Larian Studios CEO Swen Vincke has said the company won’t be putting any of its games on subscription services.
“Whatever the future of games looks like, content will always be king,” said Vincke. “But it’s going to be a lot harder to get good content if subscription becomes the dominant model and a select group gets to decide what goes to market and what not. Direct from developer to players is the way.”
Vincke was speaking in response to recent comments from Ubisoft’s subscription director, who said he sees “tremendous opportunity for growth” in the business model if consumers can get used to not owning games like they have with music, movies and TV content.
“Getting a board to ok a project fueled by idealism is almost impossible and idealism needs room to exist, even if it can lead to disaster,” Vincke continued. “Subscription models will always end up being cost/benefit analysis exercises intended to maximize profit.
“There is nothing wrong with that but it may not become a monopoly of subscription services. We are already all dependent on a select group of digital distribution platforms and discoverability is brutal. Should those platforms all switch to subscription, it’ll become savage.”
Having previously suggested that Baldur’s Gate 3 would never come to Xbox Game Pass, Vincke went on to rule out bringing any of the company’s titles to subscription services.
“TLDR; you won’t find our games on a subscription service even if I respect that for many developers it presents an opportunity to make their game,” he said. “I don’t have an issue with that. I just want to make sure the other ecosystem doesn’t die because it’s valuable.”
Court documents leaked this summer revealed 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.