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Mod support in Baldur's Gate 3 will be final handover moment to players, says Larian CEO

And why early access was so important.

Astarion in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian

Baldur's Gate 3 will receive official mod support in a forthcoming patch, which Larian CEO Swen Vincke said will be a handover moment to players.

Speaking at BAFTA's An Evening with Baldur's Gate 3 after the game received multiple wins at this year's awards, Vincke discussed development of the game and Larian's long term support.

"One of the big things for us, and the one that we're really working towards now, is the ability for players to mod [Baldur's Gate 3] themselves, because then they will be able to make their own things," said Vincke. "And I think that will be the point where we're going to say 'ok, now it's yours fully'."

Baldur's Gate 3: Release TeaserWatch on YouTube

He admitted the team hasn't finished development of mod support yet and that it's been "hard trying to make that work". The release of the update, though, won't mark the end of support entirely, but "you will see the level of support diminished to really critical bug fixes" and for now "we're still working as if the game was just out".

When asked if he was looking forward to this "final handover moment", Vincke replied with an emphatic "yes".

"We're working on our new thing, we're super excited about the new games," he continued. "We're creative spirits also, we don't want to keep on doing the same thing, we really want to move forward and do new things."

We know already it's likely Larian's next game will also be released in early access, as director of publishing Michael Douse previously stated.

Vincke spoke further at BAFTA about the importance of early access for Baldur's Gate 3's development.

"The biggest thing that came out was it allowed us to course correct," said Vincke. "There were mistakes that we were making and the players were telling us 'this is a mistake, you shouldn't be doing this'.

"We try to listen and do as much as we can, where we think it makes a lot of sense. So that I think was instrumental in BG3's success."

Photo of BAFTA event showing Swen Vincke, Chrystal Ding, Adam Smith on stage interviewed by Jane Douglas
Image credit: BAFTA/Dan Fearon

But how do developers know what feedback is actually useful? "A lot of it is on gut feeling," said Vincke, admitting some elements can be analysed through data. "At the end of the day it's really how do I feel like a player about the game. I think if you do it any other way, you will just be paralysed, you won't be able to do anything. If you're going to try to do it by committee, then it's just going to be the most mediocre things that you can have. You have to follow your gut and say 'what game do you want to play?' And then it actually comes very easy, you just have to hope that that's the game that other people want to play also."

He added: "You also have to take into account there are many, many people in the universe with many many opinions. So it's impossible to cater to everyone. You don't necessarily always have to listen to the majority if you really believe in what's inside of the game."

So is early access the future of game development? At the least, Vincke said he would "heartily recommend it", but admitted four years of early access was "actually quite long" as players can get tired over that time.

He continued: "You really shouldn't approach it with the attitude 'oh it's just early access'. There are players playing this that care. So you should treat them with respect."

Baldur's Gate 3 won five awards at this year's BAFTAs, including Best Game. A recording of An Evening with Baldur's Gate 3 will soon be up on the BAFTA YouTube channel.

Larian recently opened a new studio in Poland as development on its next project ramps up.

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