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Baldur's Gate 3 has no future on Xbox Game Pass, says Larian

With how successful Baldur's Gate 3 has been, Larian doesn't think Game Pass has anything to offer for the RPG's prospects.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 15, 2023

2 Min Read
Shadowheart in Larian's Baldur's Gate 3.
Image via Larian Studios.

At a Glance

  • Larian is in a somewhat rare position to where it can openly turn down any offer made by Microsoft.

Whatever's next for Baldur's Gate 3, Xbox Game Pass won't be a part of those plans.

In an interview with IGN, founder Swen Vincke confirmed the breakout RPG both "wasn't" and "is not going to be" on the famous subscription service. He went so far as to call it the plan "from the get-go."

One of Game Pass' draws is having big triple-A titles eventually hit the service. Some games go there a year or more post-release, others like Remnant II from this past July come after a number of months.

With this declaration, the studio is quite openly stating the game is in a position where there's nothing substantial to gain from a Game Pass launch.

Vincke was blunt in that he thinks the game is something that should be paid for. To him, the main reasoning was its lack of microtransactions and how it has a definitive ending (or several).

"Upfront, it's a big meaty game," he explained. "I think there's a fair price to be paid for that. [...] This is what allows us to continue making other games."

Larian's almost future with Microsoft

It's worth remembering prior to release, Baldur's Gate 3 nearly ended up on Game Pass. Microsoft offered Larian $5 million to lock it down as a Game Pass title back when it was still in Early Access.

Back then, Larian publishing head Michael Douse noted how no one could predict Baldur's Gate 3's eventual acclaim. Its success speaks for itself, but the scrapped deal gave a window into what almost was.

More interestingly, Larian is the second large developer this year that turned down a Game Pass launch. Blizzard refused launching Diablo IV on the service, though it may arrive there in the near future.

Not many developers are open about why they would or wouldn't do a Game Pass launch. And while both Larian and Blizzard were vindicated, not all games, triple-A or otherwise, are in a position of turning down Microsoft's money.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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