- Baldur’s Gate 3 took CRPGs to unforeseen heights, and I believe Microsoft has a solid arsenal to replicate the concept.
- Obsidian and inXile are the CRPG experts perfect for the job, and I would love to see their classics resurface.
- With these studios under Microsoft now, it’s possible to create a big-budget adventure born out of their collaboration, and it could be the hit the company needs.
No matter how much you grow up, things you enjoyed or were dear to you in your childhood always stick around. And for me, those things are classic games. I practically grew up with games, and now whenever I see something from back then, it fills me with overwhelming nostalgia. I’m sure it’s the same for you, and getting to see the concepts of the past make a return with the same level of creativity is a sight for sore eyes.
You must have guessed it, but I’m talking about Baldur’s Gate 3. Not only did it reincarnate the CRPG fan in me, but it was an adventure well worth all the wait. We’re in a time where microtransactions, unfinished games, and fancy DLCs are the norm. Amidst this mess, Larian came forward to deliver a true single-player adventure filled to the brim with quality content and an authentic throwback to not only the classic CRPGs but also the D&D tabletop games we enjoyed.
Baldurs Gate 3’s Formula Needs To Be Replicated
In a way, Baldur’s Gate 3 was the most surprising entry of 2023. There are two principal reasons for this. First is how the franchise has been dormant for over a decade now. Baldur’s Gate 2 originally came out in 2000, and the enhanced edition in 2013. So a new entry after all these years was a pleasant surprise, specifically from the developers of the magnificent Divinity: Original Sin series. The second is how it came at a time when CRPGs and turn-based games were considered old news.
Not only did Larian deliver an unforgettable adventure filled with boundless dedication, but it also proved the spark of turn-based games and CRPGs is still alive. In a year filled with one quality game after another, I believe Baldur’s Gate 3 was still the most impactful one. And now that it has proved a AAA CRPG is more than viable, it would be a waste if this didn’t lead to a revival of the genre. I think there’s ample market for a new one, and Larian seems to agree too.
Larian Studio’s CEO believes other companies need to get into CRPGs too, as they’ve proved people still adore this genre if the game is done with dedication. I don’t know if anyone else can reach the standard Larian Studios has now set with Baldur’s Gate 3, but I’m always down for more CRPGs with at least the same love and passion. Of course, it’s Larian’s turn first to do the same with Divinity: Original Sin 3, but I think CRPGs need to be considered by other companies too.
Microsoft Has All The Necessary Tools For A CRPG
After Baldur’s Gate 3, would you like to see more studios giving it a shot? I know I would. Now, the question arises, who should be the one to develop a new CRPG? I can name several different candidates based on how exceptional their past RPGs were, but I think Microsoft is a solid candidate to spearhead a new CRPG. This is because the company has the necessary experts under its umbrella to create a potentially superb adventure.
What are these experts you ask? Of course, Obsidian Entertainment and inXile, which Microsoft acquired back in 2018. Obsidian is a particularly well-known name among fans of RPGs in general because of their work on multiple heavy hitters. Remember Fallout: New Vegas? the Bethesda-owned franchise had an entry by Obsidian and it is considered by many as one of if not the finest Fallout entries. Similarly, Tyranny is another big name that I would like to see again.
Not just that, since we’re on the topic of BG 3, Obsidian also has experience with the D&D formula because of Neverwinter Nights 2. Similarly, inXile is nothing to scoff at either. I always considered inXile to be a good developer overshadowed by other giants of its time, like Obsidian for example. Wasteland, The Bard’s Tale, and Torment: Tides of Numenera are all the RPGs I fondly remember and showcase inXile’s expertise in the genre.
A New Pillars Of Eternity Or Wasteland Would Be The Best Thing Ever
Obsidian has several strong entries as I mentioned, but still, I believe Pillars of Eternity is the best option for the company to revive. Not only is it a spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate, but the fantasy world of Eora is rich in lore and the series has pretty impressive strategic turn-based combat. With more effort and polish, I believe a modern Pillars of Eternity could be the next big thing after BG 3. The IP belongs to Obsidian and thus Microsoft, easily usable. I wanted to see another Tyranny too, but Paradox holds that one.
Pillars of Eternity was a pretty solid CRPG series, overshadowed by other strong titles. I think the concept is pretty unique and this fantasy setting has a lot of potential. A turn-based RPG with the same amount of character and world depth it once had would be epic. If Obsidian has Microsoft’s budget and puts together a dedicated team, I think it can do wonders since it is already eager to work on another Pillars of Eternity. So why not give it a chance?
Don’t forget inXile either. The Wasteland series might not have received as much traction as some other CRPG giants, but it is a genuinely fun adventure. Even after multiple entries, inXile didn’t stray far from its tried-and-tested formula, and it works splendidly. Now that it has Microsoft’s backing, maybe Wasteland can finally reach the heights it deserves. Moreover, I’ll reiterate that Numenera is a highly underrated gem that many people sleep on, and I think it needs to make a comeback.
How About A Game All These Giants Work Together On?
All these games I mentioned were established series and I considered them based on past entries. So, let’s talk about something even more exciting now. These studios are no longer alone and divided entities now, everyone exists under the banner of Microsoft. In light of this, how would you like a game these CRPG experts together on? I think that would be a dream project for me. And it’s not just Obsidian and inXile alone. Do not forget Bethesda is in play too now.
Imagine a Pillars of Eternity 3 with this collaboration. Similarly, I do not limit this to existing IPs either. It can be a brand-new IP from Microsoft where these studios come together to develop a big-budget AAA CRPG utilizing their experience. Obsidian and Bethesda can work together extremely well, as we already know from Fallout: New Vegas. So put inXile into the mix and you have all the necessary minds to develop an exceptional RPG.
The new game can utilize the amazing story-telling of Torment: Tides of Numenera, the tactical combat of Pillars of Eternity, and Bethesda’s signature insanely detailed RPG mechanics, the potential seems endless. All in all, Microsoft has the budget, as well as the expertise to craft a brilliant CRPG to make use of the hype Baldur’s Gate 3 has created. It will give these underrated franchises another chance at glory and also provide Microsoft with a heavy hitter.
Microsoft Needs A Solid Title, Gamers Want More CRPGs — It’s Not A Bad Deal
This first point is one of my reasons for saying Microsoft needs to get on this. The tech giant genuinely needs strong titles right now, so far Xbox probably has the weakest first-party titles. Just take a look at The Game Awards lineup of this year. In the GOTY category, both Sony and Nintendo’s titles are present, but where’s a Microsoft game? Starfield was a solid entry, but it’s not enough for Xbox to pull ahead.
The console has been more powerful generally, but the lack of exceptional titles always limits its potential. And now that Microsoft has made some pretty hefty acquisitions, the pressure is higher than ever. It needs to present something to justify all the purchases and also get access to a sturdy library. Of course, Activision’s IPs are a good starting point, but I think this golden opportunity created by Baldur’s Gate 3 needs to be seized, as the demand for CRPGs is higher than ever.
Modern PC gamers might have started wanting more CRPGs only recently, but PC was always a haven for this genre. In old times, PCs and CRPGs went hand in hand. Looking back, they share a rich and beloved history. And guess who has PC as one of their main platforms? Microsoft can certainly do great with it and I believe it’s time to give this topic some consideration. If Microsoft puts its CRPG veteran minds together, I’m sure an exceptional product can emerge.
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