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Larian publishing director on industry layoffs: “None of these companies are at risk of going bankrupt”

Larian Studios’ publishing director, Micheal Douse, has commented on the recent wave of current industry layoffs, calling the mass redundancies “avoidable” and suggesting “none of these companies are at risk of going bankrupt”.

Talking to Game File (£) and spotted by PC Gamer, Douse didn’t hold back, stating his belief that some companies made mass layoffs because “everyone else is”.


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Newscast: If Larian’s not making Baldur’s Gate 4, which developer might?Watch on YouTube

“[The layoffs] are an avoidable fu*k-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.

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“None of these companies are at risk of going bankrupt,” he added. “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.”

Interestingly, the industry’s instability further saw Douse admit that whilst he’s not in control of if and when Larian may go public, he believes part of Baldur’s Gate 3’s success was in part because the studio isn’t beholden to shareholders.

“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,” Douse said. “So it wouldn’t make our games better. It would just make us rushed.”

On the most recent Eurogamer Newscast, the team discusses who might develop a potential Baldur’s Gate 4 now that BG3 studio Larian has confirmed it is leaving the franchise behind.

The rights to Baldur’s Gate belong to Wizards of the Coast, who are free to enlist another studio to make further games in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, and even use Larian’s characters. And considering how well BG3 has been received, it would seem financially prudent for a publisher to mount some kind of follow-up at some point, right?

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