Bethesda Should Rectify Past Errors With Starfield To Stand Amidst Competitive Launch Window

Is Starfield's delay an indication of a refined game?

Story Highlights

  • Starfield, Bethesda’s gigantic space RPG and one of the most hyped releases of the year has once again been delayed.
  • Bethesda’s reputation for buggy releases makes us hope this delay further polishes the game.
  • The delay places the game in a competitive launch window with other major titles, and a buggy release in 2023 might hurt the game’s reception.

One of the biggest launches of 2023, Starfield has once again been delayed and will now release on September 6, 2023. Bethesda, the developers behind the enormous Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises are putting forth a massive sci-fi action RPG, as is evident by the extensive voice acting compared to earlier titles. This highly anticipated release is now placed in a competitive launch window after being delayed.

While the delay has indeed saddened the fans, it can be utilized to refine the game further, as we’re all familiar with Bethesda’s infamous buggy releases. In current times of exceptional hardware capabilities, smooth performance is expected and players are less tolerant of game-breaking bugs. If this delay ends up improving Starfield, the complaints are sure to turn around.

Bethesda’s History Of Buggy Releases

Even though games like Fallout and Elder Scrolls series have a dedicated fan following, everyone acknowledges the broken state most of them were launched in. Game crashes and graphical glitches plagued these releases one after the other, and it took a lot of patches to overcome these recurring issues. At this point, Bethesda is practically famous for glitchy releases.

Looking back to the Elder Scrolls series, the games have always been riddled with bugs upon launch. Morrowind was an exceptional RPG for its time, providing a vast fantasy world to explore with interesting world design and quests. However, it had many game-breaking glitches like sudden crashes, graphical errors, and a peculiar save file load error which occurred if you had too many saves.

Big problem with save files from Morrowind

Considering Morrowind is a fairly old game, an open-world game of this scale was bound to misbehave if you stray too much from the normal path. Unfortunately, the glitches and crashes carried on to the subsequent games as well. Oblivion was an ambitious game and was highly regarded for its exceptional quests. Still, the game featured many glitches that could hinder your experience.

The unpredictable save file corruption bug returned and since the game is vast enough to spend hundreds of hours, you could lose your entire progress which is a frustrating experience, to say the least. In addition, if you turned into a vampire in Oblivion, the “Vampire Cure” quest was bugged, causing you to be locked in the quest and not be able to cure the disease. Fan-made bug fixes were introduced to rectify this.

GOTY edition vampirism glitch from oblivion

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim put the series on the map, and was the most well-known and successful launch of Bethesda. The game was a massive fantasy world with a high degree of freedom and fascinating quests to delve into. Regarded as one of the best open-world RPGs of all time, the game still had a high number of bugs on launch that required to be fixed.

The game was filled with game-breaking crashes, visuals glitching out, and quests being bugged out that completely locked progress. The high degree of bugs is evident by the fact that Skyrim received a huge amount of community-made bug fixes and mods that ended up fixing a lot of the initial problems. At first, it was limited to bug fixes, but then fans took the liberty to extensively mod the game with many fascinating features.

A regularly updated fan-made patch fixing many bugs in Skyrim
A regularly updated fan-made patch fixing many bugs in Skyrim

Bethesda’s second big RPG franchise, Fallout sadly followed the same pattern of buggy releases. The revolutionary Fallout 3, which provided a unique post-apocalyptic world to explore was regrettably filled with recurring glitches like the frustrating save file corruption and graphical misbehavior following the detonation of a nuke.

Fallout 4 turned the series to a more shooter focus rather than the RPG mechanics which was peculiar but that didn’t mean it never contained any bugs. The game contained many general bugs like occasional stutters and visual glitches. A fan-made patch was released for Fallout 4 in addition to the official patches later on, which aimed to provide a more seamless experience by fixing many of the bugs.

An example of Fallout 4's visual glitches
An example of Fallout 4’s visual glitches

Fallout 76’s approach to an online game and the overall implementation was a bad idea in itself, in addition to the game being filled with annoying bugs like AI malfunction, quest lock, and animation failures that made the game a mess. Fallout 76 is considered by many to be Bethesda’s worst work yet.

Fallout 76 is by far the worst game I have ever played. Period. from Fallout

Considering Bethesda’s history of buggy releases, players are quite concerned about the glitches that might be present in Starfield. This is evident by the fact that modders are preparing for Starfield’s launch to solve any imminent issues. With Bethesda opting for a delay, gamers are hoping for a more polished game as a buggy release can be bad for the reception of a game in 2023.

Starfield’s Competitive Release Window

Starfield is one of the most highly awaited titles of recent times as we wish to see Bethesda’s attempt at a massive sci-fi RPG comprising 1000 planets to explore. For whatever reasons intended, the delay to September has relieved Starfield of the strict summer launch window which included heavy hitters of the year like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Final Fantasy XVI.

However, this does not mean Starfield is out of competition, as the new release date places it very close to some other big games. Starfield now releases around a week after the release of Baldur’s Gate 3, another long-awaited western RPG releasing on August 31, 2023. The window also collides with the souls-like Lies of P and the speculated release time of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

We’re familiar with Larian Studios’ extensive RPGs like Divinity Sin and expect Baldur’s Gate 3 to be similar. With another huge RPG releasing quite close to Starfield, the competition will arrive into question as both games will demand a considerable time to go through. In this state, a buggy release can severely hinder the reception of Starfield.

Even though we don’t know much about Lies of P, souls-like has a dedicated following and a properly executed formula might gather good attention. A strong case can be made for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 though. Considering the game has a fall 2023 release time and the first game released in September, there is a high chance of Spider-Man 2 following suit and competing with Starfield’s release.

We’re all familiar with the enormous popularity of both Marvel’s Spider-Man and Miles Morales. The PC releases ended up giving the games a lot more recognition and thus Spider-Man 2 is highly desired by fans. The games are indeed different in genres, but in the end, games always end up competing for the gamers’ time. And a massive release can end up eclipsing the other like in the case of Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West.

In the past, as long as the games were enjoyable, the frequent bugs and stutters never bothered us that much as they were mostly attributed to the limitation of technological development and we took them for granted in large games. The same cannot be said for today as gamers are a lot more conscious of these details and Starfield’s reception might take a hit if bugs are left unattended.

Following the poor reception of Fallout 76 and Bethesda’s notoriety of buggy release, Starfield is the perfect opportunity for the developer to redeem itself. I believe Starfield has enough hype on its side that if Bethesda plays its cards right, the game can perform exceptionally even among the competition and provide us with the rich space exploration we’re all waiting for. Starfield launches for PC and Xbox Series X/S on September 6, 2023.

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Najam Ul Hassan is a News Reporter on eXputer who enjoys investing hours in his favorite video game titles. When he’s not playing games, he’s practicing Journalism. He began his career on eXputer after combining his limitless love of video games and all things geek with his considerable writing experience. He has been cited numerous times by several noteworthy publications and sites such as Game Rant, Yahoo, PlayStation LifeStyle, VGC, VG247, TheGamer, among others. Experience: 2+ Years || Education: Masters in Mass Media Communication || Written 300+ News Stories.

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