Larian CEO reveals the studio 'had to do a bit on crunch' on Baldur's Gate 3, but it was 'certainly less' than previous projects it has worked on

Swen Vincke
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Larian Studios' CEO Swen Vincke has revealed the developer had to do "a bit of crunch" to finish its beloved RPG Baldur's Gate 3, but the amount was "certainly less" than the studio has done on previous projects.

As reported by GamesRadar, Vincke was queried about crunch during a Q&A session following a talk he gave at the Digital Dragons conference in Poland last week. "We didn't overly crunch," Vincke said in his response. "But we did have to do a bit of crunch, and I think, to be honest, you will always have a little bit when you're trying to finish something, especially when there's so much complexity that needs to be brought together."

Although some overtime was required to get Baldur's gate 3 out of the door, Vincke emphasised that the extent of crunch was "certainly less on BG3 than we did in the past". He pointed to various initiatives the company had taken to minimise the amount of crunch involved in making the game, such as having multiple studios positioned around the globe. This ensured the project had round-the-clock coverage, helping to reduce the need to address unexpected problems outside of work hours.

Nonetheless, Vincke admitted that "It would be a lie to say that we didn't [crunch]", and that some sustained periods of paid overtime were needed to complete the project. But he stressed offices were rarely occupied beyond 8pm at night, and that employees worked weekends "very, very, very rarely".

The question about crunch was asked in reaction to Vincke dissecting the challenges faced when bringing together Baldur's Gate 3's many, many RPG threads. During his talk on the subject, Vincke explained how at one point the complexity of the game gave rise to concerns that it would be "impossible to finish it". But Larian refused to compromise on either the scope or detail of the RPG. Instead, the studio was reorganised to give individual teams more say in the quality control on its parts of the game. "We just said 'no', the game needs these things, so we're going to be doing this," Vincke explained. "We need to create breathing space to get the game to the quality level that it's going to need because otherwise, it's just not going to work out."

It seems the lessons Larian learned from making Baldur's Gate 3 will be applied to the two new projects it has begun work on. Last week, the company announced it is opening a seventh studio in Warsaw to help out with these two new games. "Our plan for the Polish studio is very simple," Vincke said in a press release. "Build a team that can work on our two—very ambitious—new RPGs and enjoy the fruits of their labour."