Balder’s Gate developer Beamdog received a litany of criticism last week for content inside Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, an expansion to the original Balder’s Gate, which was initially created by BioWare and released on December 21, 1998. The content in question changed aspects of content and ideas of the original game. This did not sit well with fans of the series. When questions on the Dragonspear forums hosted on services Steam and GoG.com emerged, they were reportedly deleted in mass, which incited further backlash by fans drawing users of the hashtag Gamergate to descend on mass.
Soon after, individuals found that there were “[…]spiteful jabs at the expense of the original fan base[…]” as stated from one reddit user, as well as a joke at the expense of individuals who use the Gamergate Hashtag. When confronted with what many felt was sub par and “forced” writing, Dragonspear writer Amber Scott had this to say:
I consciously add as much diversity as I can to my writing and I don’t care if people think that’s “forced” or fake. I find choosing to write from a straight default just as artificial. I’m happy to be an SJW and I hope to write many Social Justice Games in the future that reach as many different types of people as possible.
These comments drew extreme criticism from transgender Baldur’s Gate fans such as Steam user Jinx who replied at length on Steam’s Forums:
Thank you so much from a trans gamer for painting a target on our backs once again so you can virtue signal how progressive you are.
Jinx would later go on to clarify that “I’m not responding to the character. I find her annoying but more for the newagey hipster dialogue then anything else,” which echos a common criticism of the games dialogue, which Amber Scott wrote.
Other major criticisms have also been drowned out because of said controversy. As one user of metacritic, “somedude1” stated:
Not only could I not import my carefully built characters from BG1EE, but when I started a new file on SoD, the entire party just had the best gear from BG1 anyway. Okay… so that was a waste of time. Then you finish the tutorial and you lose all your party members.
User “Saturday” expanded on this by stating:
From a game POV this project is a mess. A cash in and a tarnishing to the Baldurs Gate IP.
1 Lots of bugs , the bugs have bugs. 2 Writing by someones infant weened on cringy daytime TV 3 Looks worse than the modding communities efforts 4 It breaks many mods 5 Not true to the lore 6 Multi player does not work
Trent Oster, CEO of Beamdog has since replied to the issues that have been brought up by fans, with key notes being.
[…]In retrospect, it would have been better served if we had introduced a transgender character with more development.[…]
[…]”Multiplayer – We are acting on reports of multiplayer issues and hope to have this fixed in the next update.
Minsc – Minsc has a line which generated controversy. Looking back on the line, we agree with the feedback from our community, it has nothing to do with his character and we will be removing the line. […]