Baldur's Gate 3 on track to become Ghent-based Larian Studios' biggest hit yet

Gamers around the world will be glued to their screens as the long-awaited Baldur's Gate 3 is finally released today. This old-school role-playing game (RPG) is one of the most anticipated games of 2023 and has been created by none other than Larian Studios, a video game developer based in Ghent. 

Larian Studios has been making games since 1996, when it was founded by CEO Swen Vincke. Over the years, their games have grown in size and scope. The Ghent-based developer first achieved mass appeal with the game Divinity: Original Sin (2014). The success of its sequel, Divinity: Original Sin 2 (2017) convinced Wizards of the Coast to hire them to work on Baldur's Gate 3.

An achievement not to be underestimated. Several high-profile developers have been pursuing the rights to the Baldur's Gate IPs for over a decade, including inXile CEO Brian Fargo and Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart.

© Larian Studios
© Larian Studios

High Expectations

The reverence these developers have for the franchise shows just how important Baldur's Gate is to video game history. The original Baldur's Gate (1997) is considered the game that single-handedly saved the computer role-playing genre, while its sequel, Baldur's Gate 2 (2000), is widely regarded as one of the best RPGs ever made.

Swen Vincke and his team have to live up to the high expectations of the gaming community. That is why Larian decided to involve them in the development process. Baldur's Gate 3 was released in 2020 as an Early Access version: the most hardcore fans were able to buy and play the game before it was finished, and send their thoughts to the developers. Larian then used their feedback to improve the game.

This strategy worked for Divinity: Original Sin and seems to have worked again for Baldur's Gate 3. Early impressions seem to confirm that Larian has managed to bring Baldur's Gate into the modern era and create one of the best RPGs of the last decade.

© Larian Studios
© Larian Studios

Top Seller

Baldur's Gate 3 also seems to have paid off financially. While no official sales figures have been released, so many people flocked to the digital storefront Steam on launch day in 2020 that the store experienced technical problems. At the time, Vincke described the sales as "insane". In July, the CEO also revealed that the Early Access version had sold five times more copies than Divinity: Original Sin 2. 

With today's release of the full version, the RPG once again dominates the PC bestseller charts. While PC gamers are the main target audience, the game will also launch on PlayStation in September, which could boost sales even further. An Xbox version was originally planned but was delayed due to technical difficulties.

Larian Studios has made a name for itself with the Divinity games, which allowed it to open studios in Canada, Spain, Ireland and Kuala Lumpur. But Baldur's Gate 3 is well on its way to becoming Larian Studios' biggest hit to date. The RPG could truly establish the Flemish company as one of the leading developers in a global industry worth over $300 billion.


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