Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear's Social Themes Incite Controversy

Nearly 18 years after the original Baldur's Gate debuted, you would think that everyone would be celebrating the fact that it just received a new expansion pack in Siege of Dragonspear. But not everyone is quite so pleased with the add-on, as at least a portion of the user reviews on Metacritic, Steam, and GOG indicate. Some of the feedback revolves around real, legitimate bugs, while other feedback focuses on what is being perceived as a "social justice agenda" that Beamdog pursued when creating some of the expansion's characters and narrative.

I have not yet made it far enough into a new BG1 playthrough to hit the Siege of Dragonspear content and therefore cannot speak to any such concerns, so I'll send you over to TechRaptor and Crave Online for some additional context and examples. It's also worth noting that Beamdog's Trent Oster has responded to TechRaptor with the following statement:

I find the controversy ridiculous. Yes, we have a transgendered character. I know a number of transgendered people and they are genuine, wonderful humans. Yes, we also have a character who cracks a joke about ethics. The original Baldur's Gate had a whole sequence about the Bob Newhart show. If this generates controversy it makes a sad statement about the world we live in.

As for my post on the forums, I merely asked people who were enjoying the game to share their positive feedback. I know our fans can become engrossed in their enjoyment and I really don't want potential fans to miss out on the series because of protest reviews by small minded individuals.

As for Amber's interview, I also believe in strong female characters and I feel she did an excellent job bringing dimension and interest to Safana with her writing in Siege of Dragonspear. Her (Too bad) comment, I chalk up to a long day of interviews, having personally done such interviews.


Personally, it doesn't bother me in the slightest that there is a transgender character.  However, if modern day social issues are brought up on a regular basis or in a highly noticeable/very non-transparent way that reduces the immersion factor, then I can understand how some complaints could be warranted.  On the flip side, it's an optional expansion pack to an already very fulfilling story, and is not a requirement by any means of the imagination.

What do you think? If anyone here has already dove into the expansion and has any thoughts toward the controversy, hit the comments below.