RPG legend Josh Sawyer would happily make Pillars of Eternity 3, but it would take Baldur’s Gate 3’s budget to convince him

Pillars of Eternity
(Image credit: Obsidian)

Given the choice of making Fallout New Vegas 2, Pillers of Eternity 3, or Pentiment 2, director and RPG legend Josh Sawyer would return to Eora – but only if he had the reported funding that Baldur's Gate 3 got. 

Speaking to Touch Arcade for Pentiment's one-year anniversary, Sawyer is asked which of the trio of beloved RPGs he'd return to "without budget or time limitations," and the answer is none other than a spiritual successor to the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale series.

"I think if it truly was an unlimited budget, I think I would try Pillars 3 because I know what the budget was for Deadfire, which was not a whole lot, and I have heard from multiple people what the budget was for Baldur's Gate 3, and I'm not gonna talk about numbers, but if I got that budget, sure, I'll make Pillars 3," he says.

"I think that would be a lot of fun to do, to do like a high production value party-based fantasy RPG. I'm pretty happy with Pillars and Deadfire, but I do think that if it were not crowdfunded, I would probably make it turn-based. I'm not saying not to have a real-time with pause system, but I do think that the Deadfire turn-based system - which I can't take credit for, that was Nick Carver and Brian MacIntosh - was really cool. 

"But, the game wasn't designed for it, so actually designing the game for turn-based, fewer encounters, smaller encounters, but much more tactical, I think that would be a lot of fun, and having awesome cinematics and all that stuff. That would be great."

Leading on from Sawyer's point about turn-based combat versus real-time action that features a pause, the veteran RPG designer is then asked how they'd approach a game if they didn't have to worry about the desires of the player base. 

"I'm still concerned about what the audience wants, but I prefer turn-based as well," he answered. "I just think it's easier to design more intricate combats. I like games with a lot of stats, obviously. But the problem with real-time with pause is that it's honestly very difficult for people to actually parse all of that information, and one of the things I've heard a lot from people who've played Deadfire in turn-based is that there were things about the game, like the affliction and inspiration system, that they didn't really understand very clearly until they played it in turn-based. 

"Other mechanics like penetration, they didn't fully understand until they played it in turn-based. So I'm not saying that all those systems are perfect, but I do think like I like doing more crunchy stuff with systems, and that is it's just easier to make that stuff clear and work in a turn-based setting."

It's not the first time Sawyer has talked about Pillers of Eternity 3. Just last month, he joked with one fan that he was waiting for "Xbox to call and tell me they want Pillars 3 with a $120M budget", before adding "any day now, I’m sure."

Your move, Xbox.

More? Here are the 25 best RPGs you can (and should) play right now.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.