Leadership in trend: many developers are ready to adopt the experience of Larian Studios in the development of Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 is perhaps one of the best games of this generation, and the reasons for its success inspired many developers. According to The Gamer, at the Gamescom 2023 exhibition, many large and small developers are quite seriously considering to adopt the Larian Studios development model for their future projects – a long period of early access and active communication with the community.

Torsten Ropka from Keen Games, developing cooperative Survival-game with the open world of Enshrouded, said that Baldur’s Gate 3 became a role model for him: a lot of time in early access and listening to the reviews of the players before releasing version 1.0. Lavapotion employees who successfully released Songs of Conquest in early access also said that the community’s opinion is one of the most important components in the development of the game. Early access to Steam is a great way to understand what the most hardcore players want, and at the same time find the time necessary to make a number of important balanced changes oriented to ordinary players.

One of the most difficult parts of the balancing process between quality and polishing and the final release date is most often pressing by the publisher, who needs to clearly establish the deadlines. Obviously, Larian, having much more resources than an ordinary indie studio of small and medium size, was published by Baldur’s Gate 3. Keen Games also does not have a publisher, and, according to Ropka, this gave her enough time and freedom to continue finalizing the game for a long period of early access. According to Ropka, the completion of early access does not mean that the game will no longer receive updates, but rather indicates that it has reached the level that suits the developers.

And even Amazon Games, which has huge resources, casually affected the theme of Baldur’s Gate 3. Li Kwai said that, of course, the success of Larian is what they are following – if he did not directly affect the development of Throne and Liberty, but made them understand that the players agree to wait for quality and polishing. In addition, this made the developers be more careful in the future, so as not to announce too much and too early.

It is likely that Baldur’s Gate 3 will have a significant impact on the industry, in particular on the release of games. Although other successful games have existed in early access for many years – Project Zomboid, even Rust, Fortnite and Subnautica, but the huge success of the BG3 indicates that this may be the most optimal way to conquer the audience of players, even for large studios of the level Triple-a. Perhaps instead of following the old -fashioned principle "Here is the release date, then we will fix it", We will see how more and more studios will make a choice in favor of a longer early access and preliminary testing before going to the masses.

In the industry, this sensation has been growing for several years, especially after the most successful release of Cyberpunk 2077 or even Fallout 76. It has already become known that the scale of QA for Starfield can not be compared with nothing that Bethesda made earlier, and there are so many mistakes in the game not only compared to past projects from Bethesda itself, but the games of other major publishers.Perhaps in the future, but we can see the shift in the direction of testing in early access as a better way of contact with players.

The developers of Songs of Conquest noted that it is sometimes difficult to find a balance between what the most loyal players want, and their own vision of the game and its casual attractiveness, but the result is usually one: a community of players who feel that their voice has been heard. Judging by what they said on Gamescom, many of the developers, from small to great, when creating their future projects, will focus on the Larian model.