Following up 'one of the greatest RPGs of all time' had Baldur's Gate 3 devs in a cold sweat: 'A great honour and a lot of pressure'

Shadowheart looks very, very distraught in Baldur's Gate 3.
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

It's become a running joke that any studio that picks up where Larian left off with Baldur's Gate is pretty much doomed. Baldur's Gate 3 is already a classic, one of those games we'll look back in a decade or two the same way we now look at the great titans of '90s and mid-2000s game development.

But take heart, hypothetical future Baldur's Gate 4 developer: Larian once felt like it was in the exact same position.

Speaking to PLAY Magazine (via GamesRadar), BG3 world building director Farhang Namdar revealed that the thought of making a sequel to BioWare's Baldur's Gate 2 once had Larian devs quaking in their boots. "I remember the day Swen [Vincke] told me that our next project would be BG3. I literally went from joy to anxiety in a couple of seconds."

Which is understandable. Before Baldur's Gate 3 took up permanent residence in so much of our collective consciousness, Baldur's Gate 2 was seemingly unsurpassable: A true classic that hadn't seen a sequel in decades and was unequivocally one of the best games of all time. Imagine being told you had to come up with a sequel for it. Why, it'd be like having to come up with a sequel to Baldur's Gate 3.

Namdar says Larian staff had joked about making a Baldur's Gate sequel "frequently back in the days," which meant the news from Vincke was also a "dream come true." It was both "a great honour and a lot of pressure to develop the next instalment of this groundbreaking franchise.

"We just knew we had to make something unique to fulfil our commitment to the fans," said Namdar, even if "it wasn’t easy following up on what is widely regarded as one of the greatest RPGs of all time."

I'll go out on a limb and say they pulled it off. Jitters or no, Larian eventually went on to put out a game that made snapping up our Game of the Year 2023 award look downright easy: It was on so many staff members' voting sheets it was a little comical. So hey, perhaps there's hope yet for the poor devs that have to carry the torch of the series' future.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.