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Larian's Director of Publishing Believes Mass Layoffs Happen to Please Shareholders

"None of these companies are at risk of going bankrupt."

Image credit: Larian Studios

Larian Studios' director of publishing Michael Douse doesn't think current layoffs in the game industry are caused by companies being in danger of closing. Speaking with Game File (via PC Gamer), he expressed his disdain toward studios firing employees left and right.

"None of these companies are at risk of going bankrupt," Douse said. "They're just at risk of pissing off the shareholders. And that's fine. That's how they work. The function of a public company is to create growth for its shareholders... It's not to make a happy climate for the employees."

He also noted that the mass nature of the phenomenon is fueled by other companies cutting jobs. "They are an avoidable fuck-up," Douse said. "That's all they really are. That's why you see one after the other. Because companies are going: 'Well, finally. Now we can, too. We've wanted to do it for ages. Everyone else is. So why don't we?' That's really kind of sick."

Based on his words and Larian CEO Swen Vincke's earlier criticism of publishers' greed, Baldur's Gate 3 maker doesn't have the same issue and won't eliminate tens and hundreds of positions any time soon, at least not for this reason.

Douse added that even if going public could bring Larian more assets, it will likely never happen:

"Creating the games that we wanted to make, going public might give us more money, but it would be antithetical to the quality part of what we're trying to do. So it wouldn't make our games better. It would just make us rushed."

Maybe this is the recipe for the best game of 2023. We'll see when its next project arrives, which will most probably follow Original Sin 2 and Baldur's Gate 3's release model.

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