Microsoft clearly underestimated the immense success of Baldur’s Gate 3 and mistakenly believed that it would require minimal investment to bring it to Xbox Game Pass on its release day.
According to leaked documents and correspondences from Microsoft, the Xbox leadership referred to Baldur’s Gate 3 as a “second-rate Stadia PC RPG” in May 2022. This derogatory remark is quite astonishing considering that the game’s simultaneous peak player count reached 875,343. Furthermore, it currently boasts an impressive score of 96 on Metacritic.
Microsoft initially estimated that acquiring Baldur’s Gate 3 for Xbox Game Pass would cost around 5 million. In comparison, other games like EA’s Star Wars Jedi: Survivor were projected to exceed $300 million, while WB’s Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was estimated to surpass $250 million. However, the latter has been postponed until February 2024 due to its unfavorable reception during Sony State of Play in February 2023. Consequently, its value on Game Pass has likely diminished since then.
Michael Douse, the director of publishing at Larian, commented on the leaked cost estimation for Baldur’s Gate 3. On Twitter, he stated, “To be fair, everyone else did too. The same happened with DOS2. It’s inherent to the genre, our approach, and our execution,” he clarified. “There simply wasn’t any existing data that could have predicted the performance of BG3. We had to take bold leaps of faith.”
Baldur’s Gate 3 encountered some technical difficulties when running on Xbox Series S due to the co-op split-screen feature. Consequently, the game has not yet been released on Xbox. However, both parties have reached a resolution that co-op split screen will be available on Series X but not on Series S. As a result, the game is scheduled to launch on Xbox by the end of 2023.
Thanks to the resounding success of Baldur’s Gate 3, Larian will undoubtedly be recognized and valued appropriately in the future.