Baldur's Gate 3 production has been slowed down by work changes from COVID-19 concerns, but it's still on track to hit early access some time this year.
The founder of Larian Studios, Swen Vincke, gave the news in an update on his personal Twitter account, also linking to an interview he'd done for a larger industry reactions piece in the New York Times.
First New York Times interview was not exactly about what I would've imagined, but it does bring some good news: While we're slowed down, development on BG3 keeps on progressing and we still expect EA this year https://t.co/BvT7qCQD2VApril 21, 2020
The first few weeks of production with teams working remotely from self-isolation "went really well," Vincke explained in the article. However, communication became more difficult as employees started grappling with concerns at home, problems keeping regular hours, and external partners also shutting down in response to the pandemic.
While much of the work on a game like Baldur's Gate 3 can be done from any properly equipped and connected computer, certain elements are much more difficult to replicate like remotely. Performance capture, which helps bring characters to life with animations recorded from real-life actors in purpose-built studios, is one such stumbling block. Vincke said he's hoping that his studio will be able to responsibly return to the capture studio soon.
“We don’t have a solution for it,” Vincke said. “We’re hoping that eventually we’re going to organize something.”
Still, even with all these new concerns stacked on top of the studio, Vincke said the studio is still operating at 70 to 80 percent of its normal capacity. Larian had never given any more specifics about when people could start playing Baldur's Gate 3 beyond teasing an early access launch later this year, and the studio is still on track for that broad goal at least.
While we're waiting for early access, check out our first look at Baldur's Gate 3 gameplay.