Excalibur is the codename for Baldur's Gate 3 studio's next RPG - join us as we speculate wildly on what it could be

Larian Studios
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

After whisking us away on an memorable adventure in Faerun in Baldur's Gate 3, Larian announced it would be moving to pastures new for its upcoming projects. With two "very ambitious RPGs" in development, very little else is known about the direction of the new games, but studio CEO and director Swen Vincke recently revealed the next RPG Larian is set to work on officially has a codename - Excalibur. Now, this doesn't exactly reveal much of anything, and even Vincke has said he doesn't know what the hell it is yet. 

Even if there's very little to go on, we absolutely can't help ourselves: we have to speculate with reckless abandon about Excalibur. Just what could Larian's next RPG be? Join us as we roll the dice and put our heads together for some wild speculation about the direction of the next game. 

Going metaphorical: an Arthurian fantasy CRPG  

Ali Jones, Deputy News Editor at GamesRadar
Ali Jones

While I certainly like the idea that Codename Excalibur could be an Arthurian fantasy CRPG, I also like the idea that Larian is a little more imaginative with its secret projects than that. So if Larian is leaning towards the King Arthur myth but not actually creating a game based on that myth, what could the Excalibur name mean? One thing jumps out at me - the often strict, slightly stuffy, and firmly religious world of Divinity. Of course, the seven Divinity games aren't a million miles away from the swords and sorcery of Dungeons & Dragons, but they have a distinctly religious bent that's not drastically dissimilar from the Knightly Virtues and Chivalric Code upheld by the Knights of the Round Table - perhaps Excalibur is a nod to those ideas, ahead of an official return to Rivellon?

And to back up those claims, the image of Excalibur itself must mean something. A fated weapon that bestows sovereignty upon its rightful owner, imparted by apparently divine means unto a chosen king destined to lead his people? I'm not trying to suggest that Swen Vincke be lauded as king of all England (even if he does rock a suit of armor), but there's an undeniable poetry to all this. Maybe Excalibur is supposed to be a nod to Larian's destiny, the idea that having forged ahead and made its name with Baldur's Gate 3, it's set to return to its roots and craft the RPG it was always destined to make. Or maybe there's just a character with a really cool sword - time will tell.

Taking it literally: Merlin, the RPG

Baldur's Gate 3

(Image credit: Larian Studios)
Jasmine Gould-Wilson, GamesRadar Staff Writer photo
Jasmine Gould-Wilson

It might be a little on the helmet-headed nose, but the first thing that springs to mind when I think of Excalibur is naturally going to be a certain wizard of Arthurian legend. I've long been entranced by the myriad TV and film permutations of this magic-steeped slice of British mythology, and the thought of Larian adapting it into a fully-fledged medieval RPG has me absolutely thrilled. Larian has more than proved itself a master when it comes to building authentic, immersive sword-and-shield worlds in the likes of Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Baldur's Gate 3, each governed by strong branching narratives that chart a journey of heroic wonder. It feels like a no-brainer that a Merlin-based RPG could riff off much of the same, putting us in the weary shoes of Merlin himself as he embarks on a quest to seek justice in a land of unjust would-be monarchs. You might be worried that adapting a piece of well-known mythology could end up shackling Larian's creativity, but I disagree. The best thing about the legend of King Arthur is the fact that legends offer enough flexibility to leave plenty of room for the studio's signature flourishes, both in story and in style. Picture this: exploring the city of Camelot with Arthur, recruiting his Knights of the Round Table that rally to his aid in battle as he wields Excalibur, having the most powerful wizard in the land on-side to deal out the magical damage from afar. Imagine all the side quests and NPCs we might meet, from the lady Nimue to Lancelot and the dastardly fairy queen Mab as a potential enemy? The possibilities would be endless in terms of the choices at our fingertips, and it would all fit neatly under Larian's RPG cap – again, talking incredibly literally here.

Talking to animals: The RPG (with lots of dogs)  

Baldur's Gate 3

(Image credit: Larian Studios)
Heather Wald, Senior Staff Writer at GamesRadar
Heather Wald

If this next RPG is apparently codenamed after one of Sven's dog, then who's to say it's not a dog RPG? Okay, it doesn't just have to be dogs, but hear me out here: What if the team that brought us Divinity Original Sin and Baldur's Gate 3 go all in on an adventure where you talk to animals? You know, the best power in any recent RPG? The Pet Pal talent in Divinity Original Sin 2 and the Speak with Animals spell in BG3 lets you see a whole other side to the world by letting you converse with critters. So what if you were some kind of magical wizard figure whose primary power was nattering with the animals that inhabit whatever world it's set in? Perhaps the playable character takes on the Excalibur moniker like Tav (named after Sven's other dog, Gustav), and has a companion like Scratch who factors into the story a whole lot more on account of said power. 

It's a little more out there, but if we're here for wild speculation, then it makes perfect sense to me that the studio would capitalize on the features it brought us before and go even further with it. That's not to say that I wouldn't want to see more BG3 flavor mixed in, with multifaceted companions we can romance, and choices with consequences. But I wouldn't be mad about an RPG that centers on that power. However it shakes out, I hope it makes a comeback one way or another. Let me talk to all the animals. 

Baldur's Gate 3 lead says Larian "did start pushing around ideas for Baldur's Gate 4, and they didn't excite us".

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good. 

With contributions from