Baldur’s Gate III: “We’re Totally Thinking Kickstarter”

By Adam Smith on March 20th, 2012 at 10:02 am.

you might end up seeing a lot of this image over the next few months. I'll draw a three next to it if that helps.

Oh boy. Here’s my theory – throughout the year there will be numerous Kickstarter projects that people become excited about, pledge money to and then look forward to. Fatigue will set in due to the number of awesome concepts being put forward by wonderful people, but it isn’t fatigue alone that will end this fascination. My belief is that one day the perfect Platonic ideal of the Kickstarter project will appear, a game desired so long and so hard by so many that all money will be absorbed by it. In an interview with Gamespy, Beamdog say that the upcoming enhanced Baldur’s Gate games may open up the possibility for their “long-term goal”. Baldur’s Gate III.

“Baldur’s Gate 3 has been our long term goal. We have a lot of things to put in place before such a project can be launched. So currently there is no such project but that’s the one we want to do. Our thoughts have been that Enhanced Edition for BG I and II just make sense before there’s any Baldur’s Gate III.”

We’re totally thinking Kickstarter. It just makes so much sense and solves so many problems. I think what Brian [Fargo] is doing with Wasteland is very interesting.”

In case you haven’t been keeping up, what Brian Fargo is doing with Wasteland is raising…let me just check here…$1,402,971 with 28 days left to go. Not a bad pile of beans that. By the end, no one will even notice if he buys a couple of sports cars with the takings.

Cameron Tofer of Beamdog and Overhaul, the team working on the Enhanced Editions, also had this to say about those projects:

“I think the new RPGs are great, but I don’t think they should be a replacement for classic strategic in-depth RPGs like Baldur’s Gate. I think that’s what makes Enhanced so relevant: Baldur’s Gate hasn’t been replaced.”

We’ve been adding side stories, stories to tie things together, unfinished stories. As far as new types of abilities, we have more announcements coming.”

I await the chance to replay with extras with no small degree of anticipation but as for this Baldur’s Gate III Kickstarter business? Too soon, chaps, too soon. Let’s have another six months of frenzied excitement before you actually start the thing up, so we can see what other ideas we can promise our earnings to. Or perhaps Baldur’s Gate III isn’t the uber-Kickstarter at all. Maybe that’s the new Alpha Centauri, TIE Fighter, Sims Expansion Pack or Planescape: Tormentier? Or maybe something else entirely?

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160 Comments »

  1. MOKKA says:

    I might be a little bit cynical but I don’t want some people screwing around with my favourite game of all time. This stuff always goes wrong.

    • Choca says:

      Yeah, the real question definitely seems to be : do we need a Baldur’s Gate III ?

      • MrMud says:

        When BIS was making it under the name Project Jefferson, the answer to that question was a resounding “YES!”.
        These guys are still unproven with this studio as far as I am concerned.

      • sneetch says:

        Do we need an all new top-down, party RPG, set around Baldur’s Gate? If they make a good job of rejigging BG I’d go with yes.

        • Choca says:

          “An all new top-down, party RPG, set around Baldur’s Gate” doesn’t have to be Baldur’s Gate III. You don’t even set foot in the city in the second game of the series.

          Baldur’s Gate’s story ended with Throne of Bhaal, I’d rather they did not force a sequel coming out of nowhere on me.

          • Snidesworth says:

            Agreed. I’d love another game in the style and spirit of Baldur’s Gate, but a direct sequel? They’re better off crafting a new narrative and cast of characters than digging up ones that were put to rest over a decade ago.

          • sneetch says:

            Stupid comment system ate my comment.

            Anyway, as I said in the eaten comment, no-one is forcing anything on anyone. Regardless, I don’t think they said anything about a direct sequel, they could just set it in and around Baldur’s Gate a few years after the end of Throne of Bhaal with an entirely new plot and antagonist and new characters but using the same NPCs, engine and general setting.

            BG III would be an entirely appropriate name, letting people know that they games are tied together and related (same engine, similar gameplay and setting, shared NPCs).

            Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2 weren’t particularly related plot wise, neither were Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2.

          • manveruppd says:

            Hmm… I *suppose* if it shared some locations and NPCs it could still be called “Baldur’s Gate III” even though the protagonist’s personal story ended in Throne of Bhaal… I mean it wouldn’t be quite the same but if we get more of the same style of combat and amusing quips by Minsc it would be good enough. Thing is though, would you trust a new, unproven studio to handle an IP developed by Black Isle and Bioware? Writers with their talent don’t grow on trees!

          • cassus says:

            Not naming it Baldurs Gate III would be a mistake from a business perspective. I know lots of people around my age (early-mid 30s) who had NO idea that Dragon Age was the spiritual successor to the BG games. They had heard of Dragon Age, but never really looked into it. If Baldurs Gate III becomes a spiritual successor instead of a sequel, let’s say it’s called Generic Fantasy Game: Path of the Sorcerer… Who is going to buy that? A: People my age won’t know about the lineage. B: people in their teens/early 20s have heard legends told of the glory of baldurs gate, but having never played it, and not knowing GFG:POTS is a spiritual successor…. You get the idea.
            More tricky than any of the naming and story continuum etc… Would they make it a 2nd Edition D&D game? Would they even get the D&D License?

        • SirDimos says:

          Am I the only one who would prefer a visual style more like Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment (i.e. hand-drawn 2d-looking graphics) as opposed to a Neverwinter Nights or DA:Origins style?

          When you try high quality 3d models, the blemishes and imperfections stand out much more easily. Not to mention the graphical style ages faster. I’d much rather they take a hand-crafted 2d approach taking the time to make the environments and characters really look good, as opposed to cramming as many polygons down a model’s throat as they can in an attempt to make it look nice.

          • Optimaximal says:

            Firstly, hand-drawn sprites are not so hot for large developments because they take ages to make properly and also a huge amount of storage space compared to 3D models as you have hundreds of sprites for each angle the character is visible from etc.

            Secondly, you’ll probably find that the 2D sprites are just sequenced animations from a 3D render. They definitely were in Torment.

          • MrMud says:

            But the hand painted backgrounds in the IE games are gorgeous, much better than any subsequent game.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            I agree with the spirit of your comment. I have always preferred the look and feel and general simplicity when it comes to actually playing the game of the old Infinity Engine games over NWN. None of the NWN games have felt quite right to me.

          • Brun says:

            I don’t think the party-based RPG works well in a third-person 3D perspective. I think there’s plenty of room, however, for use of 3D in the style of Diablo III or Torchlight – that is, maintaining the top-down perspective but using 3D models and environments.

          • kalelovil says:

            I’d imagine it would go 2.5D, keeping the beautifully drawn background images but using a fully 3D engine with modern effects and 3D models for things like characters on top of that.
            Like Temple of Elemental Evil and FOnline, for example.

            It also makes things will visually depicting all sorts of equipment the characters are wearing a lot easier as well.

          • CitizenDickbag says:

            You guys have some incredible nostalgia-vision going on; Literally all the art assets in the IE games were prerendered 3D, from the character sprites to the backgrounds. “Hand-painted?” Really? http://i.imgur.com/4khhs.jpg Does that look hand-painted to you?

      • InternetBatman says:

        We don’t need it. It’s fine as it is. Although, if it refers to a completely different adventure set in the city of Baldur’s Gate that might be fine. I have no idea how they can navigate the absolute mess of ownership rights anyways.

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          Big Murray says:

          Atari apparently owns the license these days … and Beamdog already have a working relationship with them, so the licensing rights issue might not be as bad as you think.

    • Network Crayon says:

      Oh Glad im not alone here :D

      • DiTH says:

        OFC you are not alone.Dont screw with our perfect games :<.
        I helped double fine adventure and wasteland but they were from developers that i respect and know how to do the games they asked money for.I dont see these guys knowing anything about BG.Unless BW asks for my money for BG3 im not giving money to anyone.Maybe Obsidian also :P

        • Brun says:

          Given BioWare’s recent track record they would be the LAST people to whom I’d want to give money for a new Baldur’s Gate game.

          • NRDubZ says:

            I totally agree here, Bioware has gone in a completely different direction and in turn has lost touch with it’s original franchises. However after completely re-making the originals and having access to all the original work and code, who is to say that Beamdog (also ran by ex-bioware staff) wouldn’t be in the perfect position to make a good and proper BG3? Even if it was terrible it wouldn’t ruin how I felt about the first 2 so if this thing gets to kickstarter …I will pledge twice!

    • apocraphyn says:

      Screw cynicism! “Make way evil! I’m armed to the teeth and packing a hamster!”

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      Bluerps says:

      Nah, I don’t see the danger here. The worst that could happen is that they make a totally crappy game. In that case, one would simply state what a shame that is, and then install the original games.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      See also: Terminator 3, The Godfather Part 3, Scream 3, Saw 3.

      • Grygus says:

        If Baldur’s Gate III is as good as The Godfather III (relatively speaking,) you’re still looking at a Metacritic score of 80-85. Perhaps disappointing, but hardly a disaster.

    • Werthead says:

      Do you mean the ‘new stuff’ they’re putting in BG1 and 2?

      My understanding is that the copyright situation regarding the BG name is complex. BioWare no longer have any say in the matter. Interplay (or The Company Currently Known As Interplay) has reprint/re-release rights for the existing games. Atari has the licence to make new BG games (inheriting the rights from Interplay). Wizards of the Coast have regained the video game D&D and Forgotten Realms rights, so any future BG games using the same name require Atari and WotC to work together (although note that WotC could licence another company to make a top-down RPG set in Baldur’s Gate and call it something totally different and it would be fine).

      The upshot of this is that Interplay would have to get a slice of the cake if BG1+2 were simply re-released, even with added shiny. New content has to be added to them to make them ‘new games’ from a copyright point of view. Or so I understand it.

      • MOKKA says:

        I think I mean both of it, the new stuff they’re putting into those remakes, as well as this Baldur’s Gate III crap.

        I can help but think about how George Lucas ruined Star Wars (both the franchise and the original movies) over the last two decades by trying to “enhance” the original stuff. For me the whole Baldur’s Gate Series was just perfect. I don’t need additional quests, stories and all of the other shenanigans those guys are talking about. For me this looks like a cheap way to grab money, which wouldn’t be bad, if it wouldn’t also destroy the original experience at the same time. I know that there’s GoG and stuff like that, where you could still get the original titles, but I think those guys don’t have the right to simply toy around with something which isn’t their creation.

        Has there ever been a book been ‘enhanced’ by some people other then the original author after it got published? I can’t think of one and I’m sure there would’ve been a huge outcry about this.
        So why do we need to do this with games and more then that, why do we (the customers) accept this kind of behaviour?
        This whole talk about a “Baldur’s Gate III” also just sounds like a cheap way to capitalise off of a known franchise.

        I’m probably very paranoid on this topic, and most of my arguments aren’t very rational, so don’t take my concernes too seriously. As always with this kind of stuff, I just hope that I’m wrong.

        • boyspud says:

          A book that was edited by others after it was released by the original author? How about…
          The Bible
          Probably a terrible comparison (or an apt comparison depending on your point of view)

        • D3xter says:

          Because books don’t lose “resolution” over time and don’t really profit from printing at much higher resolutions and detail.
          Just as much as I like old movies making it onto BluRay to watch them in glorious High Resolution I would totally like if they can upres all the assets from Baldur’s Gate, improve the UI to more modern times and and still fix remaining bugs and while they’re at it they both worked on the Original so they might as well try to fix some of the quests and questlines (Twisted Rune anyone?) that didn’t quite make it into the finished product because of time constraints, also according to Trent you can play it without any of the stuff: “You will be able to play only the old content if you wish. The new content can be ignored #butwhywhywhy?”

        • Werthead says:

          I get what you’re saying, but there are multiple people at Beamdog who worked on the BALDUR’S GATE games. The head of Beamdog was creative directory on NEVERWINTER NIGHTS as well, IIRC. Whether that gives them the right to change stuff is debatable, but it’s not like a completely new team totally unreleated to the original on board (as Bethesda did with FALLOUT 3).

          The difference here is that Interplay are still able to sell the originals (soon on Steam as well, apparently), so if the new changes are too outrageous, you can ignore them.

        • thelongshot says:

          Funny, but no one seems to have a problem with the mod community. Fans making modifications: OK. Company making modifications: concern. I don’t get it.

          In any case, unlike Lucas’ films, you can still buy the originals and will still be able to once this comes out.

          • Grygus says:

            I think that’s because mods feel optional but developer work feels like canon. You’re more likely to protest a change included in a patch, for example.

      • D3xter says:

        Interplay (whatever is left of it) ain’t involved in the Remakes so I don’t think they have any rights to those: http://tbreak.com/megamers/files/bgannounce-430×891.jpg
        ATARI on the other hand is and would also likely be required for a Baldur’s Gate 3. Although WotC got the “Digital Rights” to D&D back and could hand out the rights to do any other games yes. Although it is questionable what kind of Restrictions regarding Rules and the world etc. they would impose upon any new project. They might “soften that up” a bit with the new 5th Edition that supposedly includes elements from all past ones too.

        • Werthead says:

          Yup. But as Interplay have ‘reprint’ rights to the BG games, then changes have to be made to turn the Enhanced Editions into effectively ‘new games’ (from a copyright standpoint), otherwise Interplay would be able to take a slice from whatever profits are made from the Enhanced Editions. I imagine this has already been sorted out behind the scenes (either that or Interplay will be calling their lawyers right around now).

          • Wizardry says:

            Do they? Then how come I have both a Baldur’s Gate collection and Icewind Dale collection re-release that features the Atari logo but not the Interplay one? Interplay don’t have any rights to these games these days. They’ve all been inherited by Atari. It’s exactly the same as when Interplay obtained the rights to the the D&D games published by SSI when SSI lost the license.

    • Lukasz says:

      I always had problem understanding that reasoning.

      If they f–k it up… how does it really affect you and baldur’s gate? It won’t make those games any worse, it won’t remove them from the market or anything like that. you will be completely unaffected.
      that goes for everything else of course. Alien movie, new remix of old songs…

      as long as it does not go lucas way and the old version is now a taboo and is being banned from circulation what it is the problem?

    • Ianuarius says:

      It’s your favorite game and they haven’t even released it yet?

  2. Network Crayon says:

    As much as I LOVE Baldur’s Gate. Nostalgia and Kickstarting old games, seems like a step towards stagnation in our video games.

    • Oof says:

      I know what you mean! We’ve been moving in so many new and exciting directions lately, and now this! ;(

      • Oof says:

        ^ sarcasm

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        FhnuZoag says:

        In the recent past there’s been a lot of cool ideas in games that I want to see followed up on. I’d love to see e.g. a RPG with the combat system of Frozen Synapse. And perhaps the time travel mechanics of Achron? And even in terms of world design, do I really care for the really kinda generic fantasy world of Faerun?

        I don’t really want to play more of Baldur’s Gate. I’ve only played the games recently and towards the end the system was really starting to wear out its welcome. I’d be happy to play a game that recaptures the spirit of the original games, but please, designers, show me your creativity.

        • InternetBatman says:

          If it was as hard as frozen synapse progress would be glacial.

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      jezcentral says:

      With an extended console generation and smart-phones, it looks like this is what is happening. Going backwards before we can go forwards?

      • hitnrun says:

        You might enjoy this.

        Short version: the progression of art has increasingly died in recent years owing to the Internet, and everything is remixes. It would be a bit crotchety except for who is saying it.

    • Pardoz says:

      Because nothing says “innovative breath of fresh air” like this year’s edition of Call of Manshoot: Company of Battlefield MCMXXVII or Sports Simulator LXVIV, right?

      • GiantRaven says:

        Because those are the only two games coming out this year, right?

    • Werthead says:

      I think that in the early 2000s gaming was moving in some interesting directions, but this was undercut by the arrival of the current generation consoles and the move of any big game into multi-tens-of-million-dollar budgets. Whilst gaming had always been a commercial exercise, up until roughly 2000 or so it was possible for a game to sell a moderate amount (a few tens of thousands of copies) and make the company a profit. The need now is for any big game to sell a million minimum in the first month or be judged a failure. That’s hurt the industry massively. That’s why entire genres, like space combat, have vanished altogether.

      Returning to the late 1990s/early 2000s paradigm and seeing if there’s a way of moving forwards again and returning variety to the games market seems a logical move. I don’t know if Kickstarter is the answer, but it’s certainly an avenue worth investigating.

    • paralipsis says:

      Progress doesn’t mean leaving a technique or style behind. Some films are still made in black and white. The Artist was a silent film and won the Best Picture Oscar. None of this means that films are stagnating. As art forms grow and expand in scope it means the older styles will likely become proportionately less common, but it doesn’t mean leaving them behind completely.

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        FhnuZoag says:

        There’s a difference between going back to old games to learn from them, and taking an old game and putting a ’3′ next to its name. I’d crowdfund the Artist. I would NEVER EVER crowdfund Citizen Kane 2.

  3. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    You would think they wouldn’t need crowdfunding for something called Baldurs Gate III.

    I still find it interesting that the most sucessful kickstarts atm are already big names. The big publishers, who would be the ones to fund established developers like them not five years ago, must be shitting their pants.

    • NathanH says:

      You wouldn’t need crowd funding to do something with that name BG3, but you would to do something correct with the name BG3.

    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      That seems to be the important thing, obv. The freedom that comes with independent funding. And with a project like this, upon release, there would be even more money waiting. All that funding could lead to tiredness in some users, though.

    • qd says:

      Re: publishers shitting their pants, if I recall correctly, Schafer said something along these lines when asked what he thought publishers would say about their Kickstarter success: “Oh, you raised a couple millions for your game? That’s cute, I just spent that on some small game’s marketing.”

    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      true, it might not be much if you have to pay a whole media corporation with it, or start greasing the gears of your marketing machine. but you could ask the above rep how much it would cost to reach minecraft levels of market attention/exposure, and then talk about mojangs marketing budget.

  4. G says:

    The thing is, Throne of Bhaal was a pretty conclusive ending for the saga. Is the enhanced edition of BG2 going to chop that off?

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      I’ve asked myself that too. What about ToB?

      Though you could still make a sequel to that. I mean, nobody says that the story has to involve the Lord of Murder or his offspring, just because the game is called Baldur’s Gate. Also, I think there are possibilities to continue from there. I mean, a mortal ascended to godhood (if we assume that as canonical ending) – I’m sure there are some good stories that could be told about what happened next.

    • Giant, fussy whingebag says:

      The Throne of Bhaal section of Baldur’s Gate was initially intended to be Baldur’s Gate III. Sadly, Interplay was already in decline at that stage. They cut a bunch of planned and unfinished content (I think a couple more Bhaalspawn and such…) and re-purposed it as an expansion to BG2 to end the saga.

      So… maybe they want to make it what it was supposed to be, originally? I really don’t see that they could conceivably tack anything more onto the end, and if they plan to they can piss right off.

    • Werthead says:

      Throne of Bhaal will be included with the enhanced version of BG2. Apparently they are not creating any new art/locations for the game, so any cut material restored to the game (which is possible, as some of the Beamdog people are ex-BioWare who worked on the BG games first time around) would have to use the existing locations only.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      As bad as ToB is, I can’t say I’d mind seeing them excise it before doing a real BG3.

      • hitnrun says:

        If you thought ToB was bad, you’re likely to think a 2012 replacement of it is much, much worse.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Gemberkoekje says:

    Kickstarter is becoming the new ‘Indie Bundle’…

    • Choca says:

      Yeah, indie devs have one thing in common with big ass publishers : whenever someone does something that works, they all jump on the bandwagon until that thing doesn’t work so well anymore.

    • Jams O'Donnell says:

      Oh ffs, I was about to post that very thing!

      At least I’m not the only one thinking that, though. :)

    • Hoaxfish says:

      We need to combine them… a kickstarted humble bundle… I shall call it “Hobos”

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      Lambchops says:

      I’d like to think that it leads to people being more discerning rather than the concept not working anymore.

      Only buy a bundle if you want the games, only support a Kickstarter if it’s a good idea made by someone who is likely to deliver the goods and so on.

      • qd says:

        I thought we were supposed to do that from the beginning.

      • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

        hasn’t quite set in for me, but you’re right. I’m still buying every HIB and indie royale out of loyalty and enthusiasm.

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      FhnuZoag says:

      The difference between Indie Bundle and Kickstarter is that to my knowledge, Kickstarter hasn’t actually *completed a game* yet, let alone delivered it to the buyers.

  6. Dominus says:

    I would pay to see a BG3 yet I’m not sure that Beamdog can deliver it at the expected quality.

  7. Renfield says:

    I think the crucible for a Kickstarter-funded (Kickstarted? Kickstartered?) BG3 will be what exactly the advertised extra content for the original two will amount to.

    If they nail the tone of the franchise, the rest is money.

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    Bluerps says:

    Fatigue is already setting in for me. The amount of money that I’m willing to spend on non-existent games is limited, and I’m already supporting four of them. I think that waiting a few months before opening the next big Kickstarter would be a really good idea.

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    Trenchdog says:

    Once upon a time there was this science fiction sub game called Archimedean Dynasty. It was by chance the first game I played on a computer with a dedicated graphics card, and I absolutely loved it. That would be one game that could be done better with the current technology!

    Subs like fighter planes, torpedo’s and a good story; what’s not to like…

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Same feelings about Sub Culture… but then the whole “flight” thing, whether in space, air, or underwater, is sorely under-represented at the moment. The nearest you’ll get is some of the vehicles in Modern Shooter games.

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        Trenchdog says:

        As this is the year of the Mech (which I also love), maybe next year will become the year of the flying/sinking mech-stuff. One cannot live without hope.

    • neolith says:

      Erm… Massive Development did what you suggest. Unfortunately they got carried away and created the two clusterfucks known as AquaNox I+II. Not pretty. Whoever made the decision to create these games the way they are should better be sitting in a dark room, weeping and asking for forgiveness…

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        Trenchdog says:

        You are totally right, though I deliberately tried to forget/ignore those games ;)

      • squareking says:

        I an currently 2 missions in with Aquanox 2.

        :(

  10. Angel Dust says:

    I don’t think this is a good idea at all. Beamdog should do this enchanced version thingee and then move onto something original, and small, like The Banner Saga guys are doing. Balder’s Gate III, apart from being wholly unnecessary, would be a far too large an undertaking for an unknown and I’m assuming, small team.

  11. Hoaxfish says:

    I can’t honestly say I’d be that interested. I’m not even sure what people want from BG3, except simple more of what BG2 brought… and didn’t the story of the Bhall Spawn/your character basically end with BG2 (+expansion). Same goes for Planescape… the end actually felt like a very good conclusion to the whole.

    The things on kickstarter I’m inclined to back “feel new”. Even though I backed Wasteland 2, that’s basically because I very much doubt they’re going to produce a game that feels like it would’ve been made a few years after the original (at the most basic stance, I’m expected somewhat better graphics than EGA limitations, or whichever it used).

    This kinda feels like they’ll take their work from BG1/2 enhance edition, then patch together a homebrew campaign and call it BG3. I’ll probably change my mind if the enhanced edition is really good, but I was never that fond of the originals compared to Planescape or Fallout (which both moved far away from FR’s cliche-mash).

  12. Svant says:

    No BG3 please. The story is done. Ended Finito. Make a spiritual BG3 with the same type of depth, story, combat, setting etc. But call it something else. A BG3 would have a convoluted story to fit the bhaal spawn storyline or it would have nothing to do with it whatsoever. Old characters wouldn’t be back etc.

    • sneetch says:

      Baldur’s Gate is just the name of the city though. So Baldur’s Gate III wouldn’t have to be directly related to the first two.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        I find it a bit too sly if they made “Baldur’s Gate 3″… and then just made it “in the same city/region”. It’s the same ballgame people play when they say “X is the spiritual successor of Y”, or even just rebooting it (as an FPS).

        It’s hype using the name, but cutting off everything else.

        If BG2 was unrelated to BG1, then I could probably go with it, but as it is, there’s a “sequence” which isn’t just about the geographical location of the story.

        • Jason Moyer says:

          That’s basically what Icewind Dale 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2 were, though (mostly unrelated sequel set in the same region).

          • Svant says:

            IWD are more like a combat spinoff from the BG games. Same setting but alot more linear and very combat heavy.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            I’m not saying I’m adverse to a series where the games just sort of aren’t that closely tied (e.g. Final Fantasy)… but ones which have already set a precendent of being “joined up” (BG1+exp+BG2+exp), suddenly becoming “unrelated” on the new game flips their own consistency.

          • Jason Moyer says:

            I kind of wish they had just used the subtitles for the last 2 games. It never made sense to me to call a game “Baldur’s Gate 2″ when it had nothing to do with Baldur’s Gate.

      • Unaco says:

        Then why use the name if it has nothing to do with the original saga? Oh yeah, because the name has a fan base attached to it, that they want.

        • Svant says:

          Yes and thats whats sucks. Just say its a game like Baldurs Gate and tadaa they get the fanbase without having to force a convoluted or stupid story to tie the games together.

      • Luke says:

        BG 2 wasn’t even set anywhere near Baldur’s Gate, though.

        At least the assorted NWN and IWD games were all actually set in/around Neverwinter and Icewind Dale, even if they weren’t really related to one another by the narrative.

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          FhnuZoag says:

          Did people actually *like* the Baldur’s Gate world, though? I thought it was very generic…

          • Svant says:

            No BG2 wasn’t set in Baldurs Gate, but it was a sequel with the same characters, storyline etc. Hence Baldurs Gate 2: Shadowns of Amn (set in Amn remeber?)

            Edit: The setting is Forgotten Realms, a very “cliche” fantasy world yes but I for one like the cliche fantasy worlds. Elves, dwarves, halflings, magic, dragons and quick brutal death.

          • Randomer says:

            Yes. The flavor and feel of the world was fantastic. Generic fantasy setting done extremely well = a fantastic setting.

      • alinos says:

        Yeah there were also 2 baldurs gate games on consoles. That from memory had nothing to do with the core series.

  13. SirDimos says:

    As much as I love the Baldur’s Gate series, I really hope they don’t continue the same storyline with Baldur’s Gate 3 – and I don’t think they will.

    If anything I could see the third installment either being a completely different storyline set in the area of Baldur’s Gate, or perhaps something of a prequel – like if you were to follow the story of Gorion leading up to his “retirment” in Candlekeep.

  14. Lobotomist says:

    I dig Kickstart projects. But they allready have budget for remastering BG. Why would they need more money.

    If they are making BG3 , lets see how BG2R fares…

  15. enobayram says:

    I’ll stop funding kickstarter game projects when the marketing departments start setting them up.

  16. mzlapq says:

    Bundle fatigue, Kickstarter fatigue… I predict that BY THE END OF THIS YEAR everyone will be FATIGUE FATIGUED!

  17. Silver says:

    Guys making DEAD STATE (also ones working on AoD) are also considering atm doing Kickstarter. They are a bit shy but eventually theyll make it I guess.”They dont have the financial security atm to fully commit to the game. Much is done already, that is their plus + bonus. I hope it all works out.

    SJ

  18. arctic.vampire says:

    I’ll admit it, a new Tie Figher?!

    YES PLEASE!

  19. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    Surely most of the money would go towards acquiring the rights? That won’t leave much for the actual game will it?

  20. BurningPet says:

    Ill donate to only two kickstarters:

    Chris sawyer Transport Tycoon 2(or 3, or whatever he wants to call it.

    Master of Magic 2.

    • Adam Smith says:

      This is a correct response.

      • MadTinkerer says:

        Except we already do have a few MoM successors. True, none of them quite live up to the standard of what the hardcore MoM fans generally want, but some of them come close. Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, for one.

    • Chris D says:

      I’d throw in for a Pathologic remake, in case the relevant people are thinking about it.

      • Lycan says:

        NOLF 3 please ! Why is there no love for those wonderful games ?

        I suggested to the GOG people that they add NOLF 1 and 2 to their catalogue but they just ignored me…

        (Admittedly, I use the term “suggested” in the blandest possible sense, in that the NOLF games were my choice of games to be added to their catalogue last year when they did that survey…)

  21. MiniMatt says:

    Perhaps it’s too much time spent in the Eve Market Discussions forum, but I can’t help thinking that the fatigue point of kickstarter will be the time somebody raises a million on the back of some screenshots, some early alpha code and a grand vision then thinks “meh, screw it, I’m a millionaire”.

    • Docslapper says:

      I’m perpetually amazed that Notch didn’t do this and actually delivered a workable Minecraft in the end (though how more workable and complete it might have been had he not suddenly become incredibly rich is open to question)

    • InternetBatman says:

      They leave themselves open to a class action lawsuit if they don’t deliver. I think the real point of fatigue will be people releasing half-finished, barely working games when they run out of money.

  22. Bensam123 says:

    Has anyone else been thinking that kickstarter may start to become abused by companies that have means to attain the funding without using kickstarter? BG series was pretty successful, unless I’m mistaken, and was the founding basis for Dragon Age and more recently Dragon Age 2.

    It seems like people are jumping on the kickstarter gravy boat cause they can, similar to all the ‘metoo’ f2p games…

    And no, none of the above will represent a truly revolutionary set of ideals to push the entire video game genre forward. Blizzard retired that position with WoW and no one has taken up the reigns since. I’ll reserve that for my eventual rise to power. The only game anywhere close to what I have planned is Planetside 2 and that’s still lackluster.

    In other news, I highly doubt Kickstarter can raise 30-40 million to make a true AAA game.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Frankly, the potential for abuse is more than balanced by The Harsh Rule of Kickstarter: fail to get the minimum funds in the allotted time and you’re done.

      I’d like to see Kickstarter used by big companies for things that are like pre-order drives. For example: Capcom’s Accounting and Marketing departments tell the bigwigs they need X amount of guaranteed sales on a franchise that the studies say there isn’t enough demand for. Like Megaman Legends 3. (Which was almost made, but then wasn’t for that very reason.) So they make a Kickstarter set at X where X is the minimum budget needed to justify plunging X times whatever into the final budget.

      Or how about Kickstarters for reprinting older games and/or special editions of games. Want a new Ultima VII cloth map and you don’t have a time machine? Kickstarter may be the answer!

      Or how about Kickstarters for localizing (and possibly translating) games that otherwise the Marketing and Accounting departments think is too risky?

      Petitions aren’t preorders, and projects that are too beautiful may be too risky. (Shenmue almost killed Sega because the sales didn’t meet the budget.) But Kickstarters make the fans put their money where their mouths are. It’ll never work for projects that are too big, but I could see it saving a lot of borderline cases.

    • Werthead says:

      BG was successful, but the problem is that if say Atari, BioWare, EA and WotC teamed up to make a AAA BG3, it would ‘have’ to be in 3D, it would ‘have’ to have a simple ruleset (nothing as complex as current D&D 4E, let alone 2E) and it would ‘have’ to be on consoles. In effect, you’d end up with something similar to DA:O. BioWare themselves said that a 3D BG2 would take ten years and hundreds of millions of dollars to make. It’s simply too time-consuming – and thus expensive – to create that number of characters, locations and assets in 3D, and have the whole thing given a full VO.

      OTOH, a 2D, more complex and PC-only (or rather mouse control-only) game in much the same vein as the originals would be much cheaper to make, but EA would likely argue there was no market for it. In fact, Obsidian proposed an ICEWIND DALE III using a 2D engine to Atari last year and nothing came of it.

      That could ultimately be where Kickstarter really wins out: by proving that a market for these kind of older-school games still exists, and they could sell enough copies to make the modest costs of development worthwhile. Then you might see more publishers picking up the gauntlet as well.

    • GiantRaven says:

      ‘In other news, I highly doubt Kickstarter can raise 30-40 million to make a true AAA game.’

      Why is that a problem? To me it seems Kickstarter could be used to bridge the gap between ‘indie’ games and ‘AAA’ games. Good medium-budget games that don’t get made due to a perceived lack of audience.

      I think the fact that 2 of these kickstarters are based around isometric RPGs is telling. We don’t get games like that anymore, yet there is still a niche market for it. I’m definitely down for more isometric RPGs.

  23. MadTinkerer says:

    IMHO, the Uber-Kickstarter would be Wizardry 9.

    There are other good candidates, but I can’t think of any quite as good as that.

    • Docslapper says:

      A newly liberated Molyneux and Dungeon Keeper 3 (name changed to protect the innocent) please…

    • Wizardry says:

      Who the hell would make it? That’s my question.

  24. Prosper0_cz says:

    To all those saying “I hope it wont continue the BG storyline”, remember the BG3 that was being worked on by Black Isle, was supposed to be entirely new story with low-level gameplay, similarly to BG1. If these guys did that, I’d be more than keen…

  25. H77 says:

    Wasn’t Neverwinter Nights supposed to be the new Baldur’s Gate?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      In the end it became like Dragon Age, it was a “spiritual sequel”.

      They did talk about a character import function from BG2 to NWN if I remember correctly.

  26. RamoneSXE says:

    2012: The Year of the Kickstarter.

  27. Innovacious says:

    I didn’t even find out until today that the founder of Beamdog (Trent Oster) was one of the original co-founders of Bioware.

    The Internet (see: wikipedia) will try to tell you there were 3 co-founders, but supposedly there were originally 6 equal share holders and he was one of them. He worked on the original MDK2 (which Beamdog remade) and Baldur’s Gate while he was at Bioware. He was there until 2009 and his reasons for leaving kind of make it seem like he was being held back from what he wanted to do.

    Cameron Tofer was also an ex-Bioware employee who worked on those 2 games. Finding out this stuff today does kind of give me a bit more hope for this. Old Bioware employees working on good old Bioware games without being pushed around by big publishers? It just all sounds so good. I STILL need to pick up that MDK2 remake sometime as well, i loved the original.

    • robaal says:

      Thanks.

      Mentioning who Beamdog are should have been part of the news piece.

      Wiki deleted the Beamdog entry, and googling them leads to a digital distribution shop, so it’s not exactly obvious why they get to mess about with Baldur’s Gate.

      • Wizardry says:

        The digital distribution shop is Beamdog. It’s Overhaul Games, a “division” of Beamdog, that is making this. They also did the MDK 2 enhancement.

        • Innovacious says:

          Well, apparently both Beamdog and Overhaul are actually divisions of IdeaSpark Labs. The hierarchy of all these things seems to be all over the place, depending on where you look. Its still pretty much the 2 ex Bioware guys in charge on all 3 of them anyway though.

          http://www.ideasparklabs.com/#/3/0

  28. FreudianTrip says:

    Making your game through Kickstarter is the new Pre-Order Your Game At Target except the wait for your order takes 3 years instead

  29. brulleks says:

    “My belief is that one day the perfect Platonic ideal of the Kickstarter project will appear, a game desired so long and so hard by so many that all money will be absorbed by it.”

    Good job kickstarter wasn’t around when Duke Nukem Forever was being made then. There’d have been even more unhappy, and much poorer, fanboys in the wake of its release.

    There aren’t many games I would readily shell out in advance for, particularly if the developers lacked proven experience. Outcast 2 possibly, or a decent Jedi Knight game. The latter would require the involvement of Lucasarts though, for licensing reasons, and the idea of them setting up a Kickstarter Fund would be a joke in very poor taste.

  30. malkav11 says:

    I can buy that Tim Schafer & Double Fine can deliver a quality point & click adventure game for $300,000 (and more so for the $3+ million they actually raked in). I can buy that Brian Fargo et al can deliver a proper top down party based turn based Wasteland sequel for $1.5 million, or whatever the final number they end up with is. I cannot buy that anyone could put together a proper sequel to Baldur’s Gate II, one of the most content-rich, sprawling RPGs in the history of videogaming, on a Kickstarted budget.

  31. InternetBatman says:

    How did Beamdog get all these rights anyways? Do they have experience doing anything besides running a DD network and reskinning games?

  32. Suits says:

    We would get an FPS

  33. Freud says:

    Sadly, a completely incompetent team would raise more money for Baldurs Gate 3 on Kickstarter than a great team with a great idea for a new RPG.

  34. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    100 Comments and not a single one from Wizardry regarding turn-based combat? Quick, someone check his life support!

    • Wizardry says:

      Turn-based combat is the best because it’s better than real-time combat. Fact.

  35. 7thRain says:

    From browsing this comment thread I’ve come to the conclusion that most gamers are dead inside. Dead!

    It’s BG updated and polished as a means of continuing the saga either directly or within the same mythos. How can you not love this!? How is this not the most awesome news all year?

    No they don’t need to approach production in the same manner as Dragon Age for this to be a beautiful and totally fulfilling title worthy of the BG title. Yes it can be done on a KS budget. Yes this team “is up to the job”. Have a little faith guys!

    • kalelovil says:

      Baldur’s Gate had a team of 30 working on it for 3 years. Baldur’s Gate 2 likely had more than that.

      I just don’t think Kickstarter can be the major source of funding for a full Baldur’s Gate sequel. The developers would have to be confident in the ability to achieve decent post-release sale volumes, and convince a publisher or investor of that (how much money does Beamdog have (access to)?).

      Signing on with a publisher does not have to be a bad thing, they aren’t all EA-like monoliths. Paradox has been a good influence through invigorating in-depth real time strategy scene as well as publishing innovative works by start-ups such as Magicka and Mount & Blade.

      Perhaps CD Projekt Red could be an equivalent for some classic RPG hopefuls. They presumably have a fair amount of money and online presence through GOG, and according to Wiki they were the Polish publishers for the Black Isle games.

      • kalelovil says:

        Kickstarter might still be useful though as a sort of customisable pre-order and auxiliary funding method.

        Overall though I’d rather have no BG3 than a BG3 which fails to live up to the precedent of its forebears, whether that be through lack of time and money or the lack of some crucial original Black Isle developers.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Because Baldur’s Gate doesn’t need a continuation. Anyone who finished the series should be able to see that. It was amazing and is my number two game of all time, but it’s over. It had a great ending and that’s that. Also, the engine has been consistently well supported with mods, of all the old games that could be remade, the Infinity engine games probably need it the least. They were the pinnacle of 2D graphics and have yet to replicated.

      The efforts to put more content into it a decade after it was released and then to make a sequel read like a cynical cash grab. Especially since it’ll use a proprietary download service.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Because Baldur’s Gate doesn’t need a continuation. Anyone who finished the series should be able to see that. It was amazing and is my number two game of all time, but it’s over. It had a great ending and that’s that. Also, the engine has been consistently well supported with mods, of all the old games that could be remade, the Infinity engine games probably need it the least. They were the pinnacle of 2D graphics and have yet to replicated.

      The efforts to put more content into it a decade after it was released and then to make a sequel read like a cynical cash grab. Especially since it’ll use a proprietary download service.

      Also, it would have to be one hell of a kickstarter budget:

      From a gamasutra article:

      ” It was the culmination of nearly 90 man-years of work by a number of inexperienced, but very talented and creative individuals at BioWare. ”

      It would take 80 people working 80 hours a week 2.4 years to get it finished. If they paid all their employees 30,000 a year it would take 5.6 million, the highest kickstarter ever, coming from a studio with limited fame and a limited track record at an unsustainable pace for two years. If they paid them competitive sums, the average is 75k a year for an inexperienced programmer in the games industry,
      It would take 12 million.

      If they wanted to work at a still harsh pace of 60 hours a week, it would take 85 people three years, if they took big salary cuts to 40,000, that would be 10.2 million or almost triple what Tim Schaefer pulled.

      • Apples says:

        edit: nevermind you were talking in dollars. 75K is still a bit high for an inexperienced programmer though.

        • InternetBatman says:

          I was just doing my wikipedia brown thing. I don’t know what they actually pay in the industry, but it’s certainly more than $30k.

  36. Brun says:

    Do we need a new top-down, story-driven RPG set in the Forgotten Realms and using the AD&D v2+ ruleset? Absolutely yes, I can think of few things that the video game industry needs more right now.

    Should that game be Baldur’s Gate 3? Absolutely not.

    I have no problem with them “enhancing” the original two games, but there does not need to be a sequel.

    • Wizardry says:

      Story driven? Compared to what? Wizardry? The Baldur’s Gate games had a decent balance of story and… non-story. They weren’t “story driven” and weren’t “non-story driven”. They sat in the middle where cRPGs probably should be. The major fault of Baldur’s Gate was that you couldn’t access the city until a later chapter, and the major fault of Baldur’s Gate 2 was that you were locked in to a set of linear areas in chapter 4 and 5. Other than those flaws it had a good balance.

      • Brun says:

        Story-driven was a poor choice of words. I really meant “story-heavy” or something similar. Meaning a relatively deep and meaningful plot.

  37. alinos says:

    I hate to be that guy but surely the Forgotten Realms license would be the bulk of the development cost anyway

    • Werthead says:

      WotC have the FR licence and Atari have the BG licence, and both are working with Beamdog on this project. Beamdog, or so I understand, are a fully independent company. Where they get their funding from is up to them. WotC have to give their permission and Atari would have to publish it, and both would get a slice of the resulting money. Whether Beamdog needs to cough up money up front to WotC or Atari first for the licence is unclear. They might be able to do a deal.

      I’d hope that BG1+2 Enhanced are successful enough that Atari just commission them to do BG3 and fund the game themselves, and another, far less well-known-and-more-in-need-of-it project could get the Kickstarter coverage instead (Freespace 3 – though only if they promise not to call it ’3space’ – or Anachronox 2 come to mind immediately).

      • Wizardry says:

        Why do you keep saying that Atari own this and Wizards of the Coast own that? Wizards of the Coast own D&D. They inherited it when they bought out TSR in the 90s. Have you seen the Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale re-releases? They are sold by Atari with the money going to Atari. The D&D video game license was switched from SSI to Interplay and then to Atari. Atari probably has the rights to release the old SSI D&D games now. In other words, the license for these D&D games go to whoever Wizards of the Coast (Hasbro) hand the D&D license to.

  38. hitnrun says:

    The license thing is not necessarily a certain obstacle. An “enhanced” version of BG1, BG2, Icewind Dale 1 & 2 and PS:T have all been released on Good Ol Games (www.gog.com) in the last couple years. If Wizards/Hasbro DID have the right to block those, it certainly didn’t cost GoG much to satisfy them.

    I don’t know the terms of the license. It’s very possible – in fact I would say probable – that BG is the property of whatever entity (probably Atari by way of Interplay) inherited control, respecting of course Wizards ownership of the source material. So even though it’s commonly known that they have reclaimed the right to license D&D games, Wizards would not have the right to extract any more flesh for a re-release of Baldur’s Gate. Of course, this isn’t a re-release, it’s “enhanced,” and exactly what is meant by that will make a difference. Obviously they mean to create more content than the GoG releases, which I think were just up-rezzed. I doubt the cost of an accord would be prohibitive, though.

    For BG3, on the other hand… Wizards certainly wouldn’t be averse to a cut of a successful project, but their tabletop roleplaying division is a flailing enterprise with an agenda. They’ll probably want it to be an advertisement for one of their new rulesets and their wildly diverging fiction.

  39. BoZo says:

    WHO EVER SAID PC GAMING WAS DEAD?! BAHAHAHHAHA

  40. Bfox says:

    I’d throw all my money at a new Star Control game.

    I wonder if anyone would be interested in a new Little Big Adventure…

  41. Xardas Kane says:

    They are totally thinking Kickstarter but I’m totally not on board with this. BG was BioWare’s baby and BioWare’s only.

  42. Triangulon says:

    I don’t buy the ‘Kickstarter Fatigue’ argument. There are already loads of amazing ideas on Kickstarter, just check out the board games section.

  43. DrSlek says:

    So what rule set are we looking at? AD&D? 3.5? God forbid….4E or 5?

  44. Narzhul says:

    I don’t care how trusted ANY studio is, don’t mess with Baldur’s Gate.

    There’s a billion places to set a d&d game in Faerun, use any of the other ones.

  45. NegativeZero says:

    I thought that Throne of Bhaal was basically what Bioware had planned for Baldur’s Gate III, cut down a bit because they couldn’t get the publisher to agree to a full game or something and they wanted to work on KotOR?

  46. Nijuu says:

    Articles seem to indicate ex Bioware people involved but i only see Trent Oster (who seems to be more of a director/animator) as the only one named anywhere..?. Checking wiki/linked in seems most if not all the core team (especially writers) of BG1 and 2 are still either working for Bioware/Blizzard/Obsidian….. i could be wrong..

  47. bill says:

    If it has decent autosaves and a key to pick up all the gold in the area then go for it…

  48. johjn says:

    How about if the BG III story would be a prequel….seems to be pretty popular these days.