Baldur’s Gate 3 Devs Finally Got To Talk On Stage, And They Did Not Hold Back

Baldur’s Gate 3 Devs Finally Got To Talk On Stage, And They Did Not Hold Back

One of the biggest complaints about last year’s Game Awards was that the show did not let winners talk. Even when folks from Larian Studios got on the stage to accept the Game of the Year award for Baldur’s Gate 3, they were told to “wrap it up” and weren’t even able to make the announcement that the game was out on Xbox. In stark contrast, when the studio’s leadership accepted the same honor at the DICE Awards in Las Vegas, they discussed the state of the industry at length—and explained why Larian has been able to operate differently in such a turbulent time.

Director of Publishing Michael Douse said onstage that none of Baldur’s Gate 3’s success would have been possible without the work of all the developers who helped build the game. He said the industry is “bad sometimes at showing developers what they’re worth.”

“Many, many people were let go at the start of this year,” Douse continued. “I want you to know that you are talented and that you matter, and that you are the future of this industry. Don’t let that flame be extinguished by our collective mistakes. I know everyone here is scared because shit’s really fucked up. All of your projections are wrong and it’s scary. But we persevere as an industry, we will persevere as an industry, and you will all find your place and you will all be welcomed back with open arms. And we’ll still be making games for the players, and for you, and with these guys.”

Head of Production David Walgrave followed up by talking about community building as a key part of Larian’s philosophy—and throwing shade at microtransactions and companies being beholden to shareholders (like the Embracer Group, whose CEO’s callous comments about recent layoffs inspired widespread online backlash earlier this week).

“What we have tried in the last 20 years is to treat people like we would like to be treated ourselves as players, as gamers,” he said. “So we don’t make decisions where we think this could make us the most money. In the long run, building a community, building a player base, building games that are actually fun is going to make you the most money.”

In the months since Baldur’s Gate 3 launched on PC, the game has been held up as a shining example of what the AAA machine should be in terms of creating a huge, high-quality game without microtransactions and other predatory monetization schemes. A lot of that is only possible because Larian is its own majority shareholder, though Tencent has a 30 percent ownership stake. That means Larian is well-funded but not beholden to Tencent’s whims when it comes to design decisions. It’s a privileged position to be in, but it’s also encouraging to see the Larian team advocate for the value of people in an industry that just laid off thousands of them in the last six weeks.

Larian just released Baldur’s Gate 3’s sixth big patch, which adds new kiss animations for love interests and a wealth of bug fixes.

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