Larian Studios announced that Divinity: Original Sin’s beta version will be released on Steam early access, the week of April 1st.
This means that the studio will stop adding new features, and focus on polishing and expanding a roughly completed game, according to Larian founder Swen Vincke in his recent Youtube update. This included a game with a fuller complement of skills and spells, more regions unlocked, and a more complete basic features like music and graphics. Vincke also announced that day/night cycles would not feature in the game, due to complications with the game’s mandate of broad interactivity, though this is a fairly minor element to immersion overall.
The Divinity: Original Sin Kickstarter was funded on April 26th of 2013, with $944,282 total of their requested $400,000. The game was pitched as a ‘co-op, turn-based RPG’ with a high degree of interactivity with the world and characters, giving players meaningful choice and influence over the world and encounters. Environments affect the player and vice-versa.
It also means that players outside of the Kickstarter backers can purchase the game early, and play around in the beta as its developed. Transitioning to beta and opening the game for buyers on Steam means they’re satisfied enough with their product that they’re willing to allow the general player populace to criticize the gameplay and to put down money for the eventual, finished product.
The Belgium-based company is known for the previous Divinity games, set in a fantasy universe loaded with tongue-in-cheek humour. Games include RPGs like Divine Divinity and Divinity: The Dragon Knight Saga, but also the real-time/turn-based strategy hybrid Dragon Commander, which had you play as a dragon leading an army to reconquer your father’s empire. Original Sin will be set in the same universe of Rivellon, far before the events of most of the other games.
Vincke will also stream an exploration of the beta on Monday, March 31st on Twitch TV, at 12pm EST (7pm in Gent, Belgium-time).