Larian Studios senior writer Stephen Rooney has left the studio after almost nine years. He is responsible for creating one of the most memorable characters of Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Baldur’s Gate 3.

Astarion and Fane writer Stephen Rooney leaves Larian Studios after 9 years

Astarion (Baldur’s Gate 3), Fane (Divinity: Original Sin 2)

Rooney announced his decision last week, saying that he recently left Larian Studios. “It’s been a life-changing journey, and I’m forever grateful for the friends I’ve made along the way, but the time was right,” he noted.

It is unclear what the next chapter of his professional journey would be, but Rooney said he’ll be “taking some space to play around with my own silly projects for a while as I figure out what’s next for me.”

According to his LinkedIn, Rooney started his career as a writer at Jolt Online Gaming back in 2009. He joined Larian Studios in April 2015, with his credits including Divinity: Original Sin (Enhanced Edition, as an additional writer), Original Sin 2 (as a writer), and Baldur’s Gate 3 (as a senior writer).

For DOS2, he wrote Meister Siva and Fane, an undead scholar and one of the game’s main characters, on which he collaborated with famed RPG writer Chris Avellone (he wrote Fane’s origin and backstory). Rooney’s most notable credit on BG3, where he served as a senior writer, was Astarion, a sarcastic vampire for whose portrayal Neil Newbon won Best Performance at The Game Awards 2023.

“Astarion was the result of a lot of work from a lot of people, but seeing people responding to his story has made it all worth it,” Rooney wrote in December.

Speaking of other Larian writers who recently left the team, Rachel Ní Chuirc (Quirke) announced her departure from the studio in February. She worked there for six years, writing BG3 characters such as Auntie Ethel, Alfira, and Shovel. “It was a really hard decision, but I’m working on several books right now and balancing that with work was making my tiny goblin brain explode,” her post read.

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