Few industry observers would have put money on Baldur’s Gate 3 being one of the year’s biggest hits.
That’s according to Larian Studios director of publishing Michael Douse, who leapt to Microsoft’s defence after it emerged that the platform holder had seemingly heavily underestimated how well the game might perform.
It turns out that in May 2022, over a year ahead of Baldur’s Gate 3’s release, Microsoft thought it might be able to secure the game as a day one title on Game Pass for as little as $5 million.
The estimate was included in a leaked email conversation between top Xbox executives, who were looking for ways to plug what Microsoft’s head of gaming, Phil Spencer, referred to as “a huge hole” in its software line-up due to Starfield’s delay.
It revealed that Microsoft had assessed how much it might have to spend to secure a range of third-party titles for Game Pass on the day of their release.
At the top end of the estimates was EA’s Star Wars Jedi: Survivor ($300 million), around the middle was Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Mirage ($100 million), and at the bottom of the scale was Baldur’s Gate 3 ($5 million).
Given the latter’s success, Microsoft’s $5 million estimate now looks like a gross miscalculation, but Larian’s Douse wasn’t taken aback by the figure. Commenting on a report stating that Microsoft “completely misjudged Baldur’s Gate 3”, he said the Xbox maker wasn’t alone.
“In their defence, so did everyone else,” he wrote. “Same with DOS2. Comes with the genre, and the way we approach things, and the way we execute things.
“There just isn’t any existing data that could have told anyone how BG3 was going to perform. We just had to take giant spooky leaps.”
Following Baldur’s Gate 3’s PC release in August, the PS5 version launched in early September. And a delayed Xbox version of Baldur’s Gate 3 will arrive later this year after split-screen co-op was removed as a feature on Series S.
Baldur’s Gate 3’s latest major patch will launch today, introducing the ability for players to change their character’s appearance, among other features.