The 2023 Game Awards was full of new trailers and announcements but light on actual awards. Host Geoff Keighley ended up speedrunning through many of them, ultimately denying the winners an acceptance speech or cutting them off before they could finish one. Fortunately, some of the devs behind the best games of the year have found a way to share their complete acceptance speech anyway, including Baldur’s Gate 3 director Swen Vincke.
The armor-wearing boss of Larian Studios was effectively told to “wrap it up” at the end of this year’s ceremony even as he tried to dedicate Baldur’s Gate 3’s Game of the Year award to development team members who had since passed away. So Vincke recently took to Twitter to share everything he didn’t get to say on stage that night while celebrating the creative achievement of the Dungeons & Dragons-based story-driven RPG.
“What I wanted to say at the Game Awards,” he wrote. “Winning Game of the year is a great honor and I want to first thank everyone that voted for us and I want to congratulate all the other nominees. This has been an incredibly competitive year and you each would have deserved to win this award Capcom, Remedy Entertainment, Insomniac Games, and Nintendo.”
The thread continued:
I want to thank Geoff Keighley and the people that organized the Game Awards for creating an award show so big that it gets mainstream attention. While 30 secs is a bit short , there’s nothing like the game awards and it’s an incredible achievement.
I wore armor at the Game Awards because BG3 is a game that couldn’t exist without its player community and I wanted to pay tribute to how important they’ve been for the development. You rock community BG3.
Making a game like this only works if you have an incredibly passionate and talented team and in that regard I am incredibly lucky with the [Larian Studios team]–they are some of the finest and they did a truly amazing job.
Over 2000 people are listed in the credits and since I can’t call out everyone, I want to focus on a group of people that don’t always get the credit they deserve.
Team QA, team localisation, team customer support, team operations, team publishing, team play testers, and every other developer at Larian, BG3 wouldn’t exist without you and you all deserve to be very proud of this.
I want to dedicate this award to the friends and family members we lost during development including Jim, our lead cinematic animator who passed away last month and personally to my father who passed away the week before we launched our early access campaign.
You don’t get to make something like BG3 if you don’t have the support from the people around you. Personally, I really want to thank 5 special people, a crazy dog and a one-eyed cat for sticking with me.
To our actors–you did great. I hope our paths will cross again in the future and your agents will remain their usual reasonable selves 🙂
I also want to thank Wizards of the Coast and specifically the DnD team for giving us carte blanche. I’m really sorry to hear so many of you were let go. It’s a sad thing to realize that of the people who were in the original meeting room, there’s almost nobody left. I hope you all end up well.
There are many more partners I want to thank. We asked much of you all, but you delivered and without your efforts, BG3 would not be what it is.
I want to end with a story of a conversation I had a long time ago with a publisher. He told me, luckily for them, games are driven by idealism. He meant it in an exploitative way but he was right.
Games are a unique art form, as important as books, music or movies. Many developers, myself included, make games because they love seeing others engage with their creations in a way only games can offer.
They don’t care that much about the money made beyond it being the fuel they need to create new and better games. It’s worth reminding everyone that fuel is but a means, not a goal. Whereto and how we journey are what matter and what we remember.
Also—BG3 is now out on Xbox.
The shout out to the Dungeons & Dragons team was especially notable. Parent company Hasbro just laid off 1,100 people, including longtime members on teams across Wizards of the Coast working on D&D and Magic: The Gathering. Fans have been trying to square their recent success, exemplified by licensed projects like Baldur’s Gate 3, with so many staff members getting laid off right before the holidays.
Larian Studios wasn’t the only one who got a chance to share acceptance speech remarks that The Game Awards didn’t seem to have time for. IGN reached out to several of the winners who didn’t get to speak to share their remarks in full. They included Sea of Stars maker Sabotage Studios (Best Indie Game), Tchia maker Awaceb (Games for Impact), the team behind Street Fighter 6 (Best Fighting Game), and the team behind Resident Evil Village (Best VR/AR game). You can read those acceptance speeches here.
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