Baldur’s Gate 3 gave August a massive launch. Larian Studios’ new title has taken over social media, and more importantly, Steam. This open-world RPG (Role Playing Game) that uses TTRPG (Table-Top Role Playing Game) mechanics, namely rolling twenty-sided die, is the game of the moment. Best of all for Larian, it still has another release next month on the PS5. That begs the question of how it will affect Starfield next month.
Starfield will be Bethesda and Xbox’s biggest release this year. After Redfall’s missteps, both companies need this game to hit. At this point, that hit will be impacted in some way by Baldur’s Gate 3. That new game has already hit so well on Steam, that launching on a new console means it will garner attention there, even if the PS5 version has extreme issues.
However, Starfield will be more financially accessible, thanks to Game Pass. Baldur’s Gate 3 costs $60 on Steam, and $70 on PS5. Meanwhile, a month of Game Pass without the trial is $16. Players can even start a Game Pass trial to try out Starfield at a steep discount, even if the trial will be much shorter than before.
Therefore, we should seriously consider the following scenarios:
Starfield Reaches Incredible Heights Like Baldur’s Gate 3
First, Xbox’s preferred scenario. Starfield absolutely nails the landing, giving the Series X|S a strong first party title. Any game this good will get many players, let alone current Game Pass subscribers. A big number of those players definitely play Baldur’s Gate 3 now. Admittedly, many of those overlap players will move on to the new release they haven’t played before.
However, those players will get replaced by many new PS5 gamers who don’t have a gaming PC. While some definitely have both PS5 and Xbox platforms, many don’t. The purely PS5 players who are interested in RPGs will check out Baldur’s Gate 3.
Bethesda Does a Good Job, but Not as Well as Larian
Next case: Starfield lands well but not the same levels as above. Game Pass subscribers will definitely check it out, and it may even drive Game Pass subscriptions. However, it won’t fully wrest control from Baldur’s Gate 3. This isn’t to say Starfield will be bad (we’re getting to that option), but not as good as Baldur’s Gate 3. Larian reigns supreme, and maintains its spotlight, despite the solid new addition to the conversation.
Starfield is Mediocre or Flat Out Bad
Worst case scenario, Redfall gets someone to help drown out sorrows. A less than ideal launch bodes horribly for Xbox. Instead of finally getting a big launch out on current gen consoles, another big stain comes out under Xbox’s banner. Once again, Phil Spencer’s leadership gets questioned, and Xbox’s track record with big releases gets even worse.
Undoubtedly, Baldur’s Gate 3 wins decisively. Starfield gets lost in the horde of September releases, and another promising title turns into strong disappointment.
The Most Realistic Scenario
Just to be clear, I don’t think the last option will happen. Bethesda has a long track record of great to incredible open-world RPG’s that only an unplayable state could wholly ruin this game. Skyrim has sold so well for years, Fallout 4 was very good, and Starfield has been a known idea for years.
However, the second option feels the most likely. Both Tears of the Kingdom and Baldur’s Gate 3 advanced the concept of letting the player do whatever they want. That has been crucial to their successes among their additional gameplay features. Regardless of all the experiences Starfield showed off, it now needs keep up with the sandbox creativity.
Many people want Starfield to be a great game, and Xbox needs it to be a fantastic game.