Baldur's Gate 3 is making the rare, bold choice of moving up its release date by a full month to August 3, giving players about five weeks to crank through 100+ hours of D&D roleplaying before Starfield arrives. Larian has now clarified one confusing bit of information around the new release date, which is when players who pre-order the Digital Deluxe Edition will actually be able to get started. That version promised "72-hours Early Access to Act 1," but it turns out that's only for the PlayStation 5 version of the game, which releases on September 6.
"The PC Digital Deluxe Edition does not include a 72 hour head start, which would have essentially made the game’s release date July 31st," Larian said in a community update on Wednesday. Larian said that bumping up its release date "came with a few complexities that we didn't manage to communicate very well" and that "a 72 hour head start on PC wouldn't have been plausible."
Reading between the lines, I suspect Larian is going to be frantically working on Baldur's Gate 3 up to the very last second. Back in February, Larian announced that it would be bringing BG3 out of early access on August 31. Then, just two weeks later, Bethesda dropped the news that Starfield was coming on September 6. That must've been a major "sheeeeeeeeeeit" moment for Larian. If the studio wasn't absolutely nose to the grindstone to make the new August 3 date, the PS5 version probably wouldn't be coming a whole month later.
It may be a bit disappointing not to get that 72 hour head start on PC, but depending on how you look at it, PC players are actually getting a 34 day head start. Or, heck, a three year head start, if you include the early access launch.
Larian has reiterated that if you buy the early access version of Baldur's Gate 3 on PC anytime before the full release, you'll be granted access to everything that comes with pre-ordering the Digital Deluxe edition:
- Divinity Bard Song Pack - Astound audiences by performing this special set of new songs from the Divinity series
- Paintings from Rivellon - Discover a new collection of paintings across the Forgotten Realms
- Adventurer's Pouch - Receive a collection of camp supplies and potions to help get your journey started
- Digital OST - Enjoy the music of Baldur's Gate 3 from composer Borislav Slavov
- Digital Artbook - Explore the art and design of Baldur's Gate 3 in this digital artbook, written by Larian
- Digital Character Sheets - Peruse a set of four-page D&D character sheets for each Baldur's Gate 3 origin character
With just a few weeks to go before release, though, the studio doesn't recommend playing the early access build at this point. "We’re recommending that players don’t buy the Early Access version of Baldur's Gate 3 with a view to play through that content, partly because it’s out of date but mostly because we’re so close to launch and want to make it very clear that saves in the Early Access version will not transfer into the final game," Larian wrote in yesterday's community update.