Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke has definitively stated that Baldur’s Gate 3 will not be coming to Game Pass, dispelling any speculation in an interview with IGN. Vincke emphasized that this decision was part of the original plan, asserting that the title was never considered for inclusion in Microsoft’s subscription gaming platform. This announcement comes just one week after the game’s official launch on Xbox Series X/S consoles.
The key factor influencing this decision is perceived value. Vincke emphasized that Baldur’s Gate 3, being a “big game,” is available at a “fair price.” He highlighted the absence of microtransactions and the game’s comprehensive story, underlining the notion that players “get what they pay for.” Notably, a completionist run in Baldur’s Gate 3 requires over 140 hours, translating to approximately 40 cents per hour, which Vincke considers a reasonable value proposition.
Larian Studios, as a smaller company, operates differently from Microsoft. Vincke stressed the importance of generating revenue for the studio, suggesting that players who purchase Baldur’s Gate 3 at full price contribute to the development of future games.
This decision raises broader questions within the gaming community about the impact of streaming subscription platforms like Game Pass, with concerns about how it affects developers. While some smaller developers appreciate the exposure from being on Game Pass, others, like Take-Two, view it as a “lost opportunity” for publishers. Microsoft contends that Game Pass increases sales of included titles, citing examples such as Starfield, which, despite being available on the subscription service since launch, became the best-selling title of September.
Crucially, Baldur’s Gate 3’s success doesn’t hinge on Game Pass. It has emerged as one of the most popular and critically acclaimed releases of the year, receiving numerous accolades at The Game Awards and selling approximately 20 million copies on Steam alone. The game is also accessible on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.