Obsidian Entertainment - Baldur's Gate 3 Almost Made in 2008
Kotaku has an excerpt from an interview with Feargus Urquhart of Obsidian, revealing they almost signed a contract to make Baldur's Gate 3 in 2008:
"We were talking to Atari, and we started talking, and oh my god this was like the Cherokee Trail of Tears pitch," he said. "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.'"
Atari was hesitant, but they said they'd think about it. A few months later, in early 2008, they came back to Urquhart and gave him the okay, saying they really wanted to get the game done. "They were like 'OK, we really wanna do this, we feel we can get funding, we feel this we feel that, so let's start talking about it,'" Urquhart told me.
So in April, Obsidian started putting together a pitch for Baldur's Gate 3.
"That pitch, over the course of six months probably went through thirty revisions," Urquhart said. "I personally had probably spent 80, 100 hours—just me—on that one pitch, answering every question and asking everything and working on the budget."
Then Atari and Obsidian started working on a contract, which they had negotiated in full by the end of 2008. It was all set. Ready to be signed.