Speaking of Atari and RPGs, Phil Harrison, president of Atari parent Infogrames, let slip that the company plans to revisit some of its past classics, including – ohmygod – Baldur’s Gate.
In an admittedly thin comment made during a press event in Europe, Harrison said, “Atari plans to revisit the likes of Baldur’s Gate, Dungeons & Dragons, Neverwinter Nights and Test Drive Unlimited, but not in the next 12 months. You will hear more from these but not today, because we’re focused on 2009.”
It’s not much to go on, but for a Baldur’s Gate fan, or any old-school RPG player for that matter, it’s potentially huge. Baldur’s Gate single-handedly brought the CRPG genre back to life and led to the creation of everything from Icewind Dale to Storm of Zehir. It’s not an overstatement to say that without that seminal BioWare RPG, the face of videogaming today would be very different.
Of course, the downside to a decade-late follow-up to such an influential and highly-regarded game is obvious: Baldur’s Gate is a tough enough act to follow in its own right, and ten years of nostalgia is a prism that can bend expectations beyond all reasonable limits. It’s not a question of whether it’s likely that Atari can meet those demands, but if it’s even possible. Needless to say, I’ll be watching this one very closely.