We may not know much about Starfield, but by goodness are we excited. Bethesda’s upcoming single-player RPG set in outer space marks the gaming giant’s first new IP for 25 years.
But just what is the game about? And, more importantly, when will we actually be able to play it?
During the game’s shock announcement at E3 2018, Bethesda boss Todd Howard called Starfield “our next-generation, single-player epic”. However, Bethesda wouldn’t divulge any more details apart from a short teaser trailer announcing the game and showing off its logo – and we haven’t heard much about it since.
However that hasn’t stopped us from boarding the hype train with a first-class ticket. There’s nothing more exciting than whetting your appetite for a new game by future gazing (or star gazing in this case).
So, in that spirit, we’ve searched the galaxy to bring you the latest news and rumors on Starfield. Here’s everything you need to know.
[Update: With Bethesda communications lead Pete Hines stating that The Elder Scrolls 6 is still “years” away, Starfield is shaping up as the next big reveal from the studio. Read on to find out more.]
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A single-player RPG in outer space from the makers of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls
- What can I play it on? It’s almost certainly coming to PC, PlayStation and Xbox, but we might have to wait for the next generation of consoles
- When can I play it? No word yet, but we may be looking at later than 2020
Starfield release date
So far, what’s been released is a title, trailer and, well, promise of greatness to come.
With details so thin on the ground, the earliest we’d expect to see a Starfield game would be 2020.
Bethesda Game Studios Director Todd Howard has stressed that “everyone should be very, very patient”.
In Bethesda’s E3 2018 presentation, Howard referred to the first Starfield game as “next-gen”, suggesting it might not see a release before the next generation of consoles (either the PS5 and Xbox Series X).
In an interview with Eurogamer, Howard elaborated:
“What systems we put it out on – what’s the hardware requirements – is still to be determined. We’re pushing it; we’re thinking very, very far in future so we’re building something that will handle next-generation hardware. That’s what we’re building on right now, that’s where our mind is, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t exist on the current systems as well.”
In May 2020 Bethesda senior vice president of marketing and communications Pete Hines revealed however that Starfield will be making an appearance before news on The Elder Scrolls 6, meaning that Starfield’s grand unveiling will at least be… fewer years away? Hopefully?! At this stage however, it seems almost certain to be a next-gen title.
We saw our first glimpse of the game during E3 2018. It’s not much more than a title and setting at this point, but the video does introduce us to an unnamed planet, a floating satellite or space station, and some sort of… glowing wormhole?
Check out the teaser trailer below:
Starfield news and rumors
Bethesda has remained pretty quiet regarding Starfield since the game was announced at E3 2018. Therefore it was no surprise that the company didn’t divulge any information on the game at Gamescom 2019.
“We’re creatives, and it’s like, we have to make this game, and this is the time, and so Elder Scrolls 6 is going to have to wait a little bit,” Howard said. “And again, Elder Scrolls Online is doing so well, it’s so vibrant, that this is the time [for Starfield], both for us creatively, and our audience.”
Not at E3 2019
Starfield didn’t make an appearance at E3 2019. It’s not a huge surprise as during a panel at PAX East, which celebrated the 25th Anniversary of The Elder Scrolls, Todd Howard responded to a question about some photogrammetry tech being used in Elder Scrolls and Starfield with the news that “it’s going to be a long time! It’s not something we’re going to be talking about, either of those games, at E3 this year, and so patience, please”.
A whole new world
Bethesda has reportedly been talking about making Starfield for years now.
There have been rumors flying around about the game since Bethesda publisher Zenimax filed a trademark for the name as far back as 2013.
Given how much mileage Bethesda has achieved out of its other tentpole IPs – Fallout and The Elder Scrolls, which have both seen various spin-off entries and MMO variants – it is presumably hoping to make Starfield a far-reaching franchise in the same vein.
…and whole new systems
The idea behind Starfield has been floating around as far back as 2004, and Howard has said it has the recognisable Bethesda DNA to it – so expect deep character customisation and open exploration. But also expect all new ideas entering into the mix – this won’t just be Fallout or Skyrim in space. Speaking to Eurogamer, Howard stated “[…] it has a lot of new systems we’ve been thinking about for a while that fit that kind of game really well.” So don’t be surprised if there’s some sort of on-theme space flight element involved too.
Bigger than ever before
Both the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series have shared a similar character progression system and open-world backdrop, partially rooted in their sharing of the same gaming engine.
While we haven’t heard specifics on gameplay, Starfield looks set to follow in the same vein, albeit in a more galactic setting. But the final frontier could hold much larger potential for exploration, allowing players to travel across various planets and encounter unknown civilizations.
There’s a big gap in the market for sci-fi RPGs
With the future of the space-opera RPG series Mass Effect looking uncertain, and the unfulfilled promise of the planet-hopping exploration game No Man’s Sky, Starfield will be entering a gaming market hungry for a sci-fi RPG done right. With the proven success of Bethesda’s other franchises, could the developer have the next Mass Effect up its sleeves?
(Image credits: Bethesda)
Keep checking back here for all the latest Starfield news