Since its release in August, “Baldur’s Gate 3” has had, on average, more than 100,000 players every month.
“Baldur’s Gate 3” costs roughly $60-70 depending on if you buy the base or the deluxe version. Players don’t need anything from the deluxe edition to have a complete and enjoyable experience. According to the official website, when players buy “Baldur’s Gate 3”, they are buying a complete game.
Why does that matter? Well, recently Cyberpunk 2077 released an update that some players said made the game feel complete. It was originally released in 2020, and wasn’t functional. This update comes three years later. Personally, I feel like an update released years after the game shouldn’t make the game feel finished. I think a game should feel finished when it’s released. And this isn’t me saying that a game shouldn’t have bugs when it releases. I’m aware that unforeseen things happen. But, an update this many years into a game shouldn’t be completely reworking skill trees, balancing, and other basic parts of play.
Having a completely enjoyable game without having to pay for more content is important when most games nowadays cost anywhere from $50-70. So when a game like Fallout 76, which cost $60 on launch and costs $40 on Steam now. The subscription that makes the game enjoyable costs $100. A year. For a $40 game. As previously mentioned, when released, a game should be fully finished. It should also be enjoyable without extra content.
None of this is to say that small games are bad or that the size, or even the graphics, of “Baldur’s Gate 3” should become the industry standard. They had years to playtest this and receive feedback from players, with a sizable team and funds, which doesn’t always happen.
However, I am saying that needing content that’s behind a paywall to enjoy or complete a game is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous when players can’t buy a game for $60-70 and sit down and play through without any additional money spent. I’m also saying that players shouldn’t have to wait years for a game to feel finished.
Games are a great way to relax after a long day, and with how expensive things are now, games should be enjoyable from day one.
Lynn Spahr is a Hutchinson sophomore studying journalism and the Opinion Page Editor.