Baldur’s Gate 3, the highly anticipated RPG set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, will launch in early access later this year, developer Larian Studios confirmed.
The announcement was made by Hasbro in an investor event at the New York Toy Fair. The company’s presentation revealed that there were seven Dungeons & Dragons-based RPGs in development, which includes Baldur’s Gate 3 and Dark Alliance. Hasbro-owned Wizards of the Coast, which opened a new studio of its own named Archetype Entertainment, tapped Larian Studios for the development of the third game in the Baldur’s Gate series.
It is uncommon for an expansive RPG to launch in early access, but Larian Studios has had experience in such a setup. Divinity: Original Sin 2 was first rolled out in early access in September 2016, with the full launch not taking place until exactly a year later in September 2017.
In the first stage of Divinity: Original Sin 2, Larian Studios only included the prologue, the first chapter, and a transition into the second act. After the game’s full release, there were continuous updates that culminated in a Definitive Edition in August 2018. It is unclear if the early access and eventual full release of Baldur’s Gate 3 will follow a similar pattern and timeline.
Larian Studios’ confirmation of the upcoming early access release of Baldur’s Gate 3 follows a recent Google Stadia blog post that named the RPG as one of the games coming to the streaming service this year. The developer explained that Baldur’s Gate 3 was included in the blog post as an error, but it did not clearly deny that the game will arrive within 2020.
It appears that Google Stadia spoiled the announcement, though that is likely not a problem for fans of the series who have been waiting for the third installment since the original project was canceled in 2003.
Larian Studios will show footage of Baldur’s Gate 3 at PAX East on February 27, with a presentation that will feature the RPG’s gameplay and story details, followed by a Q&A session. The developer may also use its time at the annual event to reveal a more specific release date for the game’s early access.
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