Larian Studios has shared the sad news with the community, announcing the passing of its cinematic lead Jim Southworth. He was with the company for nearly three years, working on Baldur’s Gate 3.
Jim Southworth (right), image credit: LinkedIn
As Larian said in a statement on X (former Twitter), Jim Southworth “cared deeply about his team, and the results shone through in their work. He loved making games, and we loved making them with him. We’re all going to miss him.”
The cause of his death remains undisclosed.
We are sad to announce the passing of Jim Southworth, our Cinematic Animation lead.
Jim cared deeply about his team, and the results shone through in their work. He loved making games, and we loved making them with him. We’re all going to miss him.
— Larian Studios (@larianstudios) November 13, 2023
- According to LinkedIn, Southworth started working on Baldur’s Gate 3 in March 2019, when he was the art lead at Turbulenz Limited. In February 2021, he joined Larian as cinematic animation lead, responsible for all those beautiful CG sequences in the game.
- Southworth’s career extends beyond video games. He started his path as a freelance animator in 1990, working on The Beano Video anthology and Prince Cinders.
- In the 1990s and early 2000s, Southworth worked as lead animator at Silicon Dreams and Mucky Foot Productions on titles like Lego Island 2 and Blade 2.
- He also spent 11 years at PlayStation London Studio, where he was the art manager of the EyePet franchise and contributed to Medievil: Resurrection and Operation Creature Feature. Between 2013 and 2015, he served as product owner of The Deep, a virtual shark cage dive experience for the PlayStation VR.
- Another notable credit in Southworth’s portfolio is Boundless, a voxel MMORPG by Wonderstruck. He was the art lead on the project from 2015 to 2019.
Jim Southworth will be remembered for all the work he has done throughout his career, including, of course, Baldur’s Gate 3. Launched globally on August 3, Larian’s latest RPG became a true sensation and received worldwide acclaim from critics and players.
BG3 peaked at over 875k concurrent players on Steam, making it one of the top 10 titles on the platform of all time by that metric. According to Larian director of publishing Michael Douse, the game “has a lot of depth, but it’s doing things most RPGs aren’t able to do. The latter is a big reason for its perceived success.”
Last week, Baldur’s Gate 3 took home a record-breaking seven awards at the Golden Joystick Awards 2023, including Ultimate Game of the Year, and Larian was also named the studio of the year.