Larian Studios founder and creative director Swen Vincke has confirmed Baldur’s Gate 3 is unlikely to leave Early Access until next year.
In an interview with GameSpot, Vincke spoke candidly about the issues facing the studio – including the production delays caused by COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic – and said that while the team plan to get the final version out to players sometimes in 2022, there were "no guarantees" when the final build will be ready.
"We would be happy if we can manage to release it next year, yes," Vincke said, "We're aiming for it – there are no guarantees, but we're definitely aiming for it.
"We took a big setback," he explained, "especially related to motion capture and voice acting during the [COVID-19] crisis, so that's taken time. Also, teams working together is harder.
"Now, slowly – hopefully – the world is getting in a better place, and we are starting to pick up speed again. But we still have a lot of work."
Not played the early access version yet? We spent some time with the early edition at the end of last year.
"This potential for systemic play is what makes Baldur’s Gate 3 a vital game, even now in Early Access," we said in the GamesRadar+ Baldur's Gate 3 preview. "Its new public build may not be the most polished way to experience the first chapter of its story - but repeated runs of a reduced game encourage a more playful, exploratory approach to a genre in which players tend to just pick a path and stick to it.
"Think of Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, or the episodic release of Hitman’s levels. Though some players initially balked at their short length, many found that focusing on a single location made each game richer over time. The sensation of gradually mastering a space makes it one worth staying in - just as, if you stare at one patch of the night sky for long enough, it slowly reveals ever-more complex and marvellous networks of stars."
Not everyone takes their time with the Early Access build, though; last year, someone uploaded a YouTube video claiming the world record for speedrunning Baldur's Gate 3. In all, the player speedruns the game's first act in just seven minutes flat, skipping dialog, cutscenes, and all combat encounters as they race to the end.
Not sure whether this is the right time to jump in? Check out our Baldur's Gate 3 preview.