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“Baldur’s Gate 3" Calls Out Every AAA Game Developer

Larian Studios just raised the standard of a quality video game

By Jay KobayashiPublished 9 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - August 2023
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The video game industry is going through an existential midlife crisis with the release of Baldur’s Gate 3. The D&D inspired fantasy role-playing game developed and published by Larian Studios is earning universal praise from both critics and fans alike, becoming one of the most played games on Steam with over 800,000 concurrent players.

With the release of what many say is the best game of 2023, Baldur’s Gate 3 has sparked an intense debate between game developers and its players, because if a game studio with about 450 employees can make an absolute masterpiece without any problems, why can’t development studios with five times the budget, size, and personnel can’t do that?

Is Baldur’s Gate 3 That Good?

Before we can dive right into this existential online debate, we have to go over how Baldur’s Gate 3 is being recognized as a masterpiece. Baldur’s Gate 3 not only features a rich Dungeons and Dragons inspired storyline where players can embark on a grand fantasy adventure, but the game also features the following things:

  • Extremely detailed character customization
  • 12 character classes to choose from
  • 11 playable races to choose from and 23 possible subraces to further customize your character with
  • 11 possible background stories for your character
  • 46 possible subclasses that players can further specialize in
  • Over 174 hours in cinematics
  • Over 600 spells and actions to fight against your enemies
  • 8 possible NPC’s that you can romance (so far)
  • Hundreds and possibly thousands of different dialogue choices/actions you can make in game
  • Both single player and multiplayer capabilities

Keep in mind, the game did not break in any sort of way when it was launched and the developers did not had to implement a series of updates throughout its first week. Baldur’s Gate 3 is receiving universal praise, because it is running smoothly and everybody on Steam are shocked over the amount of things you can do in game.

The fact that a mid sized game developer like Larian Studios was able to pull this off without anything going wrong is almost unheard of, because it almost feels like a decade ago when a video game earned this much praise without any glitches, microtransactions, and failed promises. Which begs the question: “How come AAA studios can’t produce this kind of quality?

The AAA Excuse

When it comes to failed or mixed reactions at a game’s launch, there are a number of things that AAA studios place the blame on. For Cyberpunk 2077, CDProjekt Red said that they didn’t have enough time. For Destiny 2, Bungie said they said they didn’t have enough personnel and budget. For every other game developer out there, they keep saying how “game development is a long and difficult process”.

“Had four years to make the game, and they pushed out a half made product.” | Credit: Cyberpunk 2077

Nobody out there is denying how difficult game development can be, but the fact remains that so many AAA video games have faced criticism for making questionable creative decisions. Diablo Immortal, Destiny 2, and Overwatch 2 all have questionable microtransactions models that forces players to pay for content that should’ve been unlockable just by playing the game.

The most notable and enraging example is Bungie who just released a State of the Game blog for Destiny 2. The blog addresses the game’s current health and previews changes, improvements, and new content for the future. In this blog, the developers blatantly ignore all the most requested features fans want such as new maps to PVP modes and new unlockable seasonal armor. Their reason for not doing any of these things is because ‘nobody uses/plays it and it is too challenging to make and maintain.’

"Like this skin? It can be yours for 2000 in game currency!" | Credit: Destiny 2

The fact that many AAA studios developed this habit of promising new free content and then going back on them in the form of seasonal battlepasses and microtransactions is not only maddening, but is causing fatigue to players everywhere. What’s even more maddening is that game developers are criticizing Baldur’s Gate 3 for its quality.

Why Game Developers Are Hating On Baldur’s Gate 3

The tweet that started it all was from Xalavier Nelson Jr., the head developer of Strange Scaffold Studios who pointed out that Baldur’s Gate 3 should not serve as the new standard of gaming, because the time, effort, and cost to make a game like that is unrealistic.

Soon after the tweet, many other game developers from all over chimed in their two cents, and defended the current standards of video games and explained how developers should not be pressured to live up to what they believe is an impossible standard.

This obviously enraged players and even critics all around because everybody is tired of the current status quo. People desperately want game developers to release new fun content that is not put together by duck tape and filled to the brim with microtransactions.

Just by looking at the reviews of Baldur’s Gate 3 on Steam, you can feel everyone’s frustrations of being continually disappointed by other games they have played in the past and are lashing out at developers who defend this poor standard.

You would think developers would not only praise what Baldur’s Gate 3 did, but would be inspired to put in the time and effort to make their games “that good”. It didn’t unfortunately and many AAA developers are still making subpar content that is reliant on a model that measures a game’s success based on player engagement.

So Is The Bar Raised?

Baldur’s Gate 3 showed everyone how good video games can be when made right. Whether or not this inspires the industry to improve their standards is entirely theoretical, because if developers continue to release half finished products, fans will eventually stop buying and playing all together.

“Its a new world out there.” | Credit: Baldur’s Gate 3

Not even remakes and remasters of fan favorite titles are at the level of quality that people are expecting anymore, so ultimately it’s going to come down to what is going to break first: the low standard or the entire video game industry.

What do you think? Should game developers take notes from Baldur’s Gate 3 or is the industry doomed? If you liked what you read, be sure to follow for more related content!

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About the Creator

Jay Kobayashi

A starving writer from LA who aspires to be plagiarized one day. I like to write about academic pieces that identifies philosophy and psychology in pop culture, and sometimes random fun pieces that interests me or the algorithm!

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Comments (14)

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  • Nguyen Anh25 days ago

    This is the best game in this franchise, everything is perfect for me. Hopefully, there will be a version for Nintendo Switch in the future. So you can download it at https://nswpedia.com

  • Eddiereaderabout a month ago

    apparently this game is great

  • Dorian Davies 3 months ago

    There are a lot of great games I haven't played. I discovered these games on the https://royalcdkeys.com/ website where you can buy games at really good prices:

  • Bianca Wilson3 months ago

    I've never played but I've watched videos of it. Would most definitely like for games to become more polished and feel more complete again. Games these days feel like scams *coughs* EA. *coughs* Sims 4 *coughs*

  • Ruza Aldin4 months ago

    This game has consumed me more than any other franchise has in the past. It's not perfect, but the experience is like nothing else I can remember.

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  • Abdullah7 months ago

    Interesting artical

  • Jack Thompson9 months ago

    Intresting post

  • Taher Patrawala9 months ago

    great written article take out time to read my article also.

  • Andrew Johnston9 months ago

    This is wholesale recycled from Destin Legarie video. It was off the mark when he said it, and it still is. First, some surface-level issues: * Xalavier Nelson is an indie developer, not a AAA developer as you've implied. * You also did not link to or show the rest of his thread (which had several points about the advantages that BG3 had that most other games don't), which is profoundly dishonest. * You failed to mention that BG3 was sold in Early Access for three years, something even Legarie mentioned. Factually, BG3 did not launch in its current state any more than Cyberpunk did. Now, the bigger point: The developers have nothing to do with the complaint you're raising. It isn't coders putting themselves into crunch time, it isn't level designers coming up with monetization schemes and it isn't script writers deciding to launch early. All of these decisions come from the executive suite, and those people are enforcing the will of the shareholders. It has nothing to do with the people actually developing the games.

  • Lark Hanshan9 months ago

    Wonderful article, thank you for taking the time to write it and for your insights. I'm looking forward to starting Baldur's Gate 3 after all I've heard about it. I absolutely feel that developers should take notes, even start a conversation, with each other about how BG3 is thrilling the gaming community. They're proving that with solid foundation, hard work and a strong understanding of what their target audience want, games like this are possible. I hope it inspires a new generation of gamers and future devs and spurs them on to make and play great things.

  • Leslie Writes9 months ago

    I am not a gamer, but husband is. I showed him this article and he enjoyed it very much. He loves this game play probably more than he loves me lol

  • Greg Seebregts9 months ago

    I haven't played this one, but I've heard the hype around it. Considering all the nonsense in recent years regarding microtransactions and half-baked releases, I can see it being one of the more successful releases for 2023.

  • Andrew C McDonald9 months ago

    I know my 23 year old son will be very excited to hear about this article. I could wish that AAA and other game developers would take to heart what it means to put forth a quality game, but, alas, I highly doubt that will occur. Perhaps Larian Studios will become successful to overtake the preeminent game developers and quality will improve. Of course, we hope they continue their trend of giving the customers what they want rather than just going for the quick buck. Meanwhile, we shall lock up our dragons in their respective dungeons and try out Baldurs Gate 3.

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