• Baldur's Gate 3 is highly praised by RPG fans and offers a captivating fantasy world experience that will keep players engaged for years.
  • The game's adoption of a launcher model is part of a troubling trend in the PC gaming industry, where more and more studios are creating their own launchers, making the gaming experience less seamless for players.
  • While launchers may not disrupt gameplay significantly, they can be annoying and unnecessary, as demonstrated by Baldur's Gate 3's launcher, which adds extra steps for players to access the game.

Baldur's Gate 3 has finally left early access and it has not disappointed RPG fans. Players everywhere are calling it one of the best RPGs ever made, and they will likely be lost in its fantasy world for years to come. It is very impressive what Larian Studios has been able to pull off, and hopefully this is just the start of what is to come. While that all sounds fantastic, Baldur's Gate 3 also adopted a troubling PC gaming trend.

Nowadays, there is a huge push for players to buy all their games digitally, and PC games have mostly been digital exclusive for years. With digital games comes game launchers, and for some reason every game needs a launcher these days. While these launchers do not hurt the games much, they can be rather annoying for players that just want to jump into their favorite games. Baldur's Gate 3 seems to be no different, and that needs to change.

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Baldur's Gate 3 Did Not Need a Launcher

Baldur's Gate 3 Druid casting a spell

Valve's Steam was supposed to be the primary game launcher that everyone used on their PC. So many games would end up launching exclusively on the storefront and be integrated with all of its social features. This seamless connection helped make Steam the behemoth that it is today and has made it a vital part of any gamer's library. It will likely be the primary storefront for PC gamers for years to come, but some games have made it a bit less seamless in recent years.

While digital storefronts like Steam and Battle.net have existed for a long time, it seems like almost every major studio wants a piece of that market nowadays. Ubisoft launched Ubisoft Connect, EA made the EA app, Microsoft focused on the Xbox app, Epic wanted to take Steam's crown with the Epic Game Store, and even studios like Paradox want their own launchers. Most of these launchers will never compare to Steam, but the existence of them has made launching Steam games a bit annoying at times.

Steam users that want to play games from studios like Ubisoft must launch two different launchers before they can play the game. Clicking play on Steam only boots up Ubisoft Connect which then boots up the game. This requires them to have two different launchers installed, two different accounts, and forces them to wait a bit longer before they jump into the game. Even studios like Paradox have forced this upon players, and every year it seems like more launchers arrive.

Baldur's Gate 3 is a fantastic RPG, but the fact that Larian Studios chose to adopt this launcher model makes the overall experience on PC anything but seamless. When players click play, the new Larian Studios launcher will boot up before they can jump into the game. This new launcher has Larian Studios' biggest titles, news updates, links to the forums and feedback pages, and even a merch store. It also requires players to create a new account specific to that launcher if they want to use features like Cross Save.

The whole point of Steam was that players did not have to navigate hundreds of launchers just to play their games, but that seems to be changing. While these launchers are mostly harmless, they can often be a bit annoying and really have no need to exist. There is nothing about Baldur's Gate 3 that requires a launcher, and its existence just feels rather strange. While it is relatively easy to disable it through Steam, it really had no reason to exist in the first place.

Baldur's Gate 3 is available now on PC, with a PS5 release on September 6 and an Xbox launch to follow.

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