Larian Studios is not making Baldur’s Gate 3 DLC, Baldur’s Gate 4 or anything else D&D

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After the smashing success of Baldur’s Gate 3’s full release last year, the immediate expectation would be that Larian Studios’ would now be hard at work on DLC or a full sequel. However, that’s not happening. Larian Studios’ next project is specifically not Baldur’s Gate, or even anything Dungeons & Dragons.

Update 25/03: Countering speculation over Larian’s relationship with Wizards of the Coast – including our own below – Vincke has cleared the air on Twitter. The original post continues.

Speaking at GDC, Larian founder and CEO Swen Vincke concluded his talk by saying, “I told you at the beginning that we were a company of big ideas. We are not a company that’s made to create DLCs, expansions. We tried that actually, a few times. We failed every time – it’s not our thing. Life is too short. Our ambitions are very large.

“Baldur’s Gate will always have a warm spot in our heart. We’ll forever be proud of it but we’re not going to continue in it. We’re not going to make new expansions which everybody is expecting. We’re not going to make Baldur’s Gate 4 which everybody is expecting us to do.

“We’re going to move on. We’re going to move away from D&D and we’re going to start making a new thing.”

This might be a surprise and a disappointment, given the heaps of critical and commercial success of the last year, but not if you look at the business behind Baldur’s Gate and Dungeons & Dragons world.

Dungeons & Dragons is run and managed by Wizards of the Coast, which is in turn owned by toy company Hasbro. The last few year and a bit have seen D&D hit by a number of controversies, including a bungled attempt to change the open licensing for the use of D&D by other companies – leading to an exodus from D&D as a ruleset to create bespoke rules – and then at the end of 2023, sweeping layoffs at Hasbro that deeply affected WotC.

As noted with his The Game Awards acceptance speech – his full intended speech on Twitter – Vincke said, ” I also want to thank [Wizards of the Coast] and specifically the DnD team for giving us carte blanche. I’m really sorry to hear so many of you were let go. It’s a sad thing to realize that of the people who were in the original meeting room, there’s almost nobody left. I hope you all end up well.”

Baldur’s Gate 3 was signed and developed in a time where D&D wasn’t in the place that it is in now as a property, and with that big of a success, Hasbro would likely look to cut a very different deal with an external partner. Hasbro has also founded its own internal game studios, and in a GDC interview with GamesRadar, head of game studios Dan Ayoub said, “our Montreal studio is working on a really, really cool D&D game. We’re going to be able to start talking more about that hopefully soon.”

Add all of that to the outspoken nature of Vincke in the last few months about layoffs, big publisher attitudes, and more that is currently troubling the games industry, and it feels right that the studio forges its own path once more. This could be a return to Divinity, or something new entirely, but needless to say, Baldur’s Gate 3 (and their previous games) means that Larian themselves have a huge following of fans that will be eager to see whatever it is that they make next.

Source: PC Gamer

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