Larian boss says Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t “strike fear in the hearts of AAA developers,” reckons The Witcher 4 and GTA 6 “can dwarf what we’ve been doing”

Larian studio head Swen Vincke is pushing back against the notion that other AAA developers are intimidated by the ambitious scope of Baldur’s Gate 3.

In an interview with Game Pressure, it’s suggested that AAA studios are fearful of Baldur’s Gate 3’s success. “I don’t think we strike fear in the hearts of AAA developers,” Vincke responds. “I don’t think that’s true.”

This seems to be partly in response to a July 2023 tweet thread in which Strange Scaffold CEO Xalavier Nelson Jr. sought to temper expectations for fans who’d been expecting Baldur’s Gate 3 to set a new standard for RPGs. 

In those tweets, Nelson Jr. called Baldur’s Gate 3 an “anomaly” of greatness that benefited from a massive studio with direct experience with D&D RPGs, as well as a sturdy technical foundation and a successful Early Access run. Vincke says the response to those posts was “overblown” and reckons there are plenty of upcoming games that’ll be bigger than Baldur’s Gate 3.

“Yeah, I saw that conversation,” Vincke said. “It was ripped out of context, because we talked to Xalavier. He’s a very nice guy. And of course, you shouldn’t expect from somebody who has an indie budget that they’re gonna make a big AAA, cinematic expansive RPG. But you can rest assured. You guys have Witcher 4 coming. I’m sure that will be fantastic. You are going to see a whole bunch of other games that are going to be very huge. Like GTA 6. That’s also going to be massive and expensive. They can dwarf what we’ve been doing.”

If we’re talking strictly budget, Vincke is absolutely right in saying both The Witcher 4 and GTA 6 will be significantly bigger than Baldur’s Gate 3, which had a reported budget of around $100 million. By contrast, Cyberpunk 2077 reportedly cost more than $400 million to make while GTA 6 is expected to be one of the most expensive games ever made with an eye-watering estimated budget of around $2 billion.

What makes Baldur’s Gate 3 such a generational achievement isn’t its budget, but rather what it was able to achieve, especially within these financial constraints. It remains to be seen whether any of the big new games on the horizon are able to outdo the scale of Baldur’s Gate 3’s worldbuilding, storytelling, or character building. It’s a tall order, but games are always improving. 

If you like Baldur’s Gate 3, you should play one of BioWare’s best-ever choice-driven sci-fi RPGs.

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