In both the gaming and development worlds, comparison between Baldur’s Gate 3 and Starfield is inevitable. The two are regarded as significant contenders for Game of the Year, but the development team for Baldur's Gate 3 refuses to stand for any undue criticism towards Bethesda's employees.
Baldur's Gate 3 Success
Deemed an undeniable hit, Baldur’s Gate 3 shot up to become the second-biggest PC launch of 2023. It also gained recognition as one of the most concurrently played games ever on popular gaming platform, Steam.
Despite an initially lukewarm reception, Starfield also enjoyed a considerable launch, breaking records for Bethesda and Xbox. Despite its success, however, Starfield has been subject to more debate and division than Baldur’s Gate 3.
Though neither title is immune to criticism, the Baldur’s Gate 3 development team insists that the criticisms should be fair. Larian Studios’ Director of Publishing, Michael Douse, came to the defense of Starfield’s creative team in response to the negative comments made by former WoW developer Mark Kerns.
Kerns compared review scores for Baldur’s Gate 3 and Starfield, crediting any disparity to the difference that passion makes in game development. Douse, however, dismissed this claim as a ‘disingenuous oversimplification’, asserting instead that it is inaccurate and unjust to suggest that the average Bethesda developer lacks passion.
Douse didn't shy away from attempting to diffuse any potential backlash against Kerns, stating that while they may share similar views on AAA, it's a leadership issue, and doesn't reflect the passion of the developers themselves. He also made efforts to discourage any personal attacks on Kerns, despite encouragements from others to do so. Individuals like YouTuber Mischief have also applauded Douse for his defense of the Bethesda team.
Larian’s team has been warmly received following the launch of Baldur’s Gate 3, with many praising their transparency and development philosophies.
The development team at Bethesda has also demonstrated their attentiveness to player feedback and adjustments they desire for the game. The Starfield community has rallied behind Douse and his defense of the game.