“Need the Steam model on consoles”: Baldur’s Gate 3 Dev Wants Everyone to Understand Why the Gaming Industry is in so Much Trouble

The gaming industry has to evolve to survive, and Baldur’s Gate 3 Publishing Director might have the solution it needs.

baldur’s gate 3

SUMMARY

  • Baldur's Gate 3 Publishing Director shared his take on what is wrong presently with the gaming industry.
  • He states that in an attempt to appeal to mass audiences, games end up appealing to no audience as they are very shallow and generic.
  • The solution is to dive into niches by enabling easier self-publishing, as is implemented on Steam for consoles, to feature a wider variety of games.
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Games such as Baldur’s Gate 3 are rare gems in the current gaming industry landscape. Very few studios can compare to what Larian Studios has managed to achieve. Indeed, it was considered to have set an unfair standard for other AAA games due to the sheer quality of the content and its quantity as well.

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Given its success, when the developers behind such games speak out about the industry in general, the points they bring up are usually riddled with nuanced insights. We have none other than the Publishing Director of Larian Studios, offering his take on what is currently wrong with the gaming industry and how things can improve!

Baldur’s Gate 3 Publishing Director Blames Gaming Industry Crisis on Generalization

Baldur's Gate 3 set a new standard for the gaming industry.
Baldur’s Gate 3 set a new standard for the gaming industry.

Any form of media succeeds when it appeals to its audience. Regardless of whether that audience pool is large or small, the effort put into touching on the nuances of that audience’s preferences is what cements its popularity. The same principle applies to games, a sentiment that is shared by Michael Douse.

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In a recent thread on X, the Director of Publishing, Michael Douse, at Larian Studios offered his take on why the gaming industry is in a dire position.

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The issue is that teams are trying to make games that appeal to everybody, which results in them appealing to nobody. They become generic titles that follow a set formula without taking risks or trying to stand out.

He calls the idea of AAA gaming an “economic fallacy” that will end in long-term disasters. He states that creators should not rely on a “traditionally hyper-engaged” audience to consume generic content. Calling the foundations of the industry “rotten” and “bloated by time,” he goes on to offer a practical solution many developers should take to heart.

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His solution is to make self-publishing easier, similar to Steam’s implementation.

The goal should be to get deeper into audience niches by being “targeted.” He goes on to say the industry is currently at a very small percentage of what digital distribution can manage. The thread ends with his “unpopular opinion” of Steam being a monopoly “cus it’s good” and how we “need the Steam model on consoles.

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The Gaming Industry Needs a Serious Revamp

It's now important to cut through the clutter of publishing games.
It’s now important to cut through the clutter of publishing games.

Almost every big developer is facing some sort of issue right now. Xbox recently announced the shutting down of several subsidiary studios, citing reallocation of resources. However, some speculate this is a way to protect profits as their Xbox Game Pass service is not performing as well as they hoped.

Allowing creators to more easily publish their games on systems can greatly improve not only the quantity of games but also their variety. Adding roadblocks to the process will only further fuel the need to create generic titles that companies hope will have mass appeal but feel shallow and unpolished.

This is a systemic issue that companies have to deal with at the ground level. Only by changing their approach to releasing titles on their systems and improving the discoverability of these new titles can the gaming industry progress as a whole.

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What do you think of Douse’s suggestions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Sagar Nerala

Written by Sagar Nerala

Articles Published: 244

Gaming was one of my earliest passions then along came writing, and here we are. I've been in the content creation space for several years now and as gamer for even longer. From understanding the complexities of a multilayer narrative to the simply joy of "big gun go boom", my goal is to capture all the emotions in between and put them down in an engaging manner.