|Developer(s)||Bethesda Game Studios|
|Engine||Creation Engine 2|
Starfield is an upcoming action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game was formally announced during Bethesda's E3 Press Conference in 2018. The game was described as a wholly new, next-generation experience set in an entirely new space-themed world. It will be the first new intellectual property developed by Bethesda in over twenty-five years. The game is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2023 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox Series X/S.
Starfield is set in an area that extends outward from the Solar System for approximately 50 light-years called The Settled Systems. Around the year 2310, the two largest factions in the game, the United Colonies and Freestar Collective, engaged in the bloody Colony War. The game takes place 20 years after the events of the Colony War in which the major factions enjoy an uneasy peace. The player will assume the role of a customizable character who is a member of Constellation, an organization of space explorers. The game can be played in either first- or third-person perspectives.
Starfield represents the first new intellectual property (IP) by Bethesda Game Studios in 25 years, and has been described by director Todd Howard as "Skyrim in space". The studio had been delving into space-themed games since as early as 1994, according to Howard: they had gotten the rights to make a game based on the Traveller role-playing system, but shortly lost those; their Delta V game in 1994 had been part of this Traveller license but had not been fully realized. Their The 10th Planet was a cancelled space combat game to be published in October 1997, from which the atmosphere of Starfield was derived. Howard stated they had rights to Star Trek in the 2000s and he pitched an idea for a role-playing game in that setting, but this failed to go forward.
While Bethesda had wanted to do a science fiction game for some time and had strong ideas for its gameplay style, it took a while to cement the ideas behind what Starfield would be about as to distinguish the game from other science fiction games already released. They came onto a theme which lead artist Istvan Pely dubbed as "NASA punk", that while set in humanity's future, the technology can be traced to origins in various NASA space missions. Bethesda's team began crafting a fictional narrative of events by decade of the 300 years to the game's present, as to ask "And now man is living amongst the stars: what does that mean?", according to Howard.
For Starfield, the concept of the game had been in the studio's mind for some time prior to trademarking the name in 2013, according to Howard. "There were no other names [we considered]. It had to be ‘Starfield'." Howard said active development of the game had been ongoing since the release of Fallout 4 in late 2015. By mid-2018, the game had moved out of pre-production, and was in a playable state. With its announcement at E3 2021 and planned release date, Howard said "We're confident in the date. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be announcing it."
At Bethesda's E3 2018 press conference, Todd Howard presented a short teaser trailer for the game. An in-game teaser trailer was presented at E3 2021 during the combined Microsoft-Bethesda press event, which confirmed that the game will be released on November 11, 2022 on Microsoft Windows and Xbox Series X and Series S as a console exclusive. In May 2022, Bethesda announced that the game's release was delayed to the first quarter of 2023.