A sequel to BioWare's Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn may be in development nearly 20 years later, according to a surprise leak. Early Thursday morning Larian Studios, developer of 2017's hit RPG Divinity: Original Sin 2, posted a teaser to its official website with the number 3 in Roman numerals. At first, Larian fans believed the teaser to be for an Original Sin 3 announcement. However, details found within the teaser's metadata made for a surprise. The teaser is apparently related to Baldur's Gate 3.
Internet detectives did their due diligence for this leak. The metadata isn't obvious. The teaser itself isn't actually an image, it's a video. There's some firey sparks and smoke that float over the "3" from time to time. If you take the .mp4 file for the video and open it in a text editor, there are several lines that reference Baldur's Gate 3. One line references the game title specifically: "BaldursGate_logo_III_retouched.png". Another line references an unused Photoshop layer hiding copyright information for Wizards of the Coast, the rights holder for Dungeons and Dragons, as well as the Baldur's Gate trademark.
In other words, either someone at Larian Studios pulled a prank and inserted some misleading information into the teaser's metadata or the teaser is for Baldur's Gate 3. Note that while it's surprising that Larian would be developing anything other than a follow-up to Divinity: Original Sin 2, given the game's success, this isn't actually a new rumor. In late 2019 Wasteland developer Brian Fargo said on Twitter, "I know who is working on BG3." Another rumor specifically said Larian had acquired the rights for Baldur's Gate 3, though it was unsourced.
If Larian is indeed developing Baldur's Gate 3, and it certainly appears to be so, expect it to be announced either in the days leading up to E3 2019 or at the event itself. Larian's participated in the annual E3 PC Gaming Show event before and it could prove to be an opportune venue for announcing Baldur's Gate 3. Barring an earlier announcement, look forward to June 10 at 10:00 am PT via PC Gamer's Twitch, YouTube, and social media streams.
The era of Black Isle Studios is long past, as is BioWare's legacy in third-person RPGs, replaced by shooters like Mass Effect and Fallout 3. But a resurgence in Dungeons & Dragons-influenced RPGs is happening. Larian's Divinity: Original Sin series and Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity games have shown that an audience remains in the late 2010s. To see Wizards of the Coast ready to bring back the Dungeons & Dragons video game franchises of old is an exciting prospect. To see Larian taking all its built in the Original Sin series and put it into Baldur's Gate 3 is beyond exciting. Expect to hear more soon.
Baldur's Gate 3 is not officially announced and so has no confirmed release window or supported platforms.