During 2008 it was rumored that the long awaited Baldur's Gate 3 had almost entered development but was quickly canceled. It turns out that the rumor was true after all.
CEO of Obsidian, Feargus Urquhart, has confirmed the ugly truth; Baldur's Gate 3 was getting ready for a huge development cycle before the rug was pulled from underneath it. While speaking to Kotaku, Urquhart shared some of the story behind the game's demise.
They [Atari] 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.
At that point things got rolling and Obsidian was excited to bring the Baldur's Gate series to life with modern hardware. Unfortunately, the following then happened.
And then a week later all of Atari Europe was sold to Namco Bandai.
We negotiated a whole contract. Years worth of work, and it turned out they didn't have the money.
The most disappointing fact about all of this is how much potential a Baldur's Gate 3 would have. There were some fantastic Western RPGs delivered last-gen, but compelling dungeon crawlers were nowhere to be seen. Thankfully, this doesn't mean it will never be made, and given the series' critical and commercial success there's no way this will be the last we hear of it.