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Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart

An article from Friday on GameSpy has quotes from Cameron Tofer of Beamdog's studio Overhaul Games about their recently announced plans for Enhanced Editions of Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II (thanks PC Gamer). In addition to discussion of their plans to update as well as enhance the original RPGs, he explains their long-term goal is indeed to make Baldur's Gate III, though this is just in the talking stage for now, though some of the talk includes the prospects of a Kickstarter campaign to get this going:

"Baldur's Gate 3 has been our long term goal. We have a lot of things to put in place before such a project can be launched. So currently there is no such project but that's the one we want to do. Our thoughts have been that Enhanced Edition for BG 1 and 2 just make sense before there's any Baldur's Gate 3."

"We're totally thinking Kickstarter. It just makes so much sense and solves so many problems. I think what Brian [Fargo] is doing with Wasteland is very interesting."

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50. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 20:05 Dev
 
Asmo wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 19:01:
But when you talk about mainstream hits like Baldur's Gate, why the fuck can't these guys just raise funds like any other producer?
Probably because its Beamdog? In bed with interplay?
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 19:33:
but this sounds like more of a ponzi scheme now than a real system of game development.
I agree, this move for this game from this company sounds like a money/market grab.

I just hope that if this comes to pass, kickstarter people will think about it before pledging and discern if this is a money grab, or a good chance to get a good sequel.
 
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49. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 19:33 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
I think I will remember this BG3 announcement as the day the Kickstarter bubble started to burst. How about you guys release a screenshot of the Enhanced BG1/2 before trying to bilk some people out of money for your vaporware game sequel?

That said, I'll be one of the first in line to actually buy a BG3, but this sounds like more of a ponzi scheme now than a real system of game development.
 
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48. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 19:01 Asmo
 
panbient wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 10:33:
As much as I'd like a BG3, I think the timing of this announcement is indicative of industry attitudes towards Kickstarter becoming some sort of free money genie so long as the idea is popular.

I've been thinking the same thing...

The thing that irks me about kickstarter programs is that you don't even have the minimal safety of becoming a direct investor (ie. shares or some sort of ROI), and there's no guarantee that what comes out at the far end is even something you want to play despite it descending from a game that may have been a classic for you (Bard's Tale anyone?). It's a bet that somehow these guys are going to produce a game that is new but captures the subjective, rose tinted feelings you (and everyone else who contributes) have about the older game. Tall order no?

Minecraft etc, contributing to them gave you something immediately and it was a new idea so you didn't really have huge expectations. But Wasteland or BG? If the game doesn't miraculously conform to a plethora of pre-conceptions there is going to be hell to pay.

Also, the first big one that precipitated the current rush (Tim Schafer, DF), I thought it was a novel extension of the idea to get investment in what would otherwise be a niche game that might not attract big funding. But when you talk about mainstream hits like Baldur's Gate, why the fuck can't these guys just raise funds like any other producer?

 
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47. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 18:31 vrok
 
I wouldn't even pay up if it was Bioware asking for kickstarter money at this point, much less some randoms I've never heard of before. They'll have to seriously earn some trust first, and repackaging BG1/2 doesn't cut it. I guess it can't fail more than that tactical console shooter nonsense though.

BRING ON WASTELAND 2!

This comment was edited on Mar 19, 2012, 18:36.
 
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46. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 18:06 Prez
 
For me, all that I need to hear is the right people making the right noise in order for me to pony up sight unseen. I have a deep yearning for a return to the classic gameplay of our long- forgotten gaming past (of course with modern day graphics and UI's) . Couple that with the hope that kickstart projects provide and desperation born of an industry destroyed by passionless suits and, yeah, I'll pretty much need to be screwed outright before I begin to tread more warily in the kickstart arena.  
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45. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 17:59 Dev
 
Prez wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 17:41:
This way, when they call it a "spiritual successor", and name it "Gate of the Baldur Dude", given that they don't hold the property rights, everyone knows exactly what they are talking about and they rake in the start-up money. A bold and clever plan; I know I am already saving my pennies to make as big of a contribution as possible when it inevitably happens.
If it turns out to be a crappy game with no relation in gameplay to the originals (spiritual or otherwise) just a rushed title to capitalize on the old interplay IP after the HD versions of BG1/2, and exclusive to beamdog (like MDK HD) would you still get it? Is this game a pre-order for you or a wait and see?

Just curious, I see other posts from other people about buying this or not buying it.
 
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44. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 17:41 Prez
 
It's obviously no coincidence that all this talk and the Enhanced Editions of BG and BG2 are all flying about concurrently. Do a bit of sprucing up on the beloved classics just to make them (and more importantly, the Baldur's Gate name) relevant again, and get the community juiced up about a kickstart project for a new title.

This way, when they call it a "spiritual successor", and name it "Gate of the Baldur Dude", given that they don't hold the property rights, everyone knows exactly what they are talking about and they rake in the start-up money. A bold and clever plan; I know I am already saving my pennies to make as big of a contribution as possible when it inevitably happens.

I would prefer the spiritual succesor route than them wasting kickstart funds on buying the property back, which would probably be expensive.

This comment was edited on Mar 19, 2012, 17:47.
 
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43. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 16:46 Dev
 
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 16:41:
Interplay is barely a company at this point to begin with. I highly doubt they have open ended rights to the Baldur's gate name. Perhaps to the two titles they published but if there were to be a BG3 I would have to believe BeamDog would need permission from the current license holder and that sure as shit isn't Interplay.
As I mentioned already, beamdog already got rights from interplay to do MDK 2. I'm sure that interplay owns the rights to the games they already did, so thats why beamdog can announce an enhanced version of BG1/2. As for BG 3, they could just rename it and say its inspired by baldurs gate. Like dungeons game capitalizing on the dungeon keeper idea.

Since this is an obvious money/market grab, why wouldn't they do something like that?
 
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42. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 16:41 RollinThundr
 
Dev wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 16:35:
jdreyer wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 16:08:
Not sure why they'd need Kickstarter at all. Just use the profits from the enh'd version of BG and BGII to fund BGIII.
Because its a money/market share grab?
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 15:49:
Interplay has nothing to do with it. Infograms/Atari currently holds the interactive license for D&D.
Interplay made BG1 and BG2, so yeah, they have something to do with it. And just because atari has it, doesn't preclude the existence of an old contract, say for a BG trilogy, that wizards didn't think about putting expiration date on it way back when.

Interplay is barely a company at this point to begin with. I highly doubt they have open ended rights to the Baldur's gate name. Perhaps to the two titles they published but if there were to be a BG3 I would have to believe BeamDog would need permission from the current license holder and that sure as shit isn't Interplay.
 
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41. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 16:35 Dev
 
jdreyer wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 16:08:
Not sure why they'd need Kickstarter at all. Just use the profits from the enh'd version of BG and BGII to fund BGIII.
Because its a money/market share grab?
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 15:49:
Interplay has nothing to do with it. Infograms/Atari currently holds the interactive license for D&D.
Interplay made BG1 and BG2, so yeah, they have something to do with it. And just because atari has it, doesn't preclude the existence of an old contract, say for a BG trilogy, that wizards didn't think about putting expiration date on it way back when.

Or just do what Blackhawk said and get a pathfinder license or make up a system. Interplay probably owns the rights to specific characters, so they could at least use the same character names. Renaming Chain Lighting to Ripple Lightning won't change the game (or whatever the equivs are, I'm not too familiar with D&D).

This comment was edited on Mar 19, 2012, 16:41.
 
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40. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 16:16 Cutter
 
Dev wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 15:33:
As for 4 being a failure, I dunno. Is it a failure in sales? I noticed a ton of people getting into D&D for the first time on the 4th ed ruleset, and not just getting into it but buying minis and books. So regardless of if hardcore players don't like the WoWification of rules, if they get enough sales, it won't matter. Its like the consolification of games, its NOT done for the minority hardcore gamers. Its done for all the rest who outnumber them many times. And nothing prevents those hardcore players from playing with an earlier ruleset for campaigns.

On the other hand, there's some systems that are increasingly popular as alternatives. Whats that one where the rulebook is only $10 and you don't have to buy anything else at all to play? Is it "pathfinder" ? I

4 is failing pretty hard. It's the reason they're scrambling to get community input for a new ruleset ASAP. They've lost a lot of ground to other games like Pathfinder atm. Pathfinder has made a mjor faux pas however with allowing a couple of ex-EvE guys to make what is essentially a Pathfinder version of EvE. That means it'll either tank - likely - or just be a very small niche game. So that's a boon for WOTC, but they need to get some good new properties out because Cryptic's Neverwinter will now likely hinder them more than help them.
All in all they're pretty seriously fucking up what should be an easy way to make money which is just plain sad.
 
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39. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 16:08 jdreyer
 
Not sure why they'd need Kickstarter at all. Just use the profits from the enh'd version of BG and BGII to fund BGIII.  
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38. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 15:59 Blackhawk
 
Nobody said they had to give up all the rights. They can just enter into a publisher/developer contract. The publisher maintains the IP rights and a small degree of veto power over how it is used, while the developer has otherwise full creative rights and provides the funding. Interplay is out zero and has potential profit, Beamdog gets rights to the IP. Win/win.

The problem, again, is WotC. I don't know that a 2nd edition game is going to sell these days. They might be able to leverage access to the 5th edition rights on the basis of cross advertising, which Wizards desperately needs right now.

Then again, they could just get rights to the rebuilt engine, license the Pathfinder rules and setting for a song and make Golarion's Gate. Given that Pathfinder has been overtaking D&D as the RPG industry leader, their lack of any game presence might make them willing to deal.
 
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37. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 15:49 RollinThundr
 
Dev wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 15:33:
Cutter wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 15:25:
I wouldn't count on this happening for a lot of reasons. I'd imagine with WOTC is in a great deal of flux right now given the massive failure that is 4.0 and the scramble to engage the community and move back toward a 3.5 style ruleset. That being the case I doubt many they and most developers are willing to part with the monies involved - which would be substantial - to get it off the ground at this point in time.
But remember, its interplay. Given their current actions and their history with beamdog, they may have already had wizard rights to a 2e game and sold them already (more details in my post below).

As for 4 being a failure, I dunno. Is it a failure in sales? I noticed a ton of people getting into D&D for the first time on the 4th ed ruleset, and not just getting into it but buying minis and books. So regardless of if hardcore players don't like the WoWification of rules, if they get enough sales, it won't matter. Its like the consolification of games, its NOT done for the minority hardcore gamers. Its done for all the rest who outnumber them many times. And nothing prevents those hardcore players from playing with an earlier ruleset for campaigns.

On the other hand, there's some systems that are increasingly popular as alternatives. Whats that one where the rulebook is only $10 and you don't have to buy anything else at all to play? Is it "pathfinder" ? I

Interplay has nothing to do with it. Infograms/Atari currently holds the interactive license for D&D.
 
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36. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 15:33 Dev
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 15:25:
I wouldn't count on this happening for a lot of reasons. I'd imagine with WOTC is in a great deal of flux right now given the massive failure that is 4.0 and the scramble to engage the community and move back toward a 3.5 style ruleset. That being the case I doubt many they and most developers are willing to part with the monies involved - which would be substantial - to get it off the ground at this point in time.
But remember, its interplay. Given their current actions and their history with beamdog, they may have already had wizard rights to a 2e game and sold them already (more details in my post below).

As for 4 being a failure, I dunno. Is it a failure in sales? I noticed a ton of people getting into D&D for the first time on the 4th ed ruleset, and not just getting into it but buying minis and books. So regardless of if hardcore players don't like the WoWification of rules, if they get enough sales, it won't matter. Its like the consolification of games, its NOT done for the minority hardcore gamers. Its done for all the rest who outnumber them many times. And nothing prevents those hardcore players from playing with an earlier ruleset for campaigns.

On the other hand, there's some systems that are increasingly popular as alternatives. Whats that one where the rulebook is only $10 and you don't have to buy anything else at all to play? Is it "pathfinder" ? I
 
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35. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 15:25 Cutter
 
I wouldn't count on this happening for a lot of reasons. I'd imagine with WOTC is in a great deal of flux right now given the massive failure that is 4.0 and the scramble to engage the community and move back toward a 3.5 style ruleset. That being the case I doubt many they and most developers are willing to part with the monies involved - which would be substantial - to get it off the ground at this point in time.

Going forward at this point they'd probably require an entire new backstory and cast, in which case, why bother? I'd much rather see a new NWN style game - since Cryptic was forced to blow it under the Perfect World acquisition - where I can make my own adventures, and play those of others, for years to come. Either that or I'd much rather see new epic tale set somewhere in the FR they haven't really done before. That or another WOTC property like Planescape, Dragonlance, Spelljammer, et al. - gods I wish someone would buy D&D from WOTC and start getting companies to make games based on said IPs!

Lastly you have a handful of guys with a little industry experience, but far from the track record of guys like Fargo and Schaffer. That's a long way from designing and producing a game the size of Baldur's Gate. And no, these updates don't count as they're just a technical process much like film colourization - probably less difficult.

I loved the BG games but I don't see any reason to revisit them with yet another sequel. Much like the Love Boat I'd rather see something exciting and new.
 
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34. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 14:55 Draugr
 
Techie714 © wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 10:44:
DnD Ruleset

3.5 > 4.0

That's right!! I said it!

Safest comment ever.
 
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33. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 14:50 Dmitri_M
 
An adventure game and an oldschool RPG. Neither sound technically complicated. I think a Tie Fighter\FPS genre kickstarter would need twice the previously successful Kickstarter budgets.  
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32. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 14:48 Dev
 
InBlack wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 11:47:
Well yeah, thats exactly my point. For them (Beamdog not EA) to do a sequel to Baldur's Gate they would have to fork over more than anything that they could possibly get through Kickstart.
Creston wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 13:43:
No publisher is going to let you use their IP without control over what you do with it. They might turn BG3 into a virtual brothel.
You are forgetting something though. Interplay owned the rights to baldurs gate. They obviously have some sorta deal going with beamdog since they let them do enhanced MDK HD game that is ONLY available through their digital distribution platform. Its likely interplay sold the rights to enhance BG 1 and 2 to them after their success in MDK HD (I doubt beamdog would have announced it if they didn't have them), and also possible beamdog made an agreement for an option to do BG 3 too at the same time.

Given how greedy and desperate Interplay is for immediate cash, they'd probably sell almost anything for a song. I've documented and linked interplay financials in previous posts not too long ago, and there's a clear picture of the Caen bros trying to suck the corpse dry and put it into their own pockets. And interplay (aka Caen bros) would be unlikely to care if BG3 was a brothel. Interplay is many years away from the day they cared about gamers.

In fact, interplay may well have a deal with wizards that dates back to original baldurs gate that gave them rights to make a trilogy of games based on the D&D 2nd ed. And interplay may well have sold that to beamdog.

So the license stuff may already be a done deal.

That doesn't mean I'm confidant in beamdog's ability to do it. I would never kickstart such a project from an unknown unproven developer that has ZERO work to show, and would ONLY release it on an exclusive digital platform (the beamdog thing) as a market share grab. I would be unlikely to buy such a thing even upon release, especially if it wasn't available anywhere else, unless everyone everywhere raved about it as the greatest game ever. Unlike the other kickstarters I've backed, this reeks of an attempt to push out any random thing for a money/market grab. And AFAIK its certainly NOT a decades/lifelong dream for beamdog to do this.

This comment was edited on Mar 19, 2012, 15:02.
 
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31. Re: Beamdog on Possible Baldur's Gate III Kickstart Mar 19, 2012, 14:39 Dev
 
The thing is though, it would be a kickstart for selling a game ONLY through beamdog, just like MDK HD. I would NOT kickstart something like that.
ASeven wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 14:22:
As others mentioned, I'm wary of someone mentioning a kickstarter when they haven't even showed anything from their enhanced edition. IMO this smells of a scam.
The enhanced MDK HD edition showed up there and no where else. I don't think its a scam as such, more just trying to get market share for their website download service. They probably got some rights from interplay for some of this stuff. Problem is, do they have any experience doing games besides enhancing existing ones? I'm not sure I'd trust a company like this to do a decent job. I'd certainly have to see the result before I bought it, and if it wasn't on steam, but instead on yet another platform I'd have to sign up for, it would be far less likely that I'd buy it.
 
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