As a longtime Larian fan, it pleases me to no end to see the studio finally getting major, worldwide recognition for its RPG work. Baldur's Gate 3 is a success beyond what anyone could reasonably have imagined: Along with being a huge critical and commercial hit, it cleaned up at the Golden Joystick Awards last week and leads the pack (along with Alan Wake 2) in nominations for the upcoming Game Awards.
But even with all that going on, and no sign of interest in Baldur's Gate 3 dying down anytime soon, founder and CEO Swen Vincke is already talking about the studio's next game.
"This is a real honor, especially in a year with so many releases," Vincke tweeted about the plethora of TGA nominations. "Seeing our little 'niche rpg' make such waves is very motivating. I wish I could tell you about our next big game but this is really encouraging us to ensure it pushes many boundaries. I’m very excited about it."
It's a safe bet that Larian's next game will be an RPG: Aside from the spinoff strategy game Divinity: Dragon Commander, that's all it's done since dropping Divine Divinity in 2002. Another Baldur's Gate game isn't a bad bet, although I'd put my money on a new Divinity release: That's Larian's real baby, after all, and at this point I would imagine the studio has the freedom to do pretty much whatever it wants. But something brand new is also possible. An Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura reboot, perhaps? Probably not, but I know associate editor Ted Litchfield would absolutely lose his mind if Vincke dropped that bomb.
Whatever Larian has cooking, there's clearly excitement for it. Some followers have expressed hope for a Baldur's Gate 3 expansion or DLC, there are a few calls for Divinity 3, and one brave soul is asking for Baldur's Kart, to which I say, hey, if you're going to dream, you might as well dream big. Another interesting suggestion is Eye of the Beholder 4, and while a first-person dungeon crawler is a bit outside what Larian usually does, it's absolutely an idea I can get behind.
What's really interesting, though, is the number of people who seem happy to stand back and let Larian do whatever. That's not an unusual attitude for fans of any creator, especially when times are good, but Larian's long, consistent history in RPG development lends a sturdier aura of sincerity to the responses. Larian's next game may not be a surprise world-beater like Baldur's Gate 3 (although fingers crossed that it will be) but there's justifiable confidence that it will be deep, complex, and surprising.
Alas, it will also probably be a long time coming. It was six years between the release of Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Baldur's Gate 3 (half of which was spent in early access) and given that Larian will likely have its hands at least partly full with Baldur's Gate 3 for a good while yet, I would expect at least that long before the new game arrives—although hopefully we'll at least find out what it is in less time than that.
In the meantime, if Baldur's Gate 3 is your first time with a Larian RPG and you're looking for more, Divinity: Original Sin and D:OS2 are both excellent (if somewhat less oversexed by comparison), and if retro gaming is more your thing, Divine Divinity (which even Vincke thought was a ridiculous name) and the sequel Beyond Divinity remain remarkable examples of the genre too.