Baldur’s Gate 3 | Dungeons & Dragons rights holder responds to Larian Studios’ decision to move onto other projects

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Despite being one of 2023’s biggest hits, Baldur’s Gate 3 will be Larian Studios’ last Dungeons & Dragons game. Its rights holder has talked about the parting of ways.

In more ways than one, fantasy RPG Baldur’s Gate 3 was developer Larian Studios’ magnum opus. Years in the making, the game was released to universal acclaim last year, and quickly became one of 2023’s biggest releases, with sales reckoned to be in the 15 million range.

With success like that behind it, you might think that Larian would start thinking about expansions or even sequels. Instead, studio founder Swen Vincke revealed during a Game Developers Conference panel on the 21st March that Larian wouldn’t be making a sequel, or even developing any DLC. In fact, Vincke revealed that the studio had started working on DLC of some form, only to abandon it.

“You could see the team was doing it because everyone felt like we had to do it,” Vincke told the conference (as reported by IGN), “but it wasn’t really coming from the heart, and we’re very much a studio from the heart.”

As a result, Larian made the bold decision to scrap the DLC in early 2024.

Since then, there’s been some speculation that Larian’s decision had something to do with a rift between it and Wizards Of The Coast – the rights holders of the Dungeons & Dragons universe in which Baldur’s Gate 3 is set.

A tweet written by Vincke in December last year was cited as evidence; in it, the studio boss lamented the job losses that had occurred at Wizards Of The Coast. “It’s a sad thing to realize that of the people who were in the original meeting room, there’s almost nobody left,” he wrote at the time.

Read more: 2023 | A brilliant, weird, awful year for videogames

Both Wizards Of The Coast and Vincke had since come forward with statements which appear to be designed to quell some of this speculation. “Larian has been an incredible partner, and together we are proud of the success of Baldur’s Gate 3,” Wizards of The Coast wrote, before name-dropping Hasbro, the toy company which owns it. “Watch this space for more on some awesome D&D games we are bringing to life through Hasbro’s studios and our network of licensing partners.”

Vincke, meanwhile, took to Twitter (via IGN) with an update of his own.

“Reading the reddit threads, I would like to clear up something,” Vincke said. “WOTC is not to blame for us taking a different direction. On the contrary, they really did their best and have been a great licensor for us, letting us do our thing. This is because it’s what’s best for Larian.”

At present, it’s not clear what Larian will make next – Divinity 3 would be a logical choice, given it’s a fantasy RPG fully owned by the studio itself, but this hasn’t been confirmed at the time of writing. All we currently know is, if there’s a Baldur’s Gate 4, it won’t be developed by Larian.

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