Baldur's Gate 3 title screen

Image source: Larian Studios

Not enough power, captain.

Larian Studios has recently announced the launch plans of Baldur’s Gate 3. It has moved the release of the PC version ahead by a few weeks, but slightly delayed the PS5 launch. However, Xbox users are still wondering when they will be able to experience the eagerly awaited RPG on their preferred platform. The uncertainty arises because Larian’s previous statement mentioned that technical challenges are causing a hold-up in releasing the game’s Xbox Series X/S version. Specifically, Baldur’s Gate 3 split-screen modes are apparently struggling on the platform.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Split-Screen Co-op Is Proving Tricky on Xbox

In a recent conversation with IGN, Swen Vincke, the founder of Larian Studios and creative director of Baldur’s Gate 3, discussed the challenges the developer has faced in ensuring the smooth performance of split-screen co-op on the Xbox Series S. Vincke emphasized that the vast and intricate nature of the game has made it difficult to optimize for the relatively weaker hardware of the Xbox Series S.

“It’s not that we planned this. Our plan was that we wanted to have a simultaneous release,” Vincke said. “But we’ve been on this game for a long time. It’s a really big game. The amount of things you can do in it is insane. I think people will be surprised when they see everything. There’s constraints we have to overcome, so we just work on them. Some take more time.”

Vincke added that Larian might have to make “compromises” in order to properly optimize Baldur’s Gate 3’s split-screen capabilities for the Xbox Series S. Currently, it is uncertain what those compromises will be, or if they will even exist, as there is still work to be done behind the scenes.

“We’re trying to be very limited in our compromises we have to make,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons why we’re taking more time also. But I don’t want to jump ahead of the development team, which is doing remarkable things. I don’t want to say it’s going to be like this until we’ve finished and decided it’s good for release.”

Vincke also revealed that Larian Studios has also been receiving support from Microsoft and the Xbox Advanced Technology Group (ATG) in order to ensure Baldur’s Gate 3 can run as well on the Xbox Series S as the developers want it to.

“We’ve certainly had support from Microsoft,” he said. “We had support from the ATG group. They’ve been doing great. They’ve been helping a lot. Everybody wants this out on Xbox. It’s not that we don’t want it out on Xbox. It’s just that, our problem — and this is us, Larian — is that we just made a very big game. And it’s a very complicated game.“

We’re also not a developer with an infinite amount of resources. We are constrained in the amount of time each platform version is tested. The more permutations you start adding to it on a platform, the more complicated that becomes.”

The Baldur’s Gate franchise is highly regarded as a groundbreaking and critically acclaimed isometric RPG series. It revolutionized the genre with its innovative elements, such as character customization, immersive storytelling, and strategic combat mechanics. After a long wait, the highly anticipated third installment is finally coming, promising to surpass its predecessors in every way.

Fans are eagerly anticipating the beautifully crafted world, memorable characters, and epic quests that await them. The return of Baldur’s Gate 3 is a significant event for both the gaming industry and RPG enthusiasts worldwide, reminding us why this series is considered a masterpiece in the realm of isometric RPGs.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is set to launch for PC on August 3, and for PS5 on September 6. Its launch will mark the second major isometric RPG this year, following on from Diablo 4.