During a panel at PAX East, the first gameplay from the much-anticipated Baldur’s Gate 3 was revealed by developer Larian Studios, which is best known for the acclaimed Divinity: Original Sin and its sequel. Prior to this showcase at PAX, we were able to sit down with Larian creative director Swen Wincke to discuss the challenges of creating the game, working with Wizards of the Coast, and much more. Read on for our full chat and check out our breakdown of the new intro cinematic.
Mike Mahardy: I know Larian has been pursuing the Baldur’s Gate license for a while now. Is it true that Divinity: Original Sin 2 was kind of like a tryout for Wizards of the Coast? A way for you to say, “Hey, we can handle this license?”
Swen Wincke, Creative Director: I approached them after Divinity: Original Sin (DOS 1). I said, “You should let us make Baldur’s Gate 3. We have a lot of Dungeons and Dragons fans in the office. It’s something that would really motivate them.” They said no, then. Then we were working on DOS 2. In between, I kept on bumping into Nate Stewart at Dungeons and Dragons. He asked me, “What game would you make actually?” I said, “This is what I would make.” He said, “Okay, all right, that’s kind of cool.” But yeah, at the time, the stars were not aligned.
I then got a phone call from him in December before DOS 2 released – so that was in 2016. He said, “Do you still want to do this?” I said, “Yes, I am actually really interested in still doing this.” He says, “Fly over to Seattle.” I fly over Seattle and went to an obscure bar with him. There, he showed me three PowerPoints, which contained everything I’d talked about all this time. He said, “I’ll present this to the board of Hasbro next week. Do you agree?” I said, “Yes.” Then six months later we signed the agreement. We were still working on DOS 2 back then.
Mike: What had changed, with the green light happening then? Was it just the ongoing conversation you were having?
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