Baldur’s Gate 3 exited early access for its full launch on Aug. 3 to major success — the game peaked at a whopping 875,343 concurrent players, according to SteamDB, making it one of the year’s biggest games. Even developer Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke was shocked: “This was not in the books at all. This was way, way beyond what we expected,” telling PC Gamer that it expected 100,000 players max. More than a month past its release, Baldur’s Gate 3 still surpasses that number in concurrent players, with nearly 200,000 at the time of this writing.
To say that Baldur’s Gate 3 was underestimated would be, well, an understatement. Microsoft apparently didn’t expect much from Larian’s breakout hit, either, calling it a “second-run Stadia PC RPG” in a leaked email from May 2022 filed as part of the FTC vs. Microsoft case. That email included a chart that assessed upcoming games for potential inclusion in Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service. While other games were rated on their “wow factor” — i.e., Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was marked at very high, while Dragon Ball: The Breakers was listed with a low wow factor — Baldur’s Gate 3 was marked Hub, and last on the list. (It’s unclear whether “Hub” refers to the Xbox Insiders Hub; games like Ubisoft’s Just Dance and Let’s Sing ABBA got the same distinction.)
The email exchange begins in May 2022, when Xbox chief Phil Spencer emailed several executives, including head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty and Xbox vice president Sarah Bond, to discuss the fallout from Starfield’s delay, before it was officially announced. The delay, plus unclear release dates for Redfall and Stalker 2, created a big gap in big games on the Xbox platform. “This is really a disaster situation forRead more on polygon.com