A Look at Forgotten Realms' PC History

If you're reading this, there's a good chance you know all about the long and storied history of D&D-based video games, and in particular, the ones wrapped in the now-flagship Forgotten Realms setting. Still, if you'd like to reminisce, or maybe fill in some gaps in your knowledge, you should check out this PC Gamer article that offers a quick overview of the setting's history on PC.

A few sample paragraphs:

The shift justified new design changes and cleared the decks for newcomers with no investment in the lore. But it also proved unpopular with authors like Salvatore and Greenwood, who found many of their characters suddenly aged out of existence. Heroes who had previously guested in PC games were now nothing but bleached bone. The Realms were cut off from their great strength: their history.

It’s a decision that’s still impacting PC games today. Baldur’s Gate III, for instance, takes place a century after Baldur’s Gate II, limiting its connection to the cast and consequences of previous games. But it’s not something that’s likely to happen again. “We learned some big lessons during playtesting for fifth edition that cut against the conventional wisdom for D&D at the time,” Winninger says. “People don’t really want some of the things we always thought they did.”

Players wanted to feel more in control of the setting, it turned out, and storylines like the Sundering and the Spellplague got in the way. “We retreated back to D&D first principles,” Winninger says. “The game, the world, and the story belongs to the DM. We try to give you a toy box and stay out of your way.”