Gale in BG3
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How Fanfiction is Influencing BG3 and Other Gaming Franchises

Fanfiction directly influenced BG3 and the Gale romance. Now, fanfiction is influencing gaming in other ways.

Fanfiction was once something that fans only whispered about. It was a by-product of entertainment filled with the wishes and dreams of what fans wanted to see. Since then, fanfiction, as well as fanart, has grown. It’s becoming recognized by gaming developers as a legitimate connection to their fandom. In a recent Baldur’s Gate 3 patch, a popular romance was directly inspired by fan works. Here are other ways that fanfiction plays a larger role in game development.

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DLC Updates and Expansions

For gaming companies, DLC is the way to keep players in the game. BG3 writers know this all too well. They know it so well they used fanfiction and art to develop a tweak to a romance in the game. When Patch 6 rolled out, part of it focused on the romance option with Gale. Confirmed by Larian Senior Cinematic Artist Elodi Ceselli, the patch took direct inspiration from the fandom’s art and fiction and breathed new life into an otherwise bland and cold romance. Writers then used dialogue and description ideas to create a more personal and warm romance. This fan-inspired tweak encouraged gamers to try the romance or replay it entirely.

Investigating Kagha in Baldur's Gate 3
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Devs and Writers Take Notice of Fan Reactions

There are rumors that game script writers look to fanfiction to gauge fan reactions to the initial game. If fans like specific romances, those romances may appear in future games or DLC content. Writers can gain inspiration from fans’ responses about dialogue, parings, or how a pairing may play out for future game storylines. For example, BG3 character Astarion has a large array of fanfiction. This has shocked players and developers due to Astarion’s nature as a trickster who approves of the dark and crueler choices the player makes. This type of fanfiction focus shows just how much the dark romance niche is enjoyed, seeping out of books and into gaming.

One game, in particular, may have added a DLC based on fanfiction and fan requests. The Citadel DLC in Mass Effect 3 featured scenes with specific characters and a final party that brought all the crew mates into one place. Fans have theorized for years that the pairings, written as one-night stands, and some of the other scenes were used from fanfiction as a way for BioWare to thank its loyal followers.

Future Development Ideas Lurk in Fanfiction

Even the best gaming franchises can hit a low point. Mass Effect: Andromeda, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, and Resident Evil 6 are on that list. In these cases, fanfiction offers writers a fresh look at the game. The ideas that fans create and the focal points of the top-viewed stories offer new romance options, adventures, and questlines. These different ideas can grow and be incorporated into new DLC to revive an old game or a new game entirely.

It is undeniable that fanfiction is finding its role in game development and script writing. As major gaming companies begin to look to the fans for inspiration, we will likely see the fanfiction genre take on larger roles in the future. From romance options to DLC content, fanfiction may be what game writers need to pump life into older games and to keep gamers coming back.

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