Baldur's Gate - Looking back
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October 14th, 2019, 09:01
I bought it Christmas eve, 1998. Only 2 copies in the Software etc. store and I grabbed the first one, while the cashier checking me out nabbed the other.
From my view, the D&D license was mostly dead then. The Christmas prior (1997) I bought Descent to Undermountain, and that damaged the brand. Before that though, there wasn't much in the way of D&D licensed games. The CRPG genre was extremely niche and had been dying off after the success of DOOM and its clones. Very few people I knew were into RPGs, and the last decent, well-received D&D game I played prior to Undermountain was probably Ravenloft: Stone Prophet. Even then though, nobody could recapture the glory of those goldbox games I grew up on. That large world, the challenging combat, the long storylines. Baldur's Gate was the first to do it too.
I still remember flaming the heck out of the old Interplay boards for BG prior to release because it wasn't going to be turn-based and I explained that if a game isn't turn-based, it's not a real RPG.
My how times have changed.
BG opened the flood gates. After its huge mainstream success, others followed. Without BG, I don't think the CRPG would be where it is now. It'd still be niche, unloved, and with sporadic releases of wildly varying quality.
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