Larian Studios co-founder Swen Vincke has shared the full version of his Game of the Year acceptance speech. He not only thanked everyone involved in the creation of Baldur’s Gate 3, but also reminded everyone why developers make video games in the first place.

Baldur's Gate 3 director reminds fellow devs that money should be fuel for making better games, not ultimate goal

Image credit: The Game Awards

The Game Awards 2023 was criticized for not giving developers enough time on stage — most of them were asked to wrap it up just after 30 seconds. In a lengthy thread on X (formerly Twitter), Vincke has now detailed everything he wanted to say when accepting the GotY award for Baldur’s Gate 3.

First, he thanked his fellow nominees — Capcom, Nintendo, Remedy, Insomniac — and Geoff Keighley and all the team behind The Game Awards. Vincke then explained why he wore shining armor for the show, saying that Baldur’s Gate 3 is a “game that couldn’t exist without our player community and I wanted to pay tribute to how important they’ve been for the development.”

Towards the end of his speech, the Larian head recalled a conversation he had a long time ago with one publisher: “He told me, luckily for them, games are driven by idealism. He meant it in an exploitative way but he was right.”

Vincke believes that video games are a unique art form, as important as books, music, or movies. He added that Larian, just like many other developers, sees money as the fuel for making new and better games. The ultimate goal is to see players engage “with their creations in a way that only games can offer.”

Many developers, myself included, make games because they love seeing others engage with their creations in a way only games can offer. They don’t care that much about the money made beyond it being the fuel they need to create new and better games. It’s worth reminding everyone that fuel is just a means, not a goal. Whereto and how we journey are what matter and what we remember.

Swen Vincke

founder of Larian Studios

Of course, a large portion of the speech was dedicated to developers. Vincke noted that while he can’t personally thank all the 2,000+ people listed in the game’s credits, he wanted to “focus on a group of people that don’t always get the credit they deserve.” So he gave a shout out to the studio’s QA, localization, customer support, operations, publishing, and playtesting teams: “BG3 wouldn’t exist without you and you all deserve to be very proud of this.”

Vincke also paid tribute to developers and family members Larian Studios lost during the long development of Baldur’s Gate 3. This includes the studio’s cinematic lead Jim Southworth and Vincke’s father, who “passed away the week before we launched our Early Access campaign.”

He then thanked the D&D team at Wizards of the Coast that gave Larian “carte blanche,” adding that he is sorry for everyone who was laid off by the company: “It’s a sad thing to realize that of the people who were in the original meeting room, there’s almost nobody left. I hope you all end up well.”

This refers to Hasbro, parent company of Wizards of the Coast, which recently laid off 1,100 employees in addition to 800 workers that were let go earlier this year. So this is sad to see that most people who negotiated with Larian and greenlit Baldur’s Gate 3 are no longer working at the company.

Got a story you'd like to share? Reach us at [email protected]