The director of Baldur’s Gate 3 and CEO of developers Larian has come forward to discuss the crunch experienced during the development of the sprawling Dungeons & Dragons CRPG. Swen Vincke admitted that there was indeed crunch involved in getting the game finished, although he noted that it was less than what they had experienced with previous Larian games such as Divinity. While Vincke claimed that staff were paid for the overtime, he mentioned that it did not extend to working late nights or weekends, for the most part anyway.

During a Q&A session at the Digital Dragons developer conference, Vincke addressed the issue of excessive hours worked to complete Baldur’s Gate 3. He acknowledged that there was “certainly less” crunch than before, but explained that it occurred due to unforeseen circumstances. He mentioned that any overtime was compensated, and that the Larian building would typically be empty by 8pm at the latest. This was made possible by utilizing Larian’s studios worldwide, allowing developers to work around the clock without having to work late into the night.

According to Vincke, Larian did not “overly crunch”, and the overtime hours were not as long as what is typically associated with crunch. Despite this, he admitted that there was still “a bit” of crunch needed to finalize the game. He explained that when dealing with a project as complex as Baldur’s Gate 3, a certain amount of overtime is inevitable. However, he emphasized that they made efforts to keep it to a minimum and ensure that staff did not have to work weekends in the office.

Vincke expressed hope that the improvements made during the development of Baldur’s Gate 3 would carry over to future projects. While he confirmed that Baldur’s Gate 4 or DLC was not in the works, he hinted at the possibility of finding even more ways to eliminate crunch entirely. By compensating staff for overtime and utilizing a global team to distribute workload, Larian aims to create a work environment that prioritizes the well-being of its developers while still delivering high-quality games.

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