Baldur's Gate III
|Baldur's Gate III|
|Release||6 October 2020|
Baldur's Gate III is an upcoming role-playing video game that is being developed and published by Larian Studios. It is set to be released for Microsoft Windows and the Stadia streaming service in early access in October 2020. It is the third main game in the Baldur's Gate series, itself based on the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role-playing system.
Baldur's Gate III is a role-playing video game that looks to offer both a single-player and cooperative multiplayer element. Players will be able to create one or more characters and form a party along with computer-generated characters to explore the game's story. Optionally, players will be able to take one of their characters and team up online with other players to form a party. It was announced during the PAX East 2020 event that, unlike the previous Baldur's Gate games, Baldur's Gate III combat will be turn-based, similar to Larian's Original Sin games.
The original Baldur's Gate game was developed by BioWare and Black Isle Studios, and published by Interplay Entertainment in 1998. The game used a licensed version of the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) rule set, specifically in the Forgotten Realms setting. The game's success led to a sequel, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, and its expansion pack, as well as Icewind Dale and its sequel, and finally, Planescape: Torment. Black Isle Studios began work on a further sequel, Baldur's Gate III: The Black Hound, in 2003, but Interplay faced significant financial crisis that year and shut down Black Isle, cancelling the game. Interplay lost the license to make D&D video games to Atari in 2008. Atari later released Neverwinter Nights and its sequel, Neverwinter Nights II. Wizards of the Coast had long since acquired the rights to D&D as part of their purchase of TSR, and had been making updates to the core rule sets over the previous years. The new sequel from Larian Studios has no connection to the cancelled Baldur's Gate III: The Black Hound.
The series' intellectual property (IP) had been sought after by multiple developers. This includes Brian Fargo, a former Interplay developer and founder of inXile Entertainment, as well as Feargus Urquhart of Obsidian Entertainment, who were seeking the IP rights for at least a decade. Larian Studios was interested in making a sequel in the Baldur's Gate series for some time, having first approached Wizards of the Coast after their release of Divinity: Original Sin around 2014. At this time, Wizards of the Coast felt the studio was still too new to the industry to be trusted with the Baldur's Gate license. Larian developed Divinity: Original Sin II which was released in September 2017. Pre-release materials related to the game impressed Wizards of the Coast so they contacted Larian to ask if they still had interest in Baldur's Gate III. Larian accepted, and while working to wrap up the release stage of development for Divinity: Original Sin II, a small group gathered to develop the design document to present to Wizards of the Coast with their ideas for the new Baldur's Gate.
The game will be based on the 5th-edition Dungeons & Dragons rule set, though it will include tweaks and modifications that Larian found necessary in translating it to a video game. For example, the combat system is expected to be weighed more in favor of the player than in the tabletop version, to make the game more enjoyable.
Larian Studios teased Baldur's Gate III in the week prior to E3 2019. They formally revealed it during Google's presentation on the Stadia platform just ahead of E3, confirming its release for both Microsoft Windows and Stadia. The tabletop adventure Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus was published by Wizards of the Coast in September 2019 and has been described as a "prequel" to Baldur's Gate III. The Descent into Avernus adventure takes place roughly 100 years after the events of Baldur's Gate II and the story of Baldur's Gate III takes place immediately following the events of the Descent into Avernus tabletop module.
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