Baldur’s Gate 3’s seventh big patch is out today, and with it comes a new class, some major UI overhauls, and the ability to just throw objects in the environment at enemies. But as the RPG has been in Early Access for close to two years at this point, fans are no doubt wondering when the game will be completed and released as a finished product. From the sound of it, Baldur’s Gate 3 won’t be out of Early Access until 2023.
During a panel interview that Fanbyte was present for, Baldur’s Gate 3 Director Swen Vincke was asked about Larian Studio’s current projected timeline for the RPG, and while he said the development is nearing its end-stage, the team still thinks it has about a year of development to go before it will put out the final product.
“We’re at the end-stage of development, but we still will release a number of patches,” Vincke said. “We think we have about a year left of development at this point. So, it’s not going to be for the next couple of months at 1.0 stage, but we’re dealing with burndown charts that are going down rather than up.”
Vincke said the studio is primarily focused on ensuring Baldur’s Gate 3 meets its internal quality benchmarks before it considers pulling the game out of Early Access. This requires some major overhauls, such as the UI changes that come with the seventh patch.
“Quality is our ultimate decision point,” Vincke continued. “We want everything in the game to be at a certain level of quality. As long as it doesn’t hit that, we’re not going to release it. But we’re getting closer to hitting what we have as our internal benchmark for the quality that we want to achieve. Like, for instance, the new UI that you see here. Now we feel comfortable with the UI. We didn’t feel comfortable before with UI. We looked at a lot of players, we looked at a lot of feedback, we integrated it all into this design. The guys worked very hard on it. […] But now you have something that you say, ‘okay, this is something I can manage a level 10 or a level whatever party with plenty of items without having to spend ages inside my UI screens, so I could focus on my gameplay.’ So we’re starting to hit that at multiple fronts, and that means that those burndown charts are going down. Which is good.”
This timeline does mean that some hypothetical features like character import options and segments like the romance scenes won’t be happening until 2023, but it does mean the team has at least another year to fine-tune everything before fans start playing past the first act.
For more on Baldur’s Gate 3, check out our most recent thoughts on the Early Access stage.