Baldur’s Gate 3 and Starfield, due to their undeniable popularity, have been deemed as strong GOTY contenders. Despite the concurrent comparison, the development team of Baldur’s Gate 3 rallies against any unjust criticism pointed to the Bethesda's team.
In contrast, Starfield received mixed critiques but still managed to shatter previous records for Bethesda and Xbox, carving out its own success.
Respecting Developers' Passion
Michael Douse, Director of Publishing at Larian Studios, took offense at unjustified criticism towards the Starfield team, especially comments from former WoW developer Mark Kerns. Kerns had posted comparative review scores of Starfield and Baldur’s Gate 3, attributing the score disparity to Bethesda developers' lack of passion.
Douse, however, defended Bethesda by highlighting such claims as oversimplification and untrue. He asserted that developers at Bethesda are just as passionate about their work.
Avoiding Direct Conflict
Douse discouraged any direct confrontations with Kerns in his replies, instead highlighting this as a leadership issue and not a reflection on the development teams who put in great effort into their projects. He even chastised users who incited him to retaliate against Kerns, stressing that such behaviour was unnecessary.
Positive Feedback for Larian Studios
Observers like YouTuber Mischief lauded Douse’s handling of the situation and defence of Bethesda’s team. Respect for Larian Studios has grown since the team’s transparent and fair handling of matters following the successful launch of Baldur’s Gate 3.
Despite the critique, Bethesda has shown commitment to its players by actively listening to suggestions for Starfield and implementing changes accordingly. Their dedication has also earned them defence from Douse and support from Starfield players.