Baldur’s Gate 3 proves you don’t need microtransactions to be GOTY

Baldur's Gate 3 was the biggest released game in 2023 in terms of revenue and unit sales, leading the way with a lack of microtransactions

Baldur's Gate 3 success: a green-skinned orc woman

Baldur’s Gate 3 was the biggest game of 2023 in terms of revenue and unit sales according to new data providing a breakdown of the market as part of a 2024 report. I’ve been talking about the Steam success of BG3 since it launched out of early access last year, but VG Insights now has some more, eye-opening, numbers.

Baldur’s Gate 3 was the surprise critical and commercial success of last year, bringing home multiple Game of the Year awards and sitting atop the sales and player charts for months on end. Larian’s DnD RPG is sure to go down as one of the best examples of success for a long time, and now we have a little more information regarding BG3’s many achievements.

VG Insights says that Baldur’s Gate 3 tops both the 2023 releases for sales by units and sales by full game revenue. The top ten list mainly includes premium rather than free-to-play games, games that do not include microtransactions, and games made by smaller teams.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is estimated to have earned around $657 million in gross revenue – which is the total income despite any expenses – followed by Hogwarts Legacy at $341 million and Starfield at $235 million. Starfield is an interesting case because it’s landed at number three despite launching day one on Game Pass. Despite this, the Steam player numbers continue to drop faster than you’d expect, especially when compared to BG3.

Baldur's Gate 3 success: the VG Insights chart on the biggest games of 2023

Interestingly Baldur’s Gate 3, Hogwarts Legacy, Starfield, Lethal Company, and many more of these games in the top ten don’t include microtransactions. While Overwatch 2 still has a firm place in the success of 2023, most of what you can see above was sold simply on what you’d get.

VG Insights adds in the report that only six of the top 24 games in 2023 had microtransactions, with Baldur’s Gate 3 at the top without any, perhaps marking a growing appetite for games to come out that feel complete and do not ask for more money after purchase.

Keep in mind that the report is “largely based on Steam data.” But with the consistent BG3 player numbers the success isn’t all that surprising.

If you’re looking to get back to the Forgotten Realms but want to spice up your adventures, we’ve got all the best Baldur’s Gate 3 mods to reinvent how you play alongside some of the most interesting Baldur’s Gate 3 builds if you want to stomp your enemies into dust.

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