Baldur’s Gate 3 dubbed ‘second-run Stadia PC RPG’ by Xbox

Baldur’s Gate 3 exited early access for its full launch on Aug. 3 to major success — the game peaked at a whopping 875,343 concurrent players, according to SteamDB, making it one of the year’s biggest games. Even developer Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke was shocked: “This was not in the books at all. This was way, way beyond what we expected,” telling PC Gamer that it expected 100,000 players max. It’s been more than a week since its launch. Baldur’s Gate 3At the time this article was written, nearly 200,000 players were playing simultaneously.

You can say this Baldur’s Gate 3It would be an understatement to say that the game was not well received. Microsoft apparently didn’t expect much from Larian’s breakout hit, either, calling it a “second-run Stadia PC RPG” in a leaked email from May 2022 filed as part of the FTC vs. Microsoft case. That email included a chart that assessed upcoming games for potential inclusion in Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service. While other games were rated on their “wow factor” — i.e., Star Wars Jedi SurvivorThe mark was very high. Dragon Ball: Breakers was listed with a low wow factor — Baldur’s Gate 3It was the last one on the list. (It’s unclear whether “Hub” refers to the Xbox Insiders Hub; games like Ubisoft’s Just DanceYou can also find out more about the following: Let’s Sing ABBAThe same award was given to the winner of this year’s competition.

In May 2022 Xbox CEO Phil Spencer sent an email to several executives including Xbox Vice President Sarah Bond and head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty, discussing the fallout after Starfield’s delay, before it was officially announced. This delay and unclear release dates are a result of Redfall The following are some examples of how to get started: Stalker 2,The Xbox has a huge gap when it comes to big-budget games. “This is really a disaster situation for us given all we’ve invested in content across studios at our GP [Game Pass] content fund,” Spencer wrote. Spencer told the executives to start filling in those gaps.

“We set a very high bar in 2021 on quality and pacing of content which was awesome to see,” he wrote. “But to come off of that year with no big exclusives launching in 2022 is a portfolio planning miss that we can’t afford. We need to be flexible and delay launch dates (remembering the financial implications) if we want to have more beats. We have to all understand that the situation we are in now is a failure of our planning and production execution.”

Spencer added that the lack of clarity on timing and dates would be “obvious to the community.”

You can see the full list of projections here:

A chart showing Microsoft’s assessment of a number of games

Microsoft image via FTC filings

A table showing Microsoft’s assessment of the potential popularity of some future games

Microsoft image via FTC filings

Microsoft predicted that Larian Studios would have expected roughly $5 million for the game’s inclusion on Xbox Game Pass. As a comparison Star Wars Jedi Survivor, called a potential “crown jewel,” had an expected partner ask of $300 million.

Baldur’s Gate 3Google Stadia, and Windows PC were once supposed to launch. Google Stadia was a spectacular failure, and the cloud gaming console closed down after only three years.

In hindsight, Microsoft made a big oopsie; Baldur’s Gate 3 has no exclusivity tied to it, so it’s exclusion from the Xbox console was noticeable. In February, Larian Studios explained why Baldur’s Gate 3 didn’t have a planned Xbox release at the time. Vincke said on X — then Twitter — that Baldur’s Gate 3’s split-screen co-op didn’t work on Xbox Series S, Microsoft’s lower-priced console. Microsoft’s requirement that games be launched with equal features across Xbox Series X & Xbox Series S delayed the launch. By Aug. 24, after Baldur’s Gate 3’s major successes, Microsoft made the concession to let Baldur’s Gate 3Launch without Split-screen Co-Op on Xbox Series S.

Baldur’s Gate 3Xbox 360 consoles are now anticipated to be released later in the year.

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