Baldur's Gate 3's director scrapped its DLC, and the reaction of Larian devs shows it was the right call: "I saw so many elated faces"

 Baldur's Gate 3.
Baldur's Gate 3.
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Baldur's Gate 3's developer was working on DLC, and then scrapped it because it felt more obligatory than an actual passion.

At a recent Game Developer's Conference talk given by Baldur's Gate 3 director Swen Vincke, the developer touched on the future of Baldur's Gate 3. While firstly revealing that Baldur's Gate 4 isn't on the cards, because Larian is done with the franchise after Baldur's Gate 3, Vincke revealed that DLC was initially in development for the latest game in the series as recently as December 2023.

"You could see the team was doing it because everyone felt like we had to do it, but it wasn’t really coming from the heart, and we’re very much a studio from the heart. It’s what gotten us into misery and it’s also been the reasons for our success," Vincke said in his GDC talk (thanks, IGN). Vincke and Larian took a break over the Christmas period, and when the director returned to work, he announced the change in plan.

"[I] came back and I told the team, 'You know we're not going to do it. We're going to shift around and we’re going to start doing these other things that we talked about, that we planned on doing before we started on BG3,'" the Baldur's Gate 3 director revealed. "Those were always the plans for afterward, we have two games that we want to make, and we have lots of concepts. So let’s just have closure on BG3, it's been great. We've done our job. It's a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. So let's pass the torch to another studio to pick up this incredible legacy."

Along that line, Vincke also revealed elsewhere in his talk that the future of the Baldur's Gate games are entirely up to publisher Wizards of the Coast. Larian is a company of "big ideas," he added, and not the sort of company that's geared to tackle projects like expansions or DLC. To be fair to Vincke, when you look at Baldur's Gate 3 as it is, it's already a massive game, filled with near-endless branching story paths and outcomes.

Returning to the matter of the scrapped DLC, Vincke said he thought the staff at Larian would be angry with him, because he simply couldn't muster the energy required to make the DLC. "I saw so many elated faces, which I didn’t expect, and I could tell they shared the same feelings, so we were all aligned with one another. And I've had so many developers come to me after and say, 'Thank god,'" Vincke further added.

"I'm always the one where it starts with the initial idea and then I give it to the team and they start iterating it and they turn it into something much better. During BG3 I pitched to them what the next game would be…If I see they're excited, I'll say, 'Okay let’s do that.' If they're not, it's back to the drawing board," Vincke added. "So they were very excited about a couple of the things we were planning on doing. Then the pivot to start doing BG3 DLC was expected because it’s what you do…We didn't have any antagonism against BG4 or DLC, but the heart wasn't there. It was more routine work than actually being excited. Now we have the excitement back in the room and that’s a big important thing."

Right now we have absolutely no clue what Larian could potentially be working on, now that it's done with the Dungeons & Dragons game series. We do know, however, that Vincke has "figured out" the first act of the studio's next project, whatever game that ends up being. It's likely that we won't see or hear anything of this next game for a fair few years, though.

Hasbro exec says Baldur's Gate 3 "proved for us that people really wanted great D&D games," supports Larian's plan to "take the time we need."