Recently, several documents from the Microsoft vs. FTC court case surfaced online, and they revealed Microsoft’s past discussions and plans, including a new Xbox Series X console and details about the next generation of Xbox.
Other highlights included discussions about a potential Nintendo acquisition. Additionally, they validated leaks about a remaster for Elder Scrolls 4. However, the internal documents also revealed Microsoft’s estimates for Game Pass titles.
The gaming giant estimated costs like $250 million for AAA titles, but it appears to have misjudged Baldur’s Gate 3. Microsoft believed it would cost only $5 million for Game Pass.
Why it matters: Baldur’s Gate 3 is the second biggest Steam release of 2023 and the best-rated release of the year. Such accolades have made it a strong contender for the best awards that the industry has to offer.
Here’s what it costs Microsoft to get games on Game Pass day one:
✅ Red Dead 2 – $5M/mth
✅ Suicide Squad – $250M
✅ Star Wars Jedi Survivor – $300M
✅ Mortal Kombat 1 – $250M
✅ Baldur’s Gate 3 – $5M
✅ Gotham Knights – $30M
✅ Assassin’s Creed Rift – $100M
✅ GTA V -… pic.twitter.com/fwwy6wQ5Fk
— Hunter 🎮 (@NextGenPlayer) September 19, 2023
Microsoft’s documents have been deleted, but many users quickly shared the information before Microsoft took the leaks down. The tweet highlights the estimated costs of day-one titles for Xbox Game Pass.
While a few of these games have not been released, the costs highlight Microsoft’s expectations. The gaming giant believed games like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and Mortal Kombat 1 were worth $250-300 million.
On the other hand, it described Baldur’s Gate 3 as a second-run Stadia PC RPG. However, the director of publishing at Larian Studios found this unsurprising since this was a common trend with the studio’s previous work.
While Baldur’s Gate 3 rose to new heights, Larian Studios was also dumbfounded by its latest release. Following the release, the CEO of Larian Studios claimed that the success was way beyond anything the team had expected.
In their defence, so did everyone else. Same with DOS2. Comes with the genre, and the way we approach things, and the way we execute things. There just isn’t any existing data that could have told anyone how BG3 was going to perform. We just had to take giant spooky leaps. https://t.co/BgLyW4cZZx
— Very AFK (@Cromwelp) September 19, 2023
Baldur’s Gate 3 reached over 875K concurrent Steam players shortly after release, trailing slightly behind Hogwarts Legacy. However, Larian Studios had only expected a maximum of 100K players.
The studio was also concerned about poor reviews, but the RPG went on to match Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to become the highest-rated game of 2023 on platforms like Metacritic.
While the documents are over a year old, it is understandable that Microsoft did not have much faith in Baldur’s Gate 3.
The gaming giant believed blockbusters like Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League would have been better for Xbox Game Pass, but Baldur’s Gate 3 went on to compete with Microsoft’s flagship title for 2023, Starfield.
Nonetheless, Baldur’s Gate 3 will soon be headed to Xbox Series S|X consoles. The game is scheduled for a release on Xbox consoles before November 2023, continuing its successful run after conquering the Steam and PlayStation platforms this year.
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Obaid is pursuing a Law degree, while working as a content writer. He has worked as a gaming writer for over a year because of his passion for the medium and reporting the latest updates in the industry. Having played hundreds of games, Obaid finds himself coming back to Elden Ring and Red Dead Redemption 2, with these games being among his favorites. He has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as Wccftech, Metro UK, PS Lifestyle, GamePressure, VGC, and Gamespot.