'You won't find our games on a subscription service,' says Larian Studios CEO

Swen Vincke shared that while he understands Xbox Game Pass works out for other developers, subscription models don't benefit Larian Studios.


Ever since it was first whispered that Baldur’s Gate 3 would be coming to Xbox, fans have hoped and pleaded that it would also make its way to Game Pass. However, it seems that’s not going to be the case, not just with Baldur’s Gate 3, but any Larian Studios game. CEO Swen Vincke recently spoke to further rumors about Game Pass, and beyond simply claiming they were untrue, he explained why Larian games in general won’t appear on any subscription service. Simply put, the subscription model doesn’t work for Larian.

Vincke explains as much in a Twitter thread regarding recent Ubisoft comments about ownership of games. According to Vincke, while he understands why other developers would go the subscription route, he also feels that it stifles creativity outside of the needs of the service.

Baldur's Gate 3's Karlach looking over a vast coastal city.
Baldur's Gate 3 isn't the only Larian game not coming to Game Pass. Swen Vincke isn't interested in putting any Larian games on subscription services.
Source: Larian Studios

Vincke goes on to say that his issues with subscription models are why Larian Studios games won’t appear on Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Plus, and other subscription services:

This isn’t the first time Larian has dismissed the idea of Game Pass for Baldur’s Gate 3, but it is one of the first times a lead has gone into full detail about it. Requests for Baldur’s Gate 3 on Game Pass have been steady since the game was announced for Xbox. With Baldur’s Gate 3 finally launched on the platform, the question has come up quite a bit more.

However, despite praise and love of Baldur’s Gate 3, it seems that Larian is set on going its own direction with releases. What’s more, it seems unlikely we’ll see any Larian game hit Game Pass. Times may change, but Vincke seems more than confident that subscription services aren’t the way to go for the studio.

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TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      January 17, 2024 11:47 AM

      What about Gamefly?

    • reply
      January 17, 2024 12:48 PM

      That seems a little short sighted to me. I understand where they're coming from in not wanting the traditional game purchase model to go away, but also think throwing their older stuff like DoS1 on something like Game Pass at this point would help get even more people who don't normally play turn based RPGs like this interested in checking out and buying their newer games like BG3.

      It's like free advertising at this point, except they'd also get paid for it? Although I could see it having the adverse effect where some folks might assume all their games could come to Game Pass eventually, so they'd wait for those there instead.

      • reply
        January 17, 2024 2:59 PM

        The adverse assumption is exactly the problem. Look at all the people around here who have resisted buying a PS5 because they assume the Sony exclusives will eventually come to PC.

        There are even more potential customers who could outright buy BG3 if they know there’s no chance it’s coming to a service in a couple years.

        But I think that leads to another point, which is nobody on the publisher/platform end predicted how well BG3 actually would sell. I think the marketing perspective would always say this is a game genre that’s on the niche end of the spectrum. If they took money from a service, that would’ve been baked right into any possible deal they could have cut. Sure you get money up front but not the kind of money that would allow for daring budgets and design goals, which could motivate a team to be all in on making a huge hit against the common expectations of industry bean counters.

      • reply
        January 17, 2024 5:26 PM

        Although I could see it having the adverse effect where some folks might assume all their games could come to Game Pass eventually, so they'd wait for those there instead.

        But by the same token if they put DoS1 on some super $5 sale as advertising for when DoS2 is coming you risk a similar effect.

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