this article is garbage and built entirely on polygon misreading one word


What word did they misread? “HUB”? what does that mean?


What I want to know is will we ever see a new Champions of Norrath game? Does anyone remember that game?

azurefirefly, avatar
p03locke, avatar



I think one of the love interests is a druid shape shifter…

Pratai, (edited )

Releasing a game and denying it to a console that outsells your own 2:1 shows how little Microsoft knows about gaming.

So… This isn’t surprising at all.


Only if your goal is selling the game and not the console


They’re not selling large amounts of either.

MS is in the subscription selling business now. Their entire gaming future hinges on GamePass, and while I like the idea of games on tap (I’ve basically bought BG3 for my PS5 and nothing else in the year since I bought it, enough on PS+ to keep me going and I can barely catch up let alone keep up), I suspect the big devs that spend hundreds of millions on making AAA games are less than enthralled with the idea and if GamePass and day one “free” games win, the outcome will be more games that I’m not really interested in.

PS+ is not as good a product as GamePass, but I believe it’s healthier overall for the gaming industry.

Omegamanthethird, avatar

When you say PS Plus, do you mean the Essentials tier which is (was) equivalent to Gold or the other tiers?

For the record, I think PS Plus Premium and Extra are great (until the price hike). The vast majority of time when I want to play a game day-1, it’s not something that’s even on GamePass. So their day-1 stuff means nothing to me.

But also, Essentials has given me enough to play I could just never run out of games.


The higher tiers. Not sure about the top one (Premium) any more. I got it because I thought I might want to play the older games, but it turns out there’s plenty of PS4 and PS5 games to keep me going, and frankly not enough choice of PS1 and 2 games to tempt me. A more complete library would have made sense, but I’ve literally got more on my shelf than they’ve got on PS Plus Premium.

And my internet is too rubbish for me to want to stream the handful of PS3 games either. It hasn’t even got MGS4 which would be the one interesting thing that hasn’t been anywhere else.


PS+ is not as good a product as GamePass, but I believe it’s healthier overall for the gaming industry.

A worst product is better for the industry because gamers should pay for inferiority?

What are you smoking?


I’d rather play great games 18 months after they come out, than mediocre games on day one. What’s hard to understand here?

The industry needs that day one £60 a box money, the same way the film industry can’t do without cinema takings.

If it doesn’t get it, we devolve further down the predatory DLC route.


If it doesn’t get it

Then we get great titles from other studios that just repackage the same shit day in and day out.


How’s that working out for them?


The reason it’s not working out is because they had no exclusives, now they do and the people on the platform that always had exclusives are suddenly upset.


PlayStation doesn’t buy out IP that once was on all platforms and turn it exclusive you knob. They have ip that begin as exclusive.

These aren’t the same things.

If Microsoft want to exclusives, they should home grow it like Sony does. But they can’t. So they just buy it out.

They’re the Yankees of gaming, only they still can have a successful season.

pjhenry1216, (edited )

It's outselling is what caused Microsoft to not deny it. It originally denied it because they had a rule that games needed feature parity with both Series X and S. BG3 split screen couldn't be done on S. The massive success is what led them to relax the rule. And virtually no one saw this level of success coming from within the gaming industry, including the developers themselves.

Edit: I just realized this is being upset about Starfield.

That is totally the fault of gamers. The biggest reason given for buying a PS5 over Xbox was exclusives. What the fuck did you think was going to happen? Sony started the exclusives battle and continually came out ahead. Obviously MS is going to fight. Making exclusives such an important decision in console purchases drove exclusives to be important overall. There's no sense in being upset that the industrynis literally responded to gamer's actions and stated motivations.

thoro, (edited )

What the fuck did you think was going to happen?

Microsoft would develop their existing first party studios and improve the quality of their first party titles, invest in third parties that they already had exclusive relationships with, or invest in up and coming studios?

Had Bethesda published a Microsoft exclusive since Morrowind?





You don't expect that from Sony so why expect it elsewhere? Sony started this game, gamers lauded them and rewarded them for doing it. Microsoft tried to not do that, and got beat down further than they had when they tried playing that game against Sony. Gamers wanted exclusives. Microsoft is providing that. You voted for the Leopards Eating People's Faces Party and now are surprised leopards are eating your face.

This was a forgone conclusion for awhile now. Folks are just upset because Microsoft has an exclusive that Sony gamers want to play. Boo fucking hoo. I'm pissed it came to this, but gamers did this. I'm angry about it, but I don't feel sorry for gamers as a whole about it.

thoro, (edited )

Sony started this game

Did they, though? I think exclusives predate Sony and even the PS1. They’ve been a part of the console space since basically the inception of the medium. Xbox itself launched with an exclusive “killer app” in Halo. Timed third party exclusivity and exclusive Map Packs were very popular with the 360 when it was on top in the seventh generation as well.

I don’t think Sony has ever made an acquisition of the same scope as Zenimax either in price or in how much of the market was fenced off from a studio they previously had access to. That’s not even going into the Activision deal.

Maybe we can now point to Bungie, but that was still half the price. Most of Sony’s acquisitions over its time were studios that were already de facto developing exclusively for their consoles. Even Insomniac. If you look at their history, Sunset Overdrive is a lone anomaly.

Exclusives suck, but I don’t see them going away as long as consoles and capitalism exist. You’re basically throwing shade at Sony for daring to fund the development of critically and commercially acclaimed games that gave them the reputation of having a quality first party library. Starfield on the other hand was developed as cross platform title until Microsoft paid 7.5 billion to acquire a major publisher. Wasn’t this confirmed this week by the document leaks?

Few complain when Halo is released exclusively because no one is being surprised that those games are now exclusive titles. That isn’t the case with the new Bethesda deal.

AngryCommieKender, (edited )

Atari and Texas Instruments started the console exclusivity wars, and promptly shot themselves in the head.


Sony and Microsoft used to pay for exclusives without buying the studios. So there's no real meat to the argument that "oh, the games were always exclusive because first party" or whatever. The consoles didn't really buy that many game studios until relatively recently in gaming history. They would pay a studio to not release on other platforms. This whole buying studios thing was just cheaper in the long run. So there's no real argument to be made about Sony just making better first party games. That's what they do now given that they own the studios. Both companies are guilty of buying out studios.

Exclusives pre-dating the PS1 was more out of lack of technology. No cross platform tech really existed. There wasn't a lot of crossover. Many platforms didn't last more than a generation or two. There wasn't even much cross over in the kind of games. If you liked fighting games, you bought a Sega over Nintendo for example. With the PlayStation, they competed against Sega first, Nintendo as more an afterthought. Xbox came in later to compete against PlayStation 2. The Nintendo 64 was just a different class, and even later, the GameCube. With Xbox and PlayStation, they had similar amounts of power and restraints (an N64 cartridge could not compete from a technical perspective against the storage of discs, plus multi-disc games could exist, not really feasible with cartridges) plus abstraction technology was more advanced and one could more easily write cross platform code. Now, you either had to pay for an exclusive or simply hope they only had the intent to target one platform (whether through preference or resource limitations). So the console wars really started to heat up after the death of Dreamcast and mainly between Sony and MS. Exclusivity wasn't via first party existed, but not to s great extent beyond their flagship games.

So, tldr, exclusivity has always been acquired via money and buying them. It's easy to say it's about developing better first party once those studios were bought outright to begin with. That's how most first party titles exist now.


If you disregard windows, and VR, yes.


I don’t understand how anyone could use Windows 11 and think Microsoft would, at any point, improve anything.


No, but Oblivion came to PS3 later and Skyrim was outright broken on PS3, then Sony scuppered their console mod plans by not allowing deep enough system access. Safe to say they probably didn’t have the best relationship.


Sony doesn’t buy IP and deny it to other platforms. Their IP starts on Sony. If Microsoft never wanted to release Halo to Sony, it’s their decision to do so, but buying something that don’t had access to, then denying it is a shit move.


Gaming isn’t bedroom coders knocking out games in basic for microcomputers any more, it’s a huge entertainment industry and that’s how those industries work.

This is no different from Disney pulling Fox properties of other steaming platforms to put them on Disney+ since they brought them out.


Yes they do. They used to buy exclusive rights back during PS2 days but eventually both MS and Sony realized it's cheaper to just buy the studios. Sony has only a small number fewer acquisitions than Microsoft. Both companies have always bought exclusivity.

eochaid, avatar

Lol, Starfield was originally going to be a Sony exclusive. That means Sony was literally going to pay Beth money to deny Xbox gamers access.

MS just made the better offer.


My reason for buying a PS5 is my Xbone bit the dust, and my Xbox 360 also had issues when I traded it in. My ps2 and ps1 still work. There was also the fact that the only available options were PS5 or Series S. I didn’t buy the console for exclusives, I bought it because it was the better available console and my previous one was dead.


But you made that decision knowing that Bethesda games were going to be exclusive to the MS ecosystem.


No I didn’t. The announcement of their intentions to fully absorb Bethesda didn’t even come out until around the PS5’s release, and wasn’t completed until like 6 months after. Not everyone pays close attention to gaming news. And if you bought the console early on, there is a chance you never would have even heard about it, let alone completely understood the implications of the purchase.


Ok? But your experience doesn't change what the number one reason given is though? Sure, I don't get Pixel phone anymore either because two in a row failed on me, but I don't go around telling everyone "no one buys pixel phones because they die easily"


Yeah, but MS games aren’t console exclusive. They come out on PC day one two which is a bigger audience than both consoles combined. Given the player numbers Starfield really hasn’t suffered due to not being on PS. In some countries it’s doing exactly what a console exclusive should and getting people to pick up an Xbox.


I guarantee you it’s not doing what it could if they released cross-platform.


If you don’t think a company as big as MS did a cost/benefit analysis before they made the decision I don’t know what to tell you. Of course any product available to more people sells better, but MS are playing a longer game. If previous Bethesda games are anything to go on, people will be talking about, modding, posting clips, etc of this game for a while and that’s tons of free advertising for XB and Gamepass.

Pratai, (edited )

ROFL… if you don’t think a company as big as Microsoft can’t make mistakes, I don’t know what to tell you.

And talking about a game isn’t selling copies. Nor is modding. People are pirating it and for good reason. It’s not worth the cash spent to donate to a company that thrives based on free labor to fix the bug ladened disasters they release.


How do you think marketing works? Someone posts a cool thing they’ve done in Starfield, and someone else gets some FOMO and decides to buy the game, sub to Gamepass, get an Xbox to play it, etc.

No not everyone is pirating the game, a lot of people on Lemmy may be as this is an echo chamber of techie types, but the general audience don’t even know how to, and if they prefer to play on console, can’t.

Clearly you have beef with Bethesda, and are letting it cloud your judgement here, but the fact of the matter is lots of people are playing and enjoying the game as is, out the box before any mods are officially available.


Clearly you’re a white knight for anything Bethesda, so I’m gonna dip out.

Hope that check your receive pays for your much needed vacation to reality.


Over one game? I thought Fallout 4 was a disappointing step back from New Vegas and 76 was a misjudged project that turned up messy and broken and I’ve never even looked at playing. The last game of theirs I truly enjoyed pre Starfield was Skyrim, over a decade ago. I’m not white knighting them, you clearly have an irrational hatred of them and are unable to admit when they do something positive, a common issue today when people turn hating something into their identity and are unable to ever move from the stance. Like most Devs, they’ve had their ups and downs and the ups should be praised and the downs criticised.


I thought this article is about BG3, wtf are you talking about?


They think only PlayStation should have exclusives because it’s the biggest.

eochaid, avatar

What’s truly not surprising is Sony fanboys defending the benefits of exclusives up until Xbox has an exclusive they want.


Point out to me where I’ve done that please. And point out any fanboyism while you’re at it.

eochaid, avatar

Well there’s the fact that you omitted Sony and Nintendo from your criticism entirly, despite the fact that both companies have bought numerous studios and paid other studios to make games exclusively for their respective platforms for decades, thereby reducing their potential revenue for some benefit that’s clearly obvious to those companies.

And yet, when Microsoft does it…they are just limiting their potential market for no reason and it’s obviously a stupid business move. Sure. Seems a little sus, is all.

Either the entire fucking industry is guilty of this “bad business practice” or maybe there’s a calculated reason for it. Pick one.


You don’t see me complaining about Halo, do you? Do you wonder why? It’s because Microsoft did it with an IP that was already widely popular across all platforms, and then pulled it. And if I remember correctly, told everyone they wouldn’t pull it.

Sony hasn’t don’t that. Again, as I’ve said, they begin with their own IP. And that IP from creation is Sony exclusives.

eochaid, (edited ) avatar

Um…Sony was in talks to pay for Starfield to be a PS exclusive - which would have taken it from PC for a year and from xbox permenantly - until MS bought Beth.

Also, Starfield is a new IP, not an “already existing and widely popular” one…

I’ll also mention that Phil Spencer publically admonished and fought against exclusivity agreements for years. He has said in interviews both private and public that he prefers a world where there are no exclusives. Until the market spoke and declared “exclusives” to be the measuring stick of a platform’s health, thus forcing his hand. And now here we are.


Elder Scrolls and Fallout are existing IP. Who cares about Starfield?

eochaid, (edited ) avatar

And here we finally have the primary motivation for this comment.

Well we won’t know for sure on those for a few years. All we have are old FTC docs and no public statements. Regardless, existing games aren’t going anywhere. But even if it happens for future games, well, Sony’s been sowing this harvest for some time.…/page-40#post-41953314

At least you can still play on PC on day one. Can’t do that with PS exclusives.


BG3 is an outlier. I completely understand why it wasn’t on the radar. Pent up DnD demand + decent execution sent it to the moon.


Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2 as well as Divinity: Original Sin 2 were all huge successes and Baldur’s Gate 3 was in early access for 3 years to either test it or read testers opinions. So you’ve got a very successful IP using a renown system, a devoted studio known for quality games with proper resources and their own, capable and proven game engine, years of polishing the game and adhering to fans feedback. If you “completely understand why it wasn’t on the radar” then… I guess you could get a job at Microsoft.

Kujo, (edited )

Pretty revisionist of you. No one saw the success that Baldurs Gate 3 had. They literally moved up their release date to avoid it getting drowned out.

The head of Larian has even said that they did not anticipate this many sales.

Was this going to be a good game? Yes most people could see that.

Would it reach a mainstream pocket and sell as well as it did? Most people did not predict that.

dreadgoat, avatar

You're missing the scale.

Everyone knew BG3 would "a success," but it hasn't just been a success, it's been a nuclear bomb of a success.

Optimistically, people were expecting to get around 1 million in sales. Total. THAT would have been a GREAT SUCCESS. Today I think it has around 10 million on Steam alone, 10x the "hope we get there" number.

Imagine taking a job and hoping for a $10,000 bonus for good performance, and then your boss drops $100,000 on your desk. It's that level of joyful shock.


Estimates for Steam is roughly 4.9 million sales. That data comes from peak players, average weekly players, and achievement tracking information.

Estimates taken this way usually skew higher than they really are, but the data for the current active and peak player estimates look good. As they have dropped to a quarter of weekly players.…


I guess the head of Larian Studios needs to resign and get a job at Microsoft, because he said essentially that.


DOS2 has sold 5M copies over the life of it. BG3 has sold nearly 10M in the first month on steam alone. Probably close to 30M over the life of the game.

It’s several orders of magnitude more successful and easily the most successful CRPG ever. You all really are missing the scale.


They could have predicted more success than they probably did but I don’t get why your comment has so many downvotes, Larian itself prepared for 100k players at launch too, not over 800k so no one really predicted how much of a bomb this game would be!

Nacktmull, avatar

Looks like someone did not play Divinity of Sin 2 and so did not know about Larian´s potential …


DOS2 had very weak sales on the Xbox.

Nacktmull, avatar

Considering they only care about money, that is indeed a good point!

BananaTrifleViolin, (edited )

To be fair I think Polygon have misunderstood the email.

Calling it "second run Stadia PC RPG" implies Microsoft thought it was going to launch as a Stadia exclusive for it's first run. This was back in 2020 when Stadia was still a thing, and trying to sign up exclusives.

That doesn't mean Microsoft underestimated it, but that it thought it'd already have had a run on Stadia which would make it less likely to be an important title for Microsoft.

joneskind, avatar

To be fair I think Polygon have misunderstood the email.

They surely misunderstood the second run Stadia/PC RPG mention.

That doesn’t mean Microsoft underestimated it

What does mean Microsoft underestimated it is that part: Expected partner range: ~$5M range


Their publisher also expected the game to have about one-tenth of the actual players. I don’t think anyone knew how big it would be.

The $5M also refers to what they thought Larian would want for it to be included on Game Pass.

joneskind, (edited ) avatar

Their publisher also expected the game to have about one-tenth of the actual players. I don’t think anyone knew how big it would be.


The $5M also refers to what they thought Larian would want for it to be included on Game Pass.

Yes and that’s precisely my point. Because they didn’t see how successful the game would be. Otherwise, they would have thought of a much bigger number.

pjhenry1216, (edited )

Tbf, a lot of people misjudged it, including Larian. I don't think a lot of people really believed the "choices and decisions matter" would work as well as it did. Prior to release, I read an article that talked about how it was gonna be neat that the in-game news would update based on your actions. Like, that was the noteworthy function to discuss about the game. "NPCs might talk about your actions in passing to each other".

Did Microsoft underestimate it more than others? Sure. But pretending like every corporation, including Larian, didn't underestimate it a whole lot is a bit crazy.

Edit: and isn't the game Divinity: Original Sin II? Did it have other names in other international markets?

Edit: this was submitted as a response to but Kbin didn't seem to actually tie them together. It shows me that it was written as a reply on Kbin, but seems to have lost connection to the comment hierarchy.


The degree of success couldn’t be predicted, sure. But larian is not a new studio, BG is a big ip, DOS2 was a big success, the witcher 3 was a tremendous success, and the game was in early access for 3 years so you could very easily gauge how it was going.

If a decider can’t see that coming at least as a significant possibility, they’re all clowns who don’t deserve more than the lowest wages.


easily gauge how it was going.

Except virtually everyone got it wrong still. Even the head of Larian thought it'd top out at 100k max. That's currently it's average now with it's max being more than 800% higher.

BG is a big IP, but it's never had this level of success. Look at Diablo III's release (similar IP with a long break between games). It had better advertising campaign and still kind of became noise fairly quickly. Game news sites barely covered BG3 until it hit it big.

Microsoft definitely undershot, but it was likely basing it on a lot of the aggregated news as well. It had barely any coverage prior to its official release. This is usually a sign that the game will be mediocre.

Larian is a big studio but its last expected game from its really only known IP was cancelled after being put on hold for four years (granted BG3 was also being developed during this time). It's biggest games prior to this got at least partially funded on Kickstarter (not a knock against KS, but it's not generally seen as the sign of a strong studio to exec-types).

I don't blame an executive for not seeing this coming.

Executives obviously didn't see this coming. But neither did game journalists or even gamers.

Its a mistake in hindsight, but with what everyone generally knew at the time, it was the expectation of most.


There is a difference between misjudging the success and betting on the failure.

Did you read the paper? BG3 was assessed far below just dance or let’s sing ABBA! It was at the very bottom of the list!

I bought the game blind a year before release. Not to test it but because I knew were I was going. Of course I had big fears about it because many games pretended to be BG successors and I didn’t want to get my expectations too high. But I didn’t know anything about it because I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

The information was there. I don’t know why journalists to whatever didn’t saw it coming but I was prepared for it being a big thing for me. It is litteraly their job to assess whether a game will work or not. They bet on failure. They couldn’t be more wrong, and I don’t think there was any sign of failure.

pjhenry1216, (edited )

It was expected to be a second release after being a Stadia exclusive. This isn't judging quality, just impact.

Edit: and let's not pretend by adding "far below" when it was in the same group. And the ranking isn't even totally based on expected sales. The asking prices and the levels aren't in order. You're misinterpreting one quote entirely incorrectly and trying assuming too much from a chart.


I think it’s just an interesting story since we have actual internal emails from Microsoft that we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the justice department’s lawsuit to stop the Activision buyout.


Divinity Original Sin 2 was their previous game from some years ago


I'm well aware of that. That's why I named it. They said "Divinity of Sin 2". I was asking if they meant Divinity: Original Sin 2 and if it went by a different name in other markets. I thought that was clear. I'm not sure how you got to think I was asking what it is.

Amir, avatar

Because you submitted a top level response, not a reply to any comment


Seemed like you were wondering whether DOS2 = BG3


I honestly don't know how that interpretation was possible in the given context. It was mentioned in direct response to someone saying "Divinity of sin 2" and I corrected it.


Because you submitted a top level response, not a reply to any comment


I blame that on Kbin.


Are we even surprised? Microsoft clearly doesn’t know how to judge a game’s quality.


They do, they just define "quality" by something that can be measured in Dollar. You and I don't.


True, and it’s depressing

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