Baldur's Gate 3 publishing lead explains Larian's player-first approach to marketing the RPG: "The industry's best agencies ... came up with nothing good"

Baldur's Gate 3
(Image credit: Larian)

After claiming "marketing is dead," Baldur's Gate 3's publishing director has offered an explanation, outlining his philosophy that focusing directly on players is the key to potential success.

Yesterday, Larian Studios' publishing director, Michael Douse, declared "marketing's dead" during a roundtable talk with other developers organized by PC Gamer. The talk focused on the current and future state of PC gaming and touched on several topics including trends, studio layoffs, and more. During this talk, the topic of marketing came up, which is where Douse got candid about his opinion on this element of game development.

Following the roundtable's publication, Douse took to Twitter to further elaborate on what he meant by "marketing is dead" and share some tips based on what the team learned during the development of Baldur's Gate 3. In a very honest Twitter thread, Douse revealed: "Yes, we don’t have a credited marketer. I know it’s weird. We paid A LOT of money to trial the industry’s best agencies for this shit and they came up with nothing good."

"We learned some genuinely meaningful, replicable things from it," the first tweet in the thread reads. What follows is 10 tips directly from the Larian employee about how to market your game. "Hire funny people," point number one reads. "The most meaningful connection you can have with audiences is what I call 'true social resonance.'" Douse goes on to explain that this is "an authentic connection for the short or long term with an audience you know will f**k with what you’re doing."

The thread has really valuable advice and gives us an insight into how Baldur's Gate 3 was marketed. "If it isn’t immediately obvious, I am very passionate about games and that’s why I take the responsibility of being brutally honest very seriously," Douse ends the thread. "It takes a lot of honesty, and a lot of zeal to make this stuff work."

If you weren't already convinced to follow Douse's advice, it's also been endorsed by Baldur's Gate 3 director Swen Vincke. The Larian Studios CEO quote retweeted Douse's thread and added: "If you work in games and are at a marketing meeting where someone is tainting the air with the words 'user,' 'product,' 'conversion,' 'kpi' etc... - share this thread and tell them a cure has been found."

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Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.