The Baldur’s Gate 3 creative director responds to a Ubisoft executive who suggests that gamers need to get comfortable not owning their games.

The Baldur's Gate 3 creative director, Swen Vincke, stated that acquiring good video game content might be more challenging if subscriptions become the dominant model in the industry. The Baldur's Gate 3 creative director's comments were in response to recent statements from a Ubisoft executive who suggested that gamers may need to adjust to not owning their games as video game subscriptions gain popularity.

In recent statements from Ubisoft's director of subscriptions, Philippe Tremblay, he acknowledged the growth of subscription services in gaming but noted a slower shift away from owning physical copies. Tremblay emphasized the importance of gamers becoming "comfortable" with not owning their games and anticipated that embracing subscription models would ensure continued access to games. Additionally, he highlighted the flexibility of streaming in conjunction with subscription services, allowing users to pay only when needed.

In response to Tremblay's statements, the creative director of the award-winning Baldur’s Gate 3 emphasized the enduring importance of content in the gaming industry. He stated that while content remains king, the dominance of subscription models could pose challenges. Vincke expressed concern that subscription dominance might grant too much power to a select group in deciding which games make it to market. He stressed the value of a direct connection between developers and players, suggesting that bypassing a board's approval allows for creative idealism to thrive. Vincke wrote, "It’s going to be a lot harder to get good content if subscription becomes the dominant model and a select group gets to decide what goes to market and what not."

Vincke also acknowledged he’s not opposed to the subscription business model in terms of cost/benefits. However, given the current situation where developers are all dependent on a select group of digital distribution platforms and discoverability, he believes that this could lead to a monopoly of subscription services. Vincke pointed out that one of the issues with subscription services is that they might end up deciding which games get made and which ones don't.

It’s going to be a lot harder to get good content if subscription becomes the dominant model and a select group gets to decide what goes to market and what not.

Responding to a user's disagreement, Vincke highlighted that discoverability has always been an issue, but in a subscription-dominated world, convincing subscription service management becomes a barrier. He argued that full-priced game releases give developers a fighting chance, allowing them to connect directly with players instead of navigating the complexities of subscription service preferences.

Another player also raised concerns about subscription services potentially excluding some indie titles. However, they also acknowledged that these services can incentivize users to try new games. Clearly, the statement from Larian Studios' CEO reflects a broader industry conversation about the impact of subscription models on game development, ownership, and the visibility of some video games.

Baldur's Gate 3 is a Dungeons and Dragons inspired RPG developed and published by Larian Studios. Featuring both a single player and cooperative element, players create their character by selecting a starting class, take on quests, level up, and engage in turn-based combat using the D&D 5th edition rule set.

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