Baldur's Gate III's romance scenes made some Larian developers feel uncomfortable

  • Charlotte Anderson
  • May 04, 2024
  • 164
Baldur's Gate III's romance scenes made some Larian developers feel uncomfortable

In the rich, character-driven RPG world of Baldur's Gate III, players are afforded a myriad of ways to develop relationships with NPCs, including romantic ones. The game pushes the envelope with potential love interests ranging from a mind-flayer with tentacles to a character who appears as a bear, showcasing developer Larian Studios' commitment to diverse and unconventional narratives.

During a roundtable discussion with PC Gamer, Larian Studios' CEO, Swen Vincke, shared insights into the internal reception of these romantic scenes among the development team. Some team members reportedly felt uneasy about the content, highlighting the challenge of balancing creative expression with personal comfort levels. Vincke emphasized the studio's approach to handling mature content, drawing a parallel to the television series "American Gods," which he praised for its adept integration of mature themes within a fantastical setting. This reference underscores Larian's aim to create relatable content that, while potentially provocative, is handled with taste.

Vincke elaborated on one particularly controversial scene, often referred to jokingly as the "bear scene," which in actuality involved much less on-screen action than what players might have imagined. He pointed out that the scene was suggestive enough to let players' imaginations run wild, but Larian did not explicitly depict the details, allowing for a theatrical interpretation fuelled by the players' minds.

In general, Baldur's Gate III seems to align more with the style of mature television dramas when it comes to romance, often opting to fade to black before scenes become explicitly intimate. While a few exceptions do exist, the game predominantly maintains a level of restraint, proving that the use of mature themes can be both impactful and tastefully executed.

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