- Starfield has measured up to be the biggest game Bethesda has ever worked on, featuring a whole galaxy to explore and employing a structure that’s rather open-universe than open-world.
- In the past, Bethesda has released other games of massive scales as well — although none quite like Starfield’s stature — so the feedback from titles such as Skyrim and the Fallout series has truly weighed in.
- In a recent interview, Todd Howard, who is the director of Bethesda Game Studios, has expressed how the development team has poured everything they’ve gathered from their previous works, and intentionally made Starfield to be played for a “long time.”
Starfield has been out since early September, and the game’s made an impact up until now, that’s for sure. Amassing about 10 million players across all platforms soon after release, Bethesda’s newest venture takes to the skies and brings forth a whole galaxy to explore for players. And as per Todd Howard, it seems that aspiring gamers will be doing that for quite some time in Starfield.
Sitting down in an interview with the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and talking to Insomniac Games‘ boss Ted Price, Todd discusses the scope and scale of Bethesda’s massive space-oriented project and says that Starfield has been built with lastingness in mind, indirectly expressing how the title learns from the studio’s previous projects, namely The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and pertinent Fallout titles.
The clip in question starts at the 26:49 timestamp, and is covered in the entire “Complexity and Scope for Recent Games” chapter. The Bethesda frontman, when asked about the sizes of games that have been brought up a lot in recent times and whether it’s the community or the developers that are driving the need for more complexity in games, replied with the following,
I think it starts with the developers. It has to, right? I think it starts with technology. You’re seeing new hardware, you’re wanting to use it in new ways, you’re looking at demos going ‘we could do this, we could do this, we could present it in this way.’ The scale of games, I think, I’d have to go back and look. How big were things before? The one thing I have noticed is, because more games are played for a long time, they’re ‘live,’ the ability to update them over time creates games that people are playing right now that have been around for a long time, gotten years and years and years of updates, and that creates an expectation. When I’m going into something new, how does this compare with a mature game that I’ve been playing for a while?”
Todd goes on to call the scale of Starfield “irresponsible.” An interesting choice of words, for sure, but rather understandable. Given the space-centric setting of the game, the developers always saw opportunities to fill in whatever they could find, and in other cases, left the wide domain as is, hence the usage of that term.
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Expanding on the scale part, Todd further talks about some of the monumental games he’s pushed out before Starfield, referencing Skyrim and Fallout. Given that many of Bethesda’s most noteworthy works, despite coming out a decade or so ago, are still being played to this date, Starfield has already been handled to deal with this happening in its runtime. The Bethesda boss clarifies,
This is a game and it’s intentionally made to be played for a long time. One of the things we’ve learned from our previous games, from Skyrim, from Fallout, is that people want to play them for a very long time. So Starfield, I would say, was the most intentional, going into it, that this is a game people are going to play for a long time. How do we build it such that it is allowing that in a way that feels natural, and if people have played the game and finished the main quest, you can see that.”
It’s good to see that Todd also mentions the part about the community requesting some Starfield features from Bethesda. The dev gave out an official update regarding the matter back when it dropped a major update two weeks ago. In the previous Starfield update 1.7.33, Bethesda reassured fans still that features such as DLSS support, HDR calibration menu, and others are actively being worked upon.
Starfield was released on Xbox Series X|S and PC via Steam and Game Pass on 6 September, with early access starting from the 1st of the month.
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