The nominees for ‘Game of the Year’ included some big names that even non-gamers will undoubtedly know. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 was among the nominees, but also The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and a new Super Mario Bros. game from Nintendo. But in the end it was Baldur’s Gate 3 from a Ghent company that won the main prize.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is a role-playing video game based on the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. According to Larian, it is “a story about brotherhood and betrayal, sacrifice and survival, and the temptation of absolute power.”
“Mysterious powers awaken within you, from a Mind Flayer parasite planted in your brain. Resist and turn the darkness against yourself. Or embrace corruption and become the ultimate evil,” says the Larian Studios website.
In some way it was perhaps expected that Larian would win the award. The reviews were already very positive. The game has been available for purchase for Playstation 5 since early September and critics gave it an average score of no less than 97 percent. No video game ever achieved more. It also became one of the biggest hits in the history of the platform in the online store Steam.
Baldur’s Gate 3 also received five other nominations at The Game Awards. It received the award for Best Performance (Neil Newbon), Best Community Support, Best Multiplayer, Best RPG, and Players’ Voice.
“We are incredibly proud and full of emotion,” says Jan Swaelens, studio head of Larian, in a response to Radio 1. “Game of the Year is of course very nice, but the Player’s Choice is at least as important. Because that prize really comes from the community. That’s why we do it. We listen very hard to that community. The game was in development for six years and we worked very hard on what the players wanted. We tried to make a game that we would want to play ourselves.”
Because Baldur’s Gate 3 is a role-playing game based on Dungeons & Dragons, it is actually impossible for players to complete the game. “We invest very hard in the storyline. There are actually an infinite number of possible combinations of storylines. A player can therefore go very far in the world. You can actually keep playing it indefinitely.”
“This award certainly puts us more in the picture. I think we have now proven that we can make a AAA game (an informal classification for video games produced and distributed by a medium or large publisher, ed.) and that we will no longer be inferior.”
“We hoped we would win something, but this is really out of this world,” says Swaelens. “I think we’re going to party really hard now.”