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Baldur's Gate: SoD head of studio addresses political backlash

Promises to further develop its trans character, condemns those harassing studio staff.

Yesterday Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear suffered a lot of backlash at launch over the game's numerous bugs and some concerns that its inclusion of a transgender character was overly politically correct. Studio Beamdog's CEO Trent Oster stood up for the company's decision and condemned the online harassment some of its staff has received.

First off, Oster noted on the game's forum that his one regret about the inclusion of the transgender character, Mizhena, is that the studio didn't develop her more - something the developer plans to address in future content.

"In retrospect, it would have been better served if we had introduced a transgender character with more development. This is a lesson we will be carrying forward in our development as creators and we will be improving this character in a future update," Oster said.

There was one piece of criticism Beamdog did agree with, however. He believed that the line "Really, it's about ethics in heroic adventuring" was too out of place to suit the character who said it. As such, the line will be omitted in an update.

"Minsc has a line which generated controversy," Oster wrote. "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."

Cover image for YouTube videoBaldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear - Launch Trailer

Oster's most prominent message was that he and others at Beamdog will not tolerate the harassment of its employees as some of them were getting singled out over the game's more controversial additions.

"While we appreciate all feedback we receive from our fans, both positive as well as negative, some of the negative feedback has focused not on Siege of Dragonspear but on individual developers at Beamdog - to the point of online threats and harassment," Oster said.

"I just want to make it crystal clear that Beamdog does not condone this behaviour, and moreover that it will not have the desired effect as we stand behind all our developers 100 per cent. We created the game as a group, and moving forward we'll work on the game's issues as a group, which I believe is exactly as it should be."

When it comes to matters of bugs and glitches, Oster was thankful for the criticism. "We've received valuable feedback around some bugs we failed to catch for ship," he said. "We're hard at work right now patching up the issues that slipped through and we're striving to ship fixes and improvements quickly. We will provide a complete list of the issues we plan to address in our next update."

Some may argue that Oster's sticking up for his staff is common sense, but that's surprisingly rare in the industry. Just last week we saw a Nintendo employee let go after a smear campaign, and while the causes for her termination are unclear, Nintendo has received a lot of criticism for not standing up against the online harassment it knew its staffer was receiving.