Ever since Baldur’s Gate 3 gained steam and excitement from its recent game presentation, the discussion surrounding the game from triple-A developers has been off to put it simply. It seems to be the biggest dialogue that revolves around developers tempering gamers’ expectations when it comes to Baldur’s Gate 3 after it showcased the amazing scope of the gameplay, RPG aspect, and worldbuilding. As it seems, Baldur’s Gate 3 is about to set the industry standard for CRPG or RPG in general, and it has them worried.
This whole discussion started from a tweet thread made by @WritNelson in which he says:
At first, I kinda understood where he was coming from, likely looking out for the smaller indie game studio and some triple-A studios that may encounter harsh judgment and some gamers having unrealistic expectations for all games. However, I started thinking about it some more, and after seeing so many developers join in the conversation in that thread, it started coming off as more of an excuse than anything else. I think what Xalavier has done is preemptively put up a defense system that was never needed in the first place.
Most gamers know that not all games are built equally. No one plays The Last of Us 2 and then hops into Mario Odyssey complaining about the graphics of a Mario game. Gamers, for how crazy we can get, understand that each game is built by a different studio, and are aware that each studio has a different budget. Yet, to call a game that pushes the standard of a gerne an “anomaly” feels like a cop-out to me.
Something similar happened with Elden Ring now that I think, in which many developers like the developer from Horizon Forbidden West, complained that they didn’t understand the simplistic UI that Elden Ring employed, complaining that it was bad game design and unable to understand why gamers back then loved it so much. I talked about that a while back but seeing something like this happen again, makes it no longer a coincidence and more of that high school attitude where you alienate anyone that stands out and form a group-think.
Seeing some dev wish for Baldurs Gate to be a “once in a lifetime RPG” instead of wishing that games like Baldur can become the norm in the future is a wild take to have. No one is expecting every studio to spit out a Baldur Gate 3, but we hope that they LEARN from it and take inspiration for aspects of the game that can work in their own game. I mean when Breath of The Wild was first released, it inspired so many more games with its unique approach to open-world mechanics. The same can be said for PUBG and battle royal. Having games that push the boundary and the set standard is a good thing for gaming. And it’s quite upsetting to see so many devs feel differently. This is likely why gaming has felt stale as of late. A phenomenon that gamers have expressed over the past few years. It could be that developers have quietly come together and have agreed to a “standard” of their own, kinda like in a work environment where everyone quietly agrees to only do the bare minimum to lower expectations.
For games with studios with less than 50 employees, no one expects anything but their best, but if you have a studio with more than 1,000 employees and funded sufficiently, nah bro we lowkey expect something of quality from you then. That is business! When consumers go to purchase a product, they expect something of quality depending on the price. In the end, it seems that Baldur’s Gate will set a new standard for RPG games, and gamers will expect that type of quality, (within) reason from future games. Trying to manage gamers’ expectations is like trying to tell them what to like, and that never ends well. So either adapt to the evolution or phase out. Baldur’s Gate 3 is given the players who are fans of RPG and have been seeking, a true player-driven experience where your choices actually matter and affect the world around you.