Baldur’s Gate 3 Players Criticize Microsoft for Its Solution to Xbox Bans

Too hot for Xbox to handle.

screenshot from Baldur's Gate 3
Larian Studios

Baldur’s Gate 3 sets itself apart from every other RPG with its exceptional handling of romance, but the game’s spicier side is also causing trouble for some Xbox players lately. Last week, players complained that they were getting banned for capturing Baldur’s Gate 3 love scenes on Xbox. Now Microsoft has announced a way to avoid those suspensions, but not everyone is pleased with the solution. Microsoft did not immediately respond to Inverse’s request for comment.

The issue at hand seems to revolve around Xbox’s auto-upload feature. This setting is enabled by default, and when it’s turned on, any screenshot or video you capture on your Xbox will automatically be shared to the Xbox network.

As it turns out, a lot of people were saving clips of Baldur’s Gate 3’s more intimate moments for themselves — and who could blame them? — without realizing that these raunchy videos were being uploaded to Xbox’s servers at the same time.

You’re telling me I’m not supposed to save every video of her I can?

Larian Studios

Microsoft’s advice for players finding themselves on the wrong side of a suspension? Simply turn off automatic uploads. Xbox Support shared a post on social media linking to instructions on just how to do that, though the actual answer is buried in a menu on the page.

Fortunately, the solution is simple once you know where to look. I’ll break it down for you here.

Just press the Xbox button on your controller to bring up the console’s menu, then Navigate to Profile & system > Settings > Preferences > Capture & share > Automatically upload. Toggle the automatic upload setting off, and now you’re free to capture Baldur’s Gate 3’s most intimate moments with none the wiser.

But while Microsoft’s advice does help players avoid a suspension, it also stirred up anger at how the publisher is handling mature content on its platform. As the Xbox Support post states, no one is being automatically suspended for uploading mature content. Instead, a team of human moderators reviews cases and decides whether uploads are violating company policy. Suspensions can be overturned if the uploads were a first-time offense made in error, demonstrating a degree of flexibility in how these decisions get made.

Xbox Support’s post showed players how to avoid suspensions, but kicked off a wave of criticism.

Immediately after the Xbox post went up, players began to criticize the policy. Many were upset that automatically uploaded clips, a setting that is turned on by default, could lead to a suspension. Some found fault in the idea that uploading risque material leads to suspension at all.

After all, they say, Baldur’s Gate 3 is a game that Xbox allowed on its platform, so it feels odd for the console maker to then decide the content from the game is too explicit to share. Xbox already has mature content filters, so putting the onus on users to restrict their uploads rather than using the system already in place seems strange. Some argue that, rather than suspending players for uploads outright, material from games rated Mature — as Baldur’s Gate 3 is — could be tagged as such and hidden from the view of underage Xbox players.

Larian Studios employees also expressed frustration at the bans when they first became public. On January 3, Larian’s director of publishing Michael Douse posted to social media that the studio was “in discussion with Microsoft” about how to deal with uploads from the game, calling the suspensions “annoying and uncool.”

While demands rise for Microsoft to rethink its content moderation strategy going forward, for now, players will just need to turn off automatic uploads to deal with bans.

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