BG1/2 companions were better on many points. The only thing they didn't have was a side quest divided in chapters/act and the "origin/,playable as main characters thing" (which is only appealing in MP).
Quantity is objective. Quality is not at all.
It's only your opinion, not a fact.
The fact is, that BG1 companions were in most cases only a portraits with attached set of sounds. Very little interactions, very little personal quests.
Obviously BG2 improved it a lot, but most of the companions didn't have any significant personal quests.
Yes, such was your "quality over quantity". Another fact for you : it was in 1998.
BG2 companions in any modern games wouldn't be less interresting than those in BG3. Significant side quest does not make the quality.
That's only a Larianism to ONLY have origin characters/story from the beginning to the end of the game.
They could easily add companions that have shorter but interresting and less WTF stories/quests.