Earlier in the year, Microsoft went ahead with it’s purchase of Zenimax, thereby bringing Bethesda, perhaps most known for making the Fallout and The Elder Scrolls franchises, into the fold. Unsurprisingly, there was the expectation that this would result in more Xbox console exclusives.
Bethesda’s much anticipated Starfield title got a release date at E3 2021, becoming available on November 11th 2021. We also got news that the game would be exclusive to Xbox and PC (including being available on Xbox Games Pass), which was no doubt a disappointment for PS5 owners. Todd Howard has said that focussing on a smaller number of platforms makes development easier and allows you to focus on making the game better for the people playing on those platforms. Speaking with The Telegraph, he stated that “By focusing on those platforms, you really get to lean in a lot on making it the best it can be for those systems,”.
SVP Pete Hines expressed similar views in a Gamespot interview stating, “you go to fewer platforms, your development gets more streamlined. You’re not worrying about well how does it work on this box versus how does it work on that box, we’re not making it on that box so it just needs to run as well as possible on this one on a PC…”. However, Hines did acknowledge the frustration PS5 owners would have in not being able to play Starfield, saying “all I can really say is I apologise, because I’m certain that that’s frustrating to folks…”.
Bethesda has faced criticism in the past over the buggy state of their games, so hopefully streamlining the development process for Starfield will result in a smoother launch.