Many are still reeling from the number of leaked emails that came out this week highlighting the “mindset” of Microsoft, Xbox, and one of its leaders, Phil Spencer, on various issues. The leaked emails, which sometimes spanned years, talked about all manner of topics within the gaming industry and without. But the one we wish to focus on right now is Baldur’s Gate 3. The game is one of the biggest hits of the year and one of the biggest surprises of the year in terms of success. It currently is the best-reviewed game of the year on Metacritic and has done very well sales-wise.
However, in one of those leaked emails that came out, Microsoft was discussing how it could “shore up” its gaming lineup last year after some “gaping holes” were made by delays. Baldur’s Gate 3 was brought up by Phil Spencer, who noted that the title wasn’t likely to be that good, and they could likely get it on Game Pass on day one for about $5 million. For comparison, another title that came out this year, one with lightsabers, was valued at about $300 million to get it on Game Pass on day one.
Many fans railed against Microsoft for saying such things about Larian Studios and their now-successful title. However, the director of publishing, Michael Douse, went onto Twitter and made a post saying it was understandable that Microsoft felt that way as not many people had faith in the title while it was being developed or in Early Access:
“In their defence, so did everyone else. Same with DOS2. Comes with the genre, and the way we approach things, and the way we execute things. There just isn’t any existing data that could have told anyone how BG3 was going to perform. We just had to take giant spooky leaps.”
That says a lot about Douse and how he viewed the team’s work on the project. He wasn’t wrong about taking certain leaps, as the game doesn’t play like certain RPGs you know, but instead embraces the D&D aspect that many have come to enjoy. They also spent years in Early Access working with players to try and make something special, and it worked. But even they admitted recently that the game’s last act wasn’t as good as the first two, and they wanted to fix that.
It also didn’t hurt that there were plenty of characters to romance, and many of them didn’t take long to romance.