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Not even Larian could escape crunch on Baldur's Gate 3: "to be honest, you will always have a little bit when you're trying to finish something"

"We had things happen that we didn't foresee."

Baldur's Gate 3 still showing a person with a bow attached to their back stood in front of giant tentacles.
Image credit: Larian Studios

Crunch is a widespread issue across the games industry, and as beloved as Larian Studios is, even it had to do some on Baldur's Gate 3.

Look, nobody likes to hear that their favourite studio crunched to make a game they love, but unfortunately that'll pretty much always be the case with big games. I wish it wasn't, and more should be done to circumvent it, but the game industry hasn't set itself up particularly well to avoid such issues. And unsurprisingly, one of last year's biggest games, Baldur's Gate 3, was subject to some crunching too, as admitted by game director and Larian CEO Swen Vincke in an interview with GamesRadar. When asked about whether the team had to work substantial overtime to hit deadlines, Vincke responded, "Certainly less on BG3 than we did in the past. It would be a lie to say that we didn't. We had things happen that we didn't foresee."

Vincke noted that in order to mitigate that, the numerous global studios that Larian had setup were there to ensure that the game had 24-hour coverage, making it so that no single person had to work more to fix a late-night problem. Just last week Larian set up a new Warsaw-based studio, which will be helping with the developer's next couple of "very ambitious RPGs". Vincke did also say that paid overtime did help soften the blow for anyone that did have to work late, though he also claims that crunch on Baldur's Gate 3 wasn't "as long as you would consider crunch." Offices would supposedly be almost empty beyond 8pm at night, and staff working weekends occurred "very, very, very rarely."

"We didn't overly crunch, but we did have to do a bit of crunch," Vincke continued. "And I think, to be honest, you will always have a little bit when you're trying to finish something, especially when there's so much complexity that needs to be brought together." As I mentioned above, there's always more that could be done, and even with a new studio, if the scope of a project has increased, then crunch still might occur. Hopefully Larian is working on other measures to ensure as little crunch happens on whatever is next for the developer (which we at least know won't be Baldur's Gate 4).

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