Should Baldur’s Gate 3 Set the Standard for RPGs? A Deeper Dive into the Great Debate

Source: Larian Studios

In the buzzing realm of the gaming community, few topics have taken center stage like the anticipation and subsequent release of Baldur's Gate 3. And why not? Here's a game that promises to redefine RPGs, sending tingles of nostalgia down the spines of veteran gamers while dazzling the newer generation. Yet, beneath the shimmer of its brilliance lies a concern from the developers' world. It’s been fervently discussed: Should Baldur's Gate 3 be the golden standard for RPGs?

A Glimpse Into the Conversation

The whirlwind of this discussion took flight from a Twitter thread initiated by Xalavier Nelson Jr., the creative mind behind Strange Scaffold. With games like Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator and El Paso, Elsewhere under his belt, Nelson Jr. is no stranger to the gaming world's intricacies.

His perspective? While Baldur's Gate 3 undeniably showcases excellence, using it as the yardstick for all RPGs is a recipe for disappointment. The game, in his words, is an "anomaly". And as awe-inspiring as it is, it's vital to remember the unique circumstances that birthed it.

The Genius Behind Baldur’s Gate 3

To truly grasp Nelson Jr.'s sentiment, it's essential to delve into what sets Baldur's Gate 3 apart:

  1. Experience and Legacy: This game wasn’t built overnight. Larian Studios, with its legacy of games like Divinity: Original Sin, had a treasure trove of experience to tap into.
  2. Time and Feedback: A three-year Early Access period is a luxury few can afford, both in time and resources. This period provided an invaluable feedback loop for refining the game.
  3. Scale and Resources: With over 400 developers scattered across seven offices, the sheer manpower and brainpower involved are staggering.
  4. A Powerhouse IP: Baldur’s Gate 3 didn’t just spring from anywhere. It stands on the shoulders of the Dungeons & Dragons giant, an IP that commands its weight in gold in the entertainment world.

Voices from the Gaming World

When Nelson Jr. voiced his concerns, the resonance was palpable. Many from the industry, be it from AAA giants or indie darlings, nodded in agreement.

Source: Larian Studios

Josh Sawyer of Obsidian Entertainment weighed in, emphasizing the invaluable foundation and resources that Larian Studios possessed. His stance? Celebrate the game, but understand its unique journey. Insomniac Games' Ryan McCabe highlighted the dangers of homogenizing expectations. Games, like art, should be free to chart their path, uninhibited by monolithic standards. 

Navigating Expectations

As Baldur's Gate 3 bathes in the spotlight, there’s an underlying narrative suggesting that developers might be feeling threatened by its success. However, diving deeper into the discourse reveals a different story. Developers aren't dismissing its achievements. Instead, they're urging the community to celebrate the game while cherishing the diverse tapestry of RPGs.

Source: Larian Studios

In an industry driven by passion, it’s essential to understand the dynamics behind each creation. Equating success only with massive scales and budgets undermines the hard work of smaller teams, who, with limited resources, bring forth innovative and engaging games.


As gamers, let’s embrace Baldur’s Gate 3 for the marvel it is. Yet, let's also celebrate the diversity of the gaming world, understanding that not every gem needs to dazzle with the same intensity. After all, variety is what spices up our gaming experiences, isn't it?

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