Baldur's Gate 3 CEO explains why Larian changed the D&D RPG's release plans to avoid Starfield: "They were the bigger boat"

Baldur's Gate 3
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Baldur's Gate 3's CEO says that he has "a lot of respect for Bethesda," and that's why his RPG gave way to Starfield ahead of release last year.

Speaking to, Swen Vincke shed some light on Larian's decision to split the PC and PS5 release of Baldur's Gate 3 up. While the PS5 version maintained an August 31, 2023 release date that saw it go directly up against Starfield's early access launch, the PC version moved up nearly a month, releasing on August 3. At the time, Vincke commented that last summer was "an extremely busy period for RPGs," and that with Baldur's Gate ready to go early on PC, the decision was made to release it ahead of schedule.

Now, Vincke's spoken on that choice in more detail. Acknowledging that "I have a lot of respect for Bethesda," he opted for a nautical-themed explanation: "If you're at sea and a bigger boat passes by, the rule is that you go out of the way for the bigger boat - they were the bigger boat." But while Larian was prepared to "get out of the way" for Bethesda, Vincke says "we still wanted the world to pay attention to us."

To that end, the Baldur's Gate 3 team made sure to differentiate itself from Starfield in players' mind, highlighting the game's focus on narrative, player identity, cinematics, and immersion. While Starfield opted for scale, Vincke suggests that Larian opted for a smaller, more intimate, bespoke, experience.

That approach seemed to work. While both RPGs were commercial successes, Baldur's Gate 3 has swept awards ceremonies while Starfield has struggled to have the same critical impact. Future plans for both games, however, appear to still be up in the air - Larian says it's not working on Baldur's Gate 3 anymore, preferring instead to move onto its own IP. Starfield, meanwhile, has its first expansion, Shattered Space, on the way, but we still know next to nothing about what that will look like.

Vincke's other secret to success? "Treat your players as you would like to be treated."

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.