Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3), a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) rooted in the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition ruleset, took the gaming world by storm upon its release on August 3rd, 2023. However, what sets BG3 apart is not just its captivating gameplay but also its profound inclusivity, making it a standout in the realm of video games.
Exceeding All Expectations
Uniquely, BG3 spent a remarkable six years in development, with almost three years dedicated to early access open beta testing—a rarity in the AAA gaming industry. Developed by Larian Studios as a sequel to the 1998 and 1999 classics, BG3 exceeded all expectations.
Microsoft, the distributor of the game through the Xbox platform, initially had low hopes for BG3, as revealed in a leaked document from the FTC v. Microsoft court case. They referred to it as a “Second-run Stadia PC RPG” and predicted minimal revenue. To their surprise, the game has sold nearly 10 million copies on Steam as of September 20th, generating over half a billion dollars in revenue.
A Game of Inclusivity
BG3’s success can be attributed to various factors, including outstanding voice acting, motion-captured cut-scenes, immersive characters, and intricate storytelling. Yet, what sets BG3 apart is its commitment to inclusivity from the start.
During character creation, players can freely choose male or female voices, body types, and pronouns, irrespective of each other. The game even allows you to select the genitals of your characters. This flexibility extends to clothing, enabling players to put male characters in a magical dress if they so desire.
Inclusivity in Romance
BG3’s inclusivity doesn’t end with character creation. The game offers romance options with NPC companions, all of whom are canonically pansexual. These companions are not concerned with your character’s gender, pronouns, race, or class; it’s all about the choices you make in dialogue and gameplay.
A Lesson in Tolerance
BG3’s unapologetic inclusivity has sparked discussions, but it hasn’t hindered its immense popularity. The game has shattered expectations, earning critical acclaim and the title of a “masterpiece” by game reviewers. Despite detractors’ attempts to stir controversy, BG3’s success stands as a testament to the gaming community’s acceptance and openness.