baldurs-gate posts

Big Download's News Bits & Bytes - January 19

It's never a good thing when a large game developer shuts its doors and two of them effectively did that today. We feel that the (almost) shut down of Bizarre Creations really hurts as we don't think its owner Activision gave it much of a chance.

BioWare founders to be inducted into AIAS Hall of Fame

The founders of one of the most successful game developers of all time will be getting a big honor in 2011. The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences has announced that BioWare's co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk will be the latest game developers inducted into the AIAS Hall of Fame. It will be the first time in the award's history that it will be given to two people in the same year. The award will officially be presented during the AIAS's annual DICE Summit on February 10 in Las Vegas.

After getting their medical degrees, Drs. Muzyka and Zeschuk founded BioWare and since then have given us some of the best PC and console games ever made. Titles like Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect,and Dragon Age Origins have cemented the developer's reputation as one of the best, if not the best, RPG maker in the industry. At the moment the developer has three games scheduled for release in 2011: Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3 and the long awaited MMO Star Wars The Old Republic.

[Via email press release]

Baldur's Gate 2 now available DRM-free at's quest to get the classic BioWare-developed Dungeons and Dragons-based RPG games on its DRM-free game service is now complete. After putting the original Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights titles on its download site, now has Baldur's Gate 2 on sale as well.

First released in 2000 by publisher Interplay the game's rights have now reverted to Atari.'s version contains the original title and its 2001 expansion pack Throne of Bhaal. It also contains two downloadable manuals, a soundtrack, wallpapers, avatars, artwork, a map, and a Throne of Bhaal reference card. If you have never played it before, this truly terrific game can be yours for $9.99.

Boot Disk: Baldur's Gate

Sometimes you just need to sit down, slide a floppy into your A: drive, and enjoy gaming retro style. We know this all too well! That's why we have a list of the best and brightest from days long gone. These are some of our favorite games of all time, and we're sure that you'll love them as much as we do, if not more. Welcome to Boot Disk, and enjoy the retro ride!

We've covered several seminal and highly influential RPGs before here on Boot Disk, but there's on in particular that is still missing. While we've talked about its sequel at quite some length, it serves to play the original game, both because it has a more coherent story and because it was the developer's first real game. Baldur's Gate has spawned a successful franchise that spans two series and even has spiritual sequel in Dragon Age, but we've yet to touch upon the game that started it all. It's far easier to find now that has released it during their relaunch, and anybody who enjoys RPGs would be doing a disservice to themselves if they missed out on this classic.

Interview:'s co-founder chats about its relaunch

In 2008, game developer CD Projekt did something completely unexpected. The company launched (Good Old Games), a PC game download service that did two things differently compared to other services. First it only provided older PC games that were made to work on modern PC operating systems. The other difference is that all of the game were provided to users without any DRM set-ups.

The service seemed to be doing well but last Sunday seemed to be shutting down with a message on the site stating, " simply cannot remain in its current form." As most of you know by now the "shut down" was actually just a tease for a long planned relaunch of the site which happened on Thursday with the addition of Baldur's Gate to its library along with a site redesign and a number of new features.

While many users and indeed many media outlets (us included) were not happy with the way management handled the publicity of the relaunch we still wanted to get more info about's new look and its plans for the future. Big Download got CD Projekt's co-founder Marcin Iwinski to answer some questions on the service and its goal of becoming the number one PC game download service alternate to Steam. relaunches as planned with Baldur's Gate added

As promised on Wednesday, the DRM-free PC game download service has now relaunched after four days. As we have reported extensively, the site has not allowed gamers to download and purchase games while participated in a ruse that made many (but not all) of's customers believe the site was close to a total shut down.

In addition to a new web site layout and new features such as Facebook features, a way to create custom game lists and more, has added Baldur's Gate and its expansion pack Tales of the Sword Coast. The classic fantasy RPG from developer BioWare is now available for purchase for $9.99 and includes free downloadable manuals, two maps, a free soundtrack and more. videos show off new site before Thursday's relaunch's "shut down" stunt is over and while we and many others are not happy with the way the DRM-free PC gaming web site handled the marketing of this relaunch we are pleased that the site is still going to be around. Now has released a set of four videos on YouTube that show off some of the new features and announcements.

As we reported earlier today the site will go live again at 8 am Eastern time on Thursday with a new game, BioWare's classic RPG Baldur's Gate (along with its expansion Tales of the Sword Coast) costing $9.99. More games from publishers Atari and Hasbro (the current owners of the Dungeons and Dragons game license) will be added in the coming weeks. The site itself will officially be coming out of its beta stage two years after it launched on Thursday with features like Facebook integration, recommendations to other gamers and even a way to create lists of games based on a theme such as Best RPGs or Best Graphics. You can check out the three other YouTube videos describing the new after the jump: to relaunch Thursday with new site and features; Baldur's Gate to be added [Update]

As widely predicted by the internet speculators, CD Projekt has just confirmed that the whole "shut down" of its DRM-free web site (Good Old Games) was just a marketing stunt. In fact the service is relaunching. The web site became inaccessible last Sunday with the site saying the service was closing "due to business and technical reasons." According to an online press conference today with reps, 98 percent of the site's code has been rewritten for the relaunch that will allow six times the amount of users and traffic compared to the old version. The game will still offer DRM-free downloads of PC games and will still not use a download client.

While we are happy that is coming back we are not happy at all that CD Projekt made the call to deliberately deceive the media and its customers about its status. While the company certainly generated a ton of press it did so in the wrong way, in our opinion. We will update this post with any new info that comes from the online conference.

Update: The relaunch will happen on Thursday at 8 am Eastern time and will add the original Baldur's Gate and its expansion pack to the service on Thursday as well for $9.99. execs also said during the online press conference that the ultimate goal is for to be the "number one alternative" to the Steam download service.

BioWare co-founders chat about making Baldur's Gate at GDC Europe

Long before Star Wars: The Old Republic, Mass Effect or Nevewinter Nights the development team at BioWare first made its mark in the PC game industry with making the Baldur's Gate series of fantasy RPG titles. The two founders of BioWare, Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk, revealed some previously unknown details about the making of that game series this week at GDC Europe.

According to Gamasutra's report on their panel, the two BioWare co-founders tried to pitch publisher Interplay a game called Battleground Infinity, which was proposed as more of an MMO type of title. Interplay decided to take BioWare's pitch but then turned it into a single player RPG using the Dungeons and Dragons license. Along with the release of the first Diablo game from Blizzard, the first Baldur's Gate title, released in 1998, helped to reawaken the RPG genre which at one point in the 1990's was thought to be dying off.

Boot Disk: Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn

Sometimes you just need to sit down, slide a floppy into your A: drive, and enjoy gaming retro style. We know this all too well! That's why we have a list of the best and brightest from days long gone. These are some of our favorite games of all time, and we're sure that you'll love them as much as we do, if not more. Welcome to Boot Disk, and enjoy the retro ride!

The PC RPG was once one of the most highly revered genres in the gaming industry. Long relegated to the background by more action-devoted titles, games like Fallout and Neverwinter Nights are gradually making their return to the spotlight, albeit in forms mutated from their original depth and complexity. Fallout is no longer the isometric, morally-ambiguous quest it once was, and Neverwinter Nights has moved more into the realm of hack-'n-slash as time has gone on. One of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful PC RPGs has not diminished at all over the years, though, even though it has never received a proper sequel. I am referring to Baldur's Gate 2, one of the finest examples of story and gameplay being interweaved so elegantly that it revolutionized how many people saw RPGs. Its influence is still felt, and thanks in part to its success, BioWare can now make pretty much whatever they want. However, if you want a slice of AD&D from the year 2000, look no further.

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