Larian Studios is shifting its upcoming RPG Baldur’s Gate 3’s release around a bit, and that means good and bad news depending on if you were planning on playing the game on PC or PlayStation 5.
The RPG, a follow-up to BioWare’s Dungeons & Dragons-inspired series of the late ‘90s and early 2000s, was originally set to leave Early Access and become a real video game on August 31. Now, however, the PlayStation 5 version has been pushed back a week to September 6. The trade-off is the PC version is launching almost a full month early on August 3.
In an interview with Kotaku, Larian founder Swen Vincke said that the decision to move the PC version up by several weeks was because early August seemed a better time to put the game out to PC players, rather than holding it until the console version is also ready. When looking at the stacked 2023 release calendar, Vincke said pushing it forward to August 3 made sense because it wouldn’t be brushing up against other September RPGs like the upcoming sci-fi open-world RPG Starfield, and the Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty expansion.
Baldur’s Gate 3 needs to stand out in a crowded field
“We wanted to same-ship, and then when we realized that it wasn’t going to happen we started looking at what was possible to release it,” Vincke told Kotaku. “Then we saw that it was a very busy year, with Zelda, with Diablo, and Starfield, with Cyberpunk, and then there’s Final Fantasy—so we started looking ‘okay, well, what’s the good spot when people will be able to play and they’re not going to be fighting for attention?’ We have this game essentially ready to use on PC. So August 3 looked like a good one. So that’s why we picked that one.”
As for the console versions, Vincke explained that Larian’s priority is to reach a stable 60 FPS framerate, which is why the PS5 version will launch a month later, and the Xbox Series X/S version is still in the works.
“PS5, we want to hit that 60 FPS, we’re very close to reaching that,” Vincke said.
So we wanted some extra time. It also takes some time to go through submissions. And so that’s how that came to be. On Xbox we need a bit more time. There’s different requirements there. But we’re hitting those too, it just it’s gonna take a little bit of extra time.”
When Baldur’s Gate 3 was originally announced for PlayStation 5, it was notably not confirmed for Xbox Series X/S, which prompted Larian to release a statement as to why. Turns out, the studio didn’t have any kind of exclusivity deal, it was just having trouble getting the game’s splitscreen co-op to work on the less-powerful Xbox Series S. As of right now, the Xbox version still doesn’t have a release date, but Vincke told Kotaku the porting process is still ongoing.
“On Xbox, it’s a different platform, it has, as you know, there’s two platforms really,” Vincke said. “And so we have to see where we ended up. And the team is committed to working on it, it has for a long time already. So they’re going bit by bit, you know, like, you tear down one performance barrier and go to the next one.
“So it’s just a matter of time. It just requires work. It’s development. And sometimes you have some setbacks, and sometimes you go forward. Our preference would have been to same-ship everything. But yeah, it’s in certain cases, you just have to say like, this is going to take a little bit more work than we wanted it to.”
As for how Microsoft feels about not getting the game on its system at the same time as its competitor, Vincke said the Xbox manufacturer has “been great,” and “supported” the studio.
Baldur’s Gate 3 has been in Early Access since 2020 and has been receiving periodic updates and overhauls over the past three years. Naturally, it has had some bugginess and missing features in that time, but it’s shown a lot of promise in a year already stacked with big RPGs.