How 'Baldur's Gate 3' Became the Horniest Game of the Year


In a subreddit dedicated to Baldur’s Gate 3, Larian Studios’ critically acclaimed Dungeons & Dragons–based role-playing game, a player posed an important question: “I know you probably heard this here more times than I can count but seriously, why is everyone so horny?”

There was a practical element to this query. In a different game, what is or isn’t horny is largely subjective (what you perceive as horny and what I perceive are probably different), but Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t operate on subtext alone. A major social aspect of the game is romancing party members, from the sharp-jawed blood-sucking Astarion to the mysterious Shadowheart. Shortly after the game’s release in August, players noticed that some party members—particularly the wizard Gale—were harder to discourage than others in the dating department. For some players, the especially amorous adventurers in their group were making it difficult to pursue the ones they wanted. Others found the aggressive flirting off-putting. As one player put it: “Gale telling me I’m handsome and sexy in the middle of a cursed shadow forest without any inputs from the player is kinda strange.”

Sex and romance were built into Baldur’s DNA, and Larian leaned into the game’s sexual nature early in the process. According to the BBC, the team even used an intimacy coordinator—professionals who help choreograph intimate scenes and ensure a sense of safety and comfort between actors and production—during recording sessions. There’s even a scene where you can have sex with a druid character … while he’s in his bear form.

Speedrunners were happy to play along, creating an entire run category specifically for how fast you could bed a companion. The top runner, who goes by Mae, told WIRED back in August that it was initially a “joke run.” “I didn’t really feel any pressure to do well or anything,” Mae says. “It was to be funny and put it out there that, ‘Hey, by the way, you can bang in like, eight minutes.’”

The category quickly picked up a following, though Mae still holds the current top record with one minute and 58 seconds. “In romance runs especially, I think it goes against the cliché of some dude assembling a harem of brainless women,” Mae says. “Especially in a game like this where, frankly, the companions have so much more emotional depth than anything we’ve seen previously in video games.”

Still, Baldur’s Gate 3 leaned in a little too hard, even for the developers. Game director Swen Vincke told TheGamer that characters being desperate to jump your bones was actually a bug, not a feature. “The approval thresholds were too low when we shipped,” Vincke said. “That’s why they were so horny in the beginning. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. We’ve fixed it since, at least for some of them. We’re still fixing a few.” The goal had been to create relationships that were more like those in real life.



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