In hindsight, the popularity of Dungeons & Dragons thanks to the booming podcast scene, The Legend of Vox Machina, and the IP's latest film, are all valid explanations for the record smashing success Baldur's Gate III has seen since its full 1.0 launch.
What's more interesting beyond the IP recognition selling the game, or even the pedigree of the team at Larian Studios last game with Divinity Original Sin II, is the method in which they made the game that went on to dethrone popular games like APEX Legends on steam.
Early access is not a new idea, we've seen it come and go as a lucrative way to expand out a game for ages now. The first game I remember playing that wasn't officially "out" was Minecraft, and more recently we've seen games like Fortnite, and Hades follow this path to shipping a critically acclaimed game.
Baldur's Gate III is just the latest in a series of games that had the means of production and time warranted to take this approach in crafting a rich, expansive RPG experience fine tuned to player feedback ever since it became available through early access years ago.
So today we look at what's now a trend, where a high quality game developed through early access is able to launch to near universal acclaim without massive, game breaking issues as we've seen with several other AAA launches this year alone.
What's stopping other giant franchises from attempting their own early access AAA title? Is a future where AAA or AAAA games that take five or more years to develop sustainable? What's the harm of letting the biggest fans in early to help steer the ship?
While not a viable approach for every studio, or every game, it seems like Baldur's Gate III has proven many things about modern AAA gaming from showing viability of a genre, to showcasing just how practical this method of development can be.