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Baldur’s Gate 3 Won’t Join Game Pass, Dev Commits to Full Price Play

Larian Studios

Don’t anticipate Baldur’s Gate 3 arriving on Game Pass anytime soon; that’s not in the cards, according to Swen Vincke, the founder of Larian Studios, as revealed in an interview with IGN. Vincke explicitly stated, “it’s not going to be on Game Pass,” emphasizing that this decision was part of the original plan and that inclusion in Microsoft’s subscription gaming platform was never under consideration. This declaration comes just a week after the official launch of the game on Xbox Series X/S consoles.

The underlying factor influencing this choice revolves around perceived value. Vincke argues that Baldur’s Gate 3, being a substantial game, is already available at a “fair price.” He highlights the game’s absence of microtransactions and its comprehensive narrative, emphasizing that “you get what you pay for.” With a completionist run taking over 140 hours, translating to approximately 40 cents per hour, the value proposition appears favorable.

It’s crucial to recognize that Larian Studios is not Microsoft; it’s a relatively small company reliant on financial support. Vincke suggests that players who pay the full price for Baldur’s Gate 3 contribute to the development of other games, enabling the studio to “continue making other games.”

This underscores a broader concern within the gaming community related to the “all-you-can-eat” model of streaming subscription platforms like Game Pass. While it’s undeniably a fantastic deal for consumers to pay $10 per month for access to a vast game library, the impact on developers remains uncertain. Some smaller developers appreciate the increased visibility that comes with launching on Game Pass, whereas others, like Take Two, view it as a “missed opportunity” for publishers. Sony’s Jim Ryan has even labeled the platform as “value destructive,” though it’s worth considering the context of his perspective as it pertains to a key competitor.

Microsoft staunchly maintains that Game Pass boosts sales for included titles, asserting that players, enamored with certain games, eventually choose to own them outright. There is some evidence supporting this claim; despite being available on the subscription service from day one, Starfield emerged as the best-selling title in September, according to figures published by VentureBeat. However, the cautionary tale about free milk and cows might resonate with certain gamers.

Crucially, Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t reliant on Game Pass. It stands as one of the year’s most popular and critically acclaimed releases, earning numerous accolades at The Game Awards and selling approximately 20 million copies on Steam alone. Furthermore, the game is accessible on PS5 and, as previously mentioned, Xbox Series X/S.

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