Baldur’s Gate 3 dev defends Microsoft for ‘misjudging’ the game before release

A screenshot from the game Baldur's Gate 3Larian Studios

In the wake of a massive Microsoft leak revealing its thoughts on Baldur’s Gate 3 ahead of launch, Larian Studios’ Director of Publishing is defending the company for underestimating the game.

The Microsoft vs. FTC case is bringing Baldur’s Gate 3 back into the spotlight, as leaked documents have revealed what the company thought of the game ahead of its wildly successful launch.

In addition to the news that Xbox considered paying Larian $5 million to get Baldur’s Gate 3 on Game Pass, an email leaked in which the game was called a “Second-run Stadia PC RPG.”

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Baldur’s Gate 3 fans are obviously rushing to the game and developer Larian Studios’ defense. However, the studio’s Director of Publishing Michael Douse is defending Microsoft in the wake of these comments coming to light, instead focusing on Larian’s mission.

Larian dev says Xbox wasn’t the only one who underestimated Baldur’s Gate 3 before launch

In response to an article criticizing Microsoft for misjudging Baldur’s Gate 3, Douse pointed out that they were far from the only ones who thought that way.

As Douse says, this “Comes with the [CRPG] genre,” and Larian faced similar low expectations with Divinity: Original Sin II. Though he followed up with an acknowledgment that many players have long believed in Baldur’s Gate 3, the data and history meant that the team “just had to take giant spooky leaps” and hope for the best.

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Since its full launch, Baldur’s Gate 3 has shocked the industry by far exceeding sales expectations and garnering universal praise from critics and gamers alike. Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of the best-reviewed games of all time and a consistent frontrunner in early Game of the Year discussions, something no one would have expected a couple of months ago.

Despite the shock, though, it’s not surprising Larian fans would be so quick to criticize Microsoft given the game’s messy history with Xbox.

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Baldur’s Gate 3 is not yet available on Xbox due to technical limitations of the Series S and Microsoft’s initial refusal to compromise on feature parity. Though Xbox eventually changed course and the game is expected to release on Series X|S later this year without parity, that didn’t prevent some vocal Xbox fans from criticizing the game and accusing Larian of favoring Sony.

The tension there is understandable and getting renewed attention following the leaks. The Stadia mention in particular is pretty brutal given the fate of that platform.

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Still, it looks like Larian Studios is taking it all in stride. In hindsight, it’s clear the lack of a Game Pass deal worked out for the developers, who certainly would have ended up losing money by giving it to subscribers for just $5 million. Plus, while the kinds of games Larian makes aren’t your typical mainstream hits, Baldur’s Gate 3 has shown that an underestimated game from a traditionally niche genre can be a surprise hit.

If you liked this, be sure to check out the rest of our Baldur’s Gate 3 coverage, which includes the latest news, guides, and much more.

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