Larian Studios CEO Swen Vincke just announced on Twitter that Baldur’s Gate 3 will launch this year after all, thanks to a concession made by Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer: the Series S version won’t have split-screen co-op functionality, which was the technical hurdle mentioned by the developer as the cause for the delay.
Super happy to confirm that after meeting Phil Spencer yesterday, we’ve found a solution that allows us to bring Baldur’s Gate 3 to Xbox players this year still, something we’ve been working towards for quite some time. All improvements will be there, with split-screen coop on Series X. Series S will not feature split-screen coop, but will also include cross-save progression between Steam and Xbox Series.
On August 1st, Larian didn’t seem confident in releasing the game this year. Larian’s Director of Publishing Michael Douse told Xbox fans that there were several engineers working on implementing a seamless split-screen co-op feature on Xbox Series S, and it was the studio’s hope to provide an update on the progress before the end of 2023. Of course, now that Microsoft has agreed to forego the parity clause with the Xbox Series X version, the obstacle has been removed and the game can be released earlier.
In a Gamescom 2023 interview, Phil Spencer praised Baldur’s Gate 3, though he didn’t think it would necessarily set expectations for the upcoming launch of Starfield by Bethesda Game Studios.
Great game, but I don’t think it has anything to do with Starfield. Great games coming out are always good for the industry. First, congratulations to Larian and the team. I think it’s like what, a 97 rated game or something? As somebody who finished the original Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate 2, and all of the expansions, I’m a huge Baldur’s Gate fan. To see a team spend the time to make I think a true next iteration of a classic gaming franchise, it’s always just great for the industry.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is indeed setting records left and right, so Xbox fans will be delighted by the news. The game reportedly sold over 5.2 million units on Steam to date, and it is currently the top-ranked PC game of all time on Metacritic and OpenCritic. It earned a 9.5 out of 10 score in Wccftech’s review:
Before release, Baldur’s Gate 3 promised to be an extremely good cRPG, but Larian Studios exceeded all expectations by creating one of the best games of the past five years. The huge amount of possibilities given to the player, combined with excellent story and characters, solid turn-based combat and tons of replayability, make the journey to save your characters from the mind flayers’ tadpoles one that has to be experienced by all those who have even just a remote interest in role-playing games.
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