Fallout creator Black Isle Studios was supposed to continue BioWare's RPG series Baldur's Gate a decade ago with a third core game, but that vanished soon after being announced. Years after the developer shut down, though, Baldur's Gate 3 almost happened again, at the studio founded by several Black Isle veterans, Obsidian Entertainment. Feargus Urquhart has revealed that it almost signed with Baldur's Gate owner Atari around 2008 to make a 'new' BG3, but the deal fell apart.
"We were talking to Atari, and we started talking, and oh my god this was like the Cherokee Trail of Tears pitch," Urquhart told Kotaku. "They asked in 2007 if we wanted to do Baldur's Gate 3, and I'm like 'Yes, if you guys are serious about it.' They were like, 'What do you mean?' I said, 'If you'll put a real budget behind it: it can't be $10 million, it needs to be $20 million, $25 million. If you really want to do this, then you need to put a real budget behind it. You need to give a budget that BioWare would have to do a Mass Effect or whatever. It has to be a real budget.'"
Obsidian put a pitch together and slowly won Atari's heart, and was due to sign a contract around the end of 2008. However, the publisher started dragging its feet, expressing concern after visit Obsidian that the studio might not be able to make the game. "And then a week later all of Atari Europe was sold to Namco Bandai," Urquhart said. Obsidian's producer at Atari was gone too.
"All this work got done," Urquhart said. "We negotiated a whole contract. Years worth of work, and it turned out they didn't have the money."
Baldur's Gate recently popped back into public consciousness with the release of Overhaul Games' enhanced edition of the original game. Overhaul hopes to revive BG if the EE and its planned revamp of the sequel work out, and Urquhart would be interested in joining forces for a new game. "We wanna work on great games. If that was something they were interested in, sure, we'd totally talk about it," he said.