Baldur's Gate 3 boss tells layoff-happy publishers to stop trying to "double" their money and instead "respect the people making the games"

 Larian Studios.
Larian Studios.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Swen Vincke, head of Baldur's Gate 3 developer Larian Studios, had some harsh words about layoffs and publisher greed at last night's Game Developers Choice Awards. Hitting social media to follow up on those comments today, he's a bit less harsh but no less direct.

"There are plenty of people in publishing I met who have their hearts in the right place," Vincke says on Twitter today. "This message was for those who try to double their revenue year after year. You don't have to do that. Build more slowly and make your aim improving the state of the art, not squeezing out the last drop.  And respect the people making the games. You'll find it brings you more joy."

Accepting the best narrative award at the GDCA ceremony last night, Vincke said he didn't have any prepared remarks, but he followed up on a theme from other winners and presenters at the show to blast the climate of layoffs and studio closures that has permeated the industry over the past year.

"Greed has been fucking this whole thing up for so long, ever since I started," Vincke said in his acceptance speech (via Eurogamer) "I've been fighting publishers my entire life and I keep on seeing the same, same, same mistakes over and over and over. It's always the quarterly profits. The only thing that matters is the numbers, and then you fire everybody and then next year you're gonna say 'shit, I'm out of developers' and then you're gonna start hiring people again."

If you want to hear Vincke's full speech, it's in the video below starting at the 2:11:38 mark.

Vincke went on to encourage publishers to "slow down on the greed" and "take care of the people." Whether it manages to protect jobs or not remains to be seen, but Larian's example of taking things slowly has at least inspired D&D owner Hasbro's current gaming initiative. Hasbro gaming boss Dan Ayoub told GamesRadar+ that Baldur's Gate 3 proved "the importance of taking time to get it right." Here's hoping a conservative approach to development will mean a conservative approach to layoffs, too.

As catastrophic layoffs rattle the games industry, FPS legend John Romero says "I've never seen anything like we're seeing now."