Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke didn't expect Baldur's Gate 3 to come out on top at the Golden Joysticks 2023 amid hot competition from several massive and acclaimed RPGs - but that's exactly what happened.
On Friday, the Golden Joysticks awarded Baldur's Gate 3 Ultimate Game of the Year, and we got to sit down with Vincke to hear his initial thoughts. In an exceptional year populated by tentpole releases from Bethesda with Starfield, Nintendo with Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and to a different extent, Blizzard with Diablo 4 - and coming up against those titles with a relatively niche game - very few predicted Baldur's Gate 3 would be Game of the Year, Vincke included.
"That's the thing that you would never expect," he said. "Because we didn't know, we didn't compromise a lot. You know, we tried to make everything as approachable as possible, but we didn't really compromise on it. So the common wisdom would be 'compromise to make it accessible to a large audience'. So that shows you the intelligence of the gamer audience, which is really a good thing."
I don't know if it's just because I write about the games industry for a living, but I think if you were looking closely you could've seen this coming. Yes, the amount of big games that released this year is unprecedented. In addition to those I mentioned up top, there's also Hogwarts Legacy, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Pikmin 4, Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Final Fantasy 16, Hi-Fi Rush, Assassin's Creed Mirage, Resident Evil 4 Remake, Dead Space Remake, Immortals of Aveum, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and the list goes on, and on, and on.
All of those AAA releases, not to mention a laundry list of stellar indie hits like Dredge and Dave the Diver, had the potential to be Game of the Year, but it can be argued that none of them quite achieved the level of feverish, overwhelming acclaim and pop culture ubiquity that Baldur's Gate 3 has.
All that's to say, you're too humble, Swen Vincke.