How the Baldur’s Gate 3 bear sex scene came to be, and why it’s “a watershed moment in game history”

In a talk at Brighton’s Develop conference this week, former Larian writer Baudelaire Welch declared the bear romance scene in Baldur’s Gate 3 “a watershed moment in game history”. They said it was an unprecedented example of a developer recognising and validating the fanfiction community surrounding a game by realising something they wanted in it.

Welch was responsible for overseeing the companion romances in the game, and wrote the Dark Urge storyline, but didn’t join the team until partway through development. The game had already come out in early access at that point, in autumn 2020, which meant considerable work had already been done – companion romances included. But there was still a lot of work to do, and some characters weren’t yet romanceable – Halsin in particular.

“I don’t think there were specific plans for him to be a love interest,” Welch told me in a follow-up interview after their talk. However, the fanfiction community surrounding the game was clear about what they wanted, and what they wanted was “daddy Halsin”. Welch knew this because they themselves were a part of that community. They’d written Astarion fanfiction before applying to work at the studio, and were partially hired for their embedded knowledge about what that community wanted (they also have a game design background alongside this).

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