As expected, Larian Studios was also out at the GDC, and they’ve been working on something significant with the new Baldur’s Gate.
PCGamer interviewed Larian CEO Swen Vincke, who set the bar pretty high for Baldur’s Gate 3 in his statement. He wants the studio’s game to be the benchmark for the video game realisation of the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons (the tabletop RPG on which the franchise is based). According to Vincke, they are already in an excellent position but will improve as they develop the game.
“The benchmark incarnation of 5th Edition in a videogame. That’s what we’re trying to do. I think it’s already terrific, and it’s still getting better. This is a particular niche of game where you have a lot of narrative with many systems coming together. If your agency is [limited], you’re guided down the routes; you’re not going to be happy when you’re playing it. It breaks the entire thing. The problem is the only alternative is, f*ck; you need to cover it all. But we figured it out, and we’re doing it.
There were lots of easy cuts that we could’ve done. But then it wouldn’t have been the game that it needs to be. We’re not going to release it if it’s not ready. It’s going to be quite the thing, you know. When you go to the character creation, and you can select all those classes, all those subclasses, and then you start that journey—knowing everything you can do on that journey, it’s going to be quite the thing,” Vincke said.
He also revealed how they didn’t expect to employ over 400 people in several locations (Ghent, Dublin, Saint Petersburg, Quebec, Kuala Lumpur, Guildford, and Barcelona): “We thought we had it all figured out. We even estimated how big we’d have to become. I never expected us to be 400 people to make Baldur’s Gate 3. Nobody expected it. But it’s literally what we needed to do it. We had a choice. There was a moment when we started understanding what we needed to do to make this game. We thought we understood. Then we actually really understood. And so we had two choices: we could scale it down, or we could scale ourselves up. And so we chose to scale ourselves up.”
Baldur’s Gate will not be released before 2023. It’s currently available in early access on PC and Google Stadia.