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Baldur’s Gate 3 is too good for Xbox Game Pass, and Larian knows it

Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke defends his hard stance against the Game-of-the-Year-winning RPG Baldur’s Gate 3 ever coming to Xbox Game Pass.

Baldur's Gate 3 Game Pass release not coming: Karlach from BG3 smirking, with a neon Xbox Game Pass sign to the left, covering with an slightly opaque red cross.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is undeniably a massive game, and Xbox players have long been curious as to whether the critically acclaimed RPG would be heading to Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service. After all, there’s nothing quite like getting a great game at no extra cost, and Xbox gamers have become quite accustomed to this with the likes of Starfield, Remnant 2, and so much more added to the service at, or shortly after release. However, Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke proudly stands firm against a potential BG3 Game Pass release.

In a statement to IGN, Vincke expanded upon the “sensitive question” about Baldur’s Gate 3 coming to Game Pass now that the RPG is out on Xbox consoles after several delays. Expressing that Larian Studios takes great pride in its work, Vincke notes the studio made a large, ambitious title which he believes deserves to stand on its own: “We made a big game, so I think there’s a fair price to be paid for that, and I think that that is okay”.

“Oh, we always said from the get-go, it wasn’t going to be on Game Pass, it’s not going to be on Game Pass,” Vincke went on to say, putting the final nail in the coffin for eager Xbox players holding out for a BG3 Game Pass release.

Baldur's Gate 3 Game Pass launch: Shadowheart healing the player character in a wooded area.

That’s not all Vincke had to say on the topic though, explaining that Larian Studios always seeks to make “a game that has a beginning, middle, and an end”, noting that the studio “don’t charge you any micro-transactions”. If you’ve played Baldur’s Gate 3 for yourself, then you’ll have experienced firsthand just how much high-quality content is on offer in Larian’s RPG. As Vincke rightly points out, “it’s a big meaty game”, and letting the game “exist as it is” serves to highlight and value the effort the studio puts in. After all, “This is what allows [Larian] to continue making other games”, he explains.

While there have been many successful games launched on Xbox Game Pass, with the service being particularly effective for smaller indie developers, Larian Studios evidently has the reach it needs to succeed without Game Pass. Vincke’s comments about Baldur’s Gate 3 being a large and complex game worthy of standing on its own and justifying a standalone purchase is certainly admirable and puts it head to head with other big names.

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For example, this comes as Ubisoft adds a huge RPG to Game Pass just in time for the holidays, exacerbating Vincke’s claims. Although Ubisoft’s addition of Far Cry 6 comes as yet another title from the publisher added to the service long after release, it’s nonetheless, emblematic of Larian’s position in the industry, especially after the immense success of BG3. Likewise, Bethesda’s Starfield launched day-one on the service, owning to the fact that Microsoft now owns the developer. However, there’s certainly an argument to be made that such a release undermines and undervalues the game’s quality, despite how many fresh players it can pull in, with Starfield’s launch resulting in the strongest single day of new subscribers since the service began.

While Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t one of the Xbox Game Pass Core games or even a part of the Ultimate tier, it is nonetheless one of the best games out there. If you’re diving into the critically acclaimed RPG, be prepared to spend over 8,000 years in the BG3 character creator all while debating the best Baldur’s Gate 3 class. Otherwise, check out all the best Xbox Game Pass games that you can play instead.