Baldur’s Gate III, the highly anticipated role-playing video game developed by Larian Studios, was crowned Game of the Year at the 2023 Steam Awards. This caps off a hugely successful year for the early access title, which has seen tremendous growth in its player base and universal critical acclaim.
Baldur’s Gate III Sees Explosive Player Count Growth in 2023
Baldur’s Gate III first launched in early access on Steam in October 2020. While it saw strong initial interest, 2023 is when the game truly broke out, thanks in large part to substantial content updates that added new classes, races, companions, quests and more.
In the past year alone, Baldur’s Gate III has seen its peak concurrent players on Steam grow from just 127,000 to over 938,000 – a massive 638% increase:
|Peak Concurrent Players
Sources indicate this explosive growth is likely to continue in 2024 as Larian Studios moves closer to the full launch. Games industry analyst George Weidman commented:
“Seeing Baldur’s Gate III remain at the top of the Steam charts for nearly all of 2023 shows the game still has a long way to go before it hits saturation. I expect concurrent players could easily clear 1.5 million once version 1.0 lands later this year.”
Sweeping 2023 Steam Awards with Multiple Wins
In addition to Game of the Year, Baldur’s Gate III picked up several other coveted awards:
- Best Game You Suck At
- Outstanding Visual Style
- Best Game You Thought You’d Hate
- Sit Back and Relax Award
Its wins in the Best Game You Suck At and Best Game You Thought You’d Hate categories showcase the game’s ability to draw in players who might not normally be interested in hardcore classic RPGs. Baldur’s Gate III blends deep, strategic combat and roleplaying with beautiful, modern visuals and audio design.
Meanwhile, the Sit Back and Relax Award win highlights that despite the complexity, Baldur’s Gate III offers a hypnotic, zen-like experience once you get into its flow. The freedom afforded by sandbox-style worlds, branching quests and turn-based combat allows players to dive in at their own pace.
And of course, the Outstanding Visual Style Award recognizes the gorgeous landscapes, environments, characters and effects brought to life by Larian’s state of the art engine and the talent of its artists. Baldur’s Gate III is easily among the best looking games on the market.
What’s Next for Baldur’s Gate III?
While firmly the critics’ and people’s choice RPG of 2023, there is still much more to come from Baldur’s Gate III. Ave Fenix at GameCrate writes:
As great as early access has been, the full launch of Baldur’s Gate III later this year will take things to the next level. All missing classes and races will be added, the third act and finale will wrap up loose threads, and complete polish will elevate an already stellar experience into a masterpiece — potentially one of the defining RPGs of all time.
Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke gave fans a roadmap of what to expect next at a 2023 conference. Highlights include:
- Full voice acting added to all quests
- Controller support and couch co-op modes
- Playable bard class
- Launch of the official mod toolkit for user generated expansions
If their ambitious plans deliver as promised, Baldur’s Gate III’s full launch could drive player numbers and engagement higher still. Its current popularity and accolades mark it as a standout hit of 2023 – and the Game of the Year award is unlikely to be its last.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.