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Whatever Baldur's Gate 3 dev Larian ends up doing next, it will probably be in early access too

Why fix what isn't broken?

A number of characters from Baldur's Gate 3.
Image credit: VG247/Larian

Baldur's Gate 3 dev Larian definitely isn't making a sequel, but whatever its next game is, it will definitely go down the early access route.

Last month, many Baldur's Gate 3 fans across the world likely shed a tear when Larian CEO Swen Vincke said that the studio has no plans to make a sequel or even any expansions. Vincke shared that Larian will be moving on to something else, leaving the Baldur's Gate IP in the hands of its owners Wizards of the Coast to do something else with. Considering the fact that Baldur's Gate 3 is still regularly getting updates, and the full release isn't even a year old yet, it's unlikely we'll see what's next for Larian for a while yet, but in a recent interview with Game File (thanks, Kotaku), Larian's head of publishing Michael Douse did talk about release plans for the studio's follow-up.

Speaking of self-publishing and early access, Douse said "This is the only way to do it now." He went on to note how marketing has cratered, and that an early access release allows a developer to create "social resonance" while less and less games make a big impression on players. Important is that Douse doesn't say that this is something everyone can do, and if you don't know how to do it, don't just do so heedlessly, but it did help Larian work on Baldur's Gate's strong gameplay loop, as well as build a community. And for the next game, Douse said it "will also probably be in early access."

On top of what's next for Larian, Douse also spoke of what's happening in the industry currently, i.e. the plethora of layoffs, which he has a simple response to: that they are "an avoidable f**k-up. That's all they really are. That's why you see one after the other. Because companies are going: 'Well, finally. Now we can, too. We've wanted to do it for ages. Everyone else is. So why don't we?' That's really kind of sick. None of these companies are at risk of going bankrupt. They're just at risk of p**sing off the shareholders."

While Larian was at one point interested in doing a Baldur's Gate sequel, or even some DLC, the studio wanted to prioritise doing "big new things."

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