Watching the countdown timer slowly tick down for the new Baldur's Gate game was agonizing: From fifteen minutes to two minutes, I watched and waited. Then I waited as it went from two minutes to eleven minutes and back down again.
Yeah, it went up. Apparently Irenicus is behind this launch, because it's torturous. The servers were undoubtedly slammed by thousands of gamers anticipating the newest addition to the renowned Baldur's Gate franchise, which took the server down for several minutes and eventually resulted in an extended countdown.
The loyalty of the fans -- or, more likely, F5ing the server into oblivion -- was left relatively unrewarded: Today, Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition was announced as a Beamdog release targeted for Summer, 2012.
It looks like it's primarily going to be compatibility updates, resolution (widescreen) updates, and potentially a Steam installation. We don't know much more beyond that -- so far it's all up in the air as little has been revealed thus far. We'll keep you updated in the event something surprising emerges from this.
If you can't wait or would like to revisit the famous Baldur's Gate II in a newer engine, check out this Baldur's Gate II redux mod for the Dragon Age engine in the mean time. Baldur's Gate, for the uninitiated, was one of the inspirations for our recent NPC design post: It has some of the most immersive, human NPCs and storylines ever used in a game.
Here's the official site, if it works: http://baldursgate.com/
UPDATE: Here's an image that we finally were able to load, now that the servers have recovered (bottom):
UPDATE 2: Here's a quote from the official Baldur's Gate page: BG: EE "Will feature a re-forged version of the Infinity Engine with a variety of modern improvements."
Update 3: From Trent Oster: "Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition will include the Tales of the Sword Coast Expansion."
Update 4: Fromt Trent Oster again: "Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition is going to have new content for the game you love, made by some of the original team members."
Update 5: Trent Oster confirms that BG: EE will be a Beamdog exclusive. Other operating system compatibilities will be announced next week.
Update 6: Regarding all of your mod compatibility questions, it seems that they're trying to ensure past mods remain somewhat convertible or compatible. More info to come next week: "We take mods seriously. (I led NWN after all) mods both current and future are important. More announcements to come."
Update 7: Baldur's Gate: EE to retain its D&D 2nd Edition ruleset. Woot!