Fresh Look Wonders What Comes Next For The Baldur’s Gate Series

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a legendary RPG that will vacuum up all of the gaming awards for the foreseeable future and probably be the RPG, if not the game, which many others will be compared with moving forward. It became a cultural phenomenon much like Elden Ring or Super Smash Bros. did before it, and which the upcoming EA College Football 25 likely will as well (I hope).

Now, the chief editor asked me not to talk about EA College Football 25 just yet since EA is keeping everything under wraps for now (I think he might have gotten a secret briefing), and I am going to try and honor that. But, anyway, back to the main topic of the column this week, which is the fact that Hasbro is the publisher for Baldur’s Gate 3, and what that might mean for the Baldur’s Gate series future.

Hasbro, you don’t know me, but we have some issues to discuss.

You have had a strong hand in a lot of intellectual property over the last few years that I was a big fan of. And honestly, I don’t think that all of the results of that stewardship were very positive. Let’s check the tapes, and yes, I have a point about Baldur’s Gate 3, which received perfect review scores from GiN, that I will get to later.

Magic: The Gathering

I have played Magic: The Gathering since 2005, which was before the Planeswalker cards or mythic rarity ones existed. I have seen it change a lot, which is to be expected. But something happened a few years ago around the set called Kaladesh. The creators came up with this awesome idea to reprint some artifacts as “masterpiece” items that were super rare. It was exciting and made buying packs for the chance of getting one of those items a tempting choice.

However, we can’t have anything nice, and now these types of cards are shoehorned into many other sets. Additionally, Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast decided that making people have better cards would require them to spend more on collector’s packs.

Then, to try to be more like the Disney Lorcana card game, they released Universes Beyond (or at least invested heavily in it). Magic: The Gathering had a very intricate lore and interesting art with the series. Now, in a sanctioned event, I could have Chun-Li (from Street Fighter) equipped with Lucille (from The Walking Dead) and crewing a Reaver Titan (from Warhammer 40K) attack my opponent who has Megatron, Tyrant (from Transformers) equipped with a Nuka-Nuke Launcher (from Fallout). This is just a lot, and I feel like someone gave them an inch and they took the entirety of the Indianapolis 500.

Dungeons and Dragons

Hasbro tried to change the open game license in order to prevent third party publishers from building modules. It was met with such venom from the community that they scrapped that idea and dropped it all together. One of the main things that happened was that they showed that their business model was to remove as much blood as possible from every stone they found. And this leads us back to where we started with Baldur’s Gate 3.

Baldur’s Gate 3

My fear with Baldur’s Gate is that it’s the new stone. Baldur’s Gate 3 is incredible, and Hasbro needs their props for publishing this awesome title. I’m just worried that instead of an artist mentality, they will use a producer mindset. I just want to be able to enjoy something without a boardroom getting dollar signs in their eyes and implementing whatever profit garnering idea they have.

This is especially concerning because the developer of Baldur’s Gate 3, Larian Studios, has announced that they won’t make any more Baldur’s Gate or Dungeons and Dragons titles. Larian was so invested in Baldur’s Gate 3, that they spent years working on it and almost as long tweaking it while it was in Early Access. They clearly cared about the artistry of it over profit and had enough pull that they were not constrained by any pressure to meet unrealistic deadlines. They took their time, and the final product demonstrates that with millions of copies sold and the legions of dedicated fans. But now that Larian Studios won’t be working on the Baldur’s Gate series any longer, it will be up to the publisher to find another developer to carry that torch.

Please, Hasbro, if you decide to move forward with another Baldur’s Gate title or even more Dungeons and Dragons games, do it for the love of the story and the players or find a developer like Larian Studios who will. Let them make it at their own pace and give them the time for another masterpiece like Baldur’s Gate 3 to be created for us to enjoy.

Don’t just make a new title for some kind of profit maximization formula or to just try and cash in on the good name that BG3 established. Do it right, and you can make me sound like a bigger idiot than I already appear to be for worrying about it so much.

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