Obsidian And inXile Vied For Baldur's Gate III Rights Alongside Larian Studios

Published: June 19, 2019 8:00 PM /


Obsidian And inXile Vied For Baldur's Gate III Rights Alongside Larian Studios

Baldur's Gate III was first teased by Larian Studios, then officially announced as one of Google Stadia's launch titles, and finally, a few more details were shared during the PC Gaming Show at E3 2019. While we've always known that it's been a highly sought after license for a while since Baldur's Gate II, most of us probably didn't expect that both Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment competed for the rights, both featuring alumni from Black Isle Studios. Black Isle Studios was a division of Interplay and acted as the publisher of Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II, with BioWare as the developer. In fact, one of the games canceled by Interplay before shutting down Black Isle Studios was Baldur's Gate III: The Black Hound. This canceled game has been widely documented.

According to a report from IGN, inXile CEO Brian Fargo talked about his attempts to secure the license during E3 2019.

I love that title. You know, both me and [Obsidian CEO] Feargus [Urquhart] were chasing that for years. [Larian CEO] Swen [Vincke] too. All of us, for a decade. After I left Interplay, it was the first thing I went for. I got very, very close at one point. I had the financing all lined up and then Atari got into trouble... Feargus had a better inside track than I did and he wasn't able to do it. And then Larian ended up doing it, which was a great choice by the way. It was a great choice. [But] we all tried for it.
Fargo also had some vague memories of his nearly successful pitch.
We put some thought into the plot design, I remember. It's been over 15 years. All I remember is the [player character] was being persecuted. Everything was going bad and they were blaming the protagonist and you had to clear your name.
Microsoft bought both Obsidian and inXile last November, and both studios showed up at the Xbox E3 2019 conference with new trailers for their upcoming titles The Outer Worlds and Wasteland 3, so they're probably not too disappointed that the license went to Larian Studios. It's very likely that following the enormous commercial and critical success of Divinity: Original Sin II (Our Review), Wizards of the Coast decided to go with Larian, betting on the studio's capacity to revitalize the party-based classic RPG with the Dungeons & Dragons license.

Do you wish either Obsidian or inXile had the license instead of Larian? How do you imagine Baldur's Gate III made by those studios? Let us know in the comments below!

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Richard Costa
| Staff Writer

Hack for hire, indentured egghead, maverick thoughtcriminal. Mainly interested in Western RPGs, first-person immersion, turn-based tactics, point-and-… More about Richard