Larian confirming the end of Baldur's Gate 3 is actually more exciting than any DLC could have been

Baldur's Gate 3
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

It's been said to death, but I'll say it again: there's no game quite like Baldur's Gate 3. Suffice it to say that I'm not alone in calling it my game of the decade. With its beautifully-written dialogue, emergent storytelling, sharp execution of D&D mechanics, and stellar voice acting across the board, I truly believe Larian's magnum opus deserves every praise possible of being lauded upon it. That's why one piece of recent news came as such a shock to me: there will be no BG3 DLC, nor a Baldur's Gate 4 from Larian Studios, and the developer is parting ways with the D&D license . 

At first, this pill wasn't just bitter to swallow – it was downright agonizing. I've been speculating with friends for months now about what a Baldur's Gate 3 DLC could possibly look like, and now, we have our answer. I was prepared to go into full Queen Victoria-style mourning over it when I heard the news. But with the dust having settled following last week's revelation, and with studio lead Swen Vincke dispelling rumors of a rift between Larian and the license holders, I'm making my peace with the decision. True, there's no game like Baldur's Gate 3, but that doesn't mean there never will be again. The door has been left ajar for something even more magical to creep forth from the studio someday – with or without Dungeons & Dragons behind it. That's why instead of dwelling on everything I wanted to see in a follow-up game or DLC, I'm skipping right to the final stage of grief: acceptance. 

A perfect storm 

Baldur's Gate 3 party stands overlooking on a cliff

(Image credit: Larian Studios)
To the hellfire

Baldur's Gate 3 Raphael deals

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

One of my favorite BG3 DLC theories was hinted at in the game's first five minutes.

It would be easy to surmise that Baldur's Gate 3 effectively tore up and rewrote the RPG rulebook as we once knew it, and in many conceivable ways, it did. That said, Larian is no stranger to greatness. The studio has been perfecting its formula for years to culminate in something of BG3's size, scale, and ambition; why should this upward trajectory stop now that Larian is parting ways with D&D?

Yes, I'm going to miss our companions as well, but the great minds behind those characters aren't going anywhere. Ground-breaking as Baldur's Gate 3 is, the D&D license was never the make-or-break factor in the game's quality or success. That factor is undoubtedly the expertise of Larian itself, and all of the passionate work it has poured into the project both pre and post-launch. Baldur's Gate 3 might have brought the Belgium-born studio out onto the global stage for international acclaim, but as Larian's website proudly states, it has been making games since the mid-90s. Acquiring the D&D license has only allowed it to flex its creative muscles further, already toned up from years creating some of the best RPGs ever under its own steam, and that's the key takeaway here. It's not like there's no Larian without Wizards of the Coast. 

Divinity Original Sin 2

(Image credit: Larian)

The lack of a Baldur's Gate 3 DLC will only cement the game's place among the unspoiled greats.

If anything, Larian's long line of successes proves that D&D is not the magic ingredient; it is just one of many creative tools at the team's disposal. That team will most likely still be at the helm of the next great Larian project, and that fact alone gives me plenty of comfort. Sure, a Hasbro exec might have taken Larian's success as a sign that "people really wanted great D&D games" – but really, all I want now is another incredible game from Larian Studios. 

Like a TV show ending at the height of its prime – I'm not looking at you, Buffy the Vampire Slayer – the lack of a Baldur's Gate 3 DLC will only cement the game's place among the unspoiled greats. But even though I fully commend Larian's integrity in knowing when to call it quits, I still feel a tug of disappointment as I write this. I know that Larian has been a strong and capable studio long before Baldur's Gate 3 – I mean, Divinity: Original Sin 2 exists, for goodness' sake – but as a passionate fan, I share in our collective grieving of what could have been. Where would the scrapped BG3 DLC have taken us next? What became of Arabella after the events of Act 2? And just how badly did Mephistopheles beat Raphael's ass after he tried to pull that stunt with the Crown of Karsus? These questions will be ours to puzzle over for years to come, much as Baldur's Gate 3 itself will always be ours to explore over and over as we relive one of the greatest examples of modern gaming yet. That is, of course, until Larian's next offering sends us into a tailspin all over again.

I want every RPG to let me talk to animals now that BG3 and Divinity: Original Sin 2 have done it so brilliantly.

Jasmine Gould-Wilson
Staff Writer, GamesRadar+

Jasmine is a staff writer at GamesRadar+. Raised in Hong Kong and having graduated with an English Literature degree from Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, her passion for entertainment writing has taken her from reviewing underground concerts to blogging about the intersection between horror movies and browser games. Having made the career jump from TV broadcast operations to video games journalism during the pandemic, she cut her teeth as a freelance writer with TheGamer, Gamezo, and Tech Radar Gaming before accepting a full-time role here at GamesRadar. Whether Jasmine is researching the latest in gaming litigation for a news piece, writing how-to guides for The Sims 4, or extolling the necessity of a Resident Evil: CODE Veronica remake, you'll probably find her listening to metalcore at the same time.