said. "It's almost a co-development between us and them, because they pointed out things we were doing wrong, and encouraged us to expand on the areas we were doing right. As a result you get a group intelligence applied to a game. It's always much better than a single person."

This, coupled with strong word of mouth, is keeping Divinity at the top of Steam's sales charts, ahead of the likes of DayZ and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

"It's word of mouth that is driving Original Sin right now," Vincke said. "We were late with our game, working on it until the last day, so we don't even have reviews out there. We have exactly two ads we did with the last of our money. It was definitely not marketing doing it."

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Now that Divinity: Original Sin's success seems secure, what's next for Larian?

Larian is working on a hotfix for the game, as well as its first major patch, which will add new content. There is also content promised to Divinity's Kickstarter backers but cut from the release version of the game that is due to be added in. And then there is ongoing support for the Divinity engine toolkit. "There's still work to be done," Vincke stressed.

But longer term, it seems Larian will take a hard-earned break before brainstorming its next project.

"We sleep and then we're going to have a party and then we're going to sit together and figure out what the next game is," Vincke said.

"Nobody believes us but we really don't have anything planned. This was all in for us. This was part of our plan when we started to go independent, that we'd make the biggest RPG we could with what we had in terms of money, and then we'll see what comes out of it.

"So we went all in. We have to pay back our debts now, because we made a lot of them. It looks like that's going to happen. And then we will see. But for sure we will make a big fuss of whatever it is when we announce it."

Vincke then said he plans to try to obtain the license for a mystery role-playing franchise - but stopped short of saying what it was.

"There was a certain license we tried to get, but they haven't replied to us," he said. "Maybe now they will reply to us! I'm not going to tell you, because that will ruin the chances of me getting it.

"We asked them a couple of months ago, so we'll ask them again now. Maybe they'll be interested. It's in the RPG space, that's for sure.

"If they refuse to answer this time I'm going to put it in the press and then hopefully something will happen. Or I'll launch a Kickstarter and say, this is the game we want to make, but we don't have the license yet. But maybe we can get it this way."

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