After years of ready, Starfield has lastly arrived. I not too long ago known as it crucial launch for Xbox since at the least Halo 5, and now it’s right here and in your Xbox console or PC. I hope you take pleasure in it! However being the previews lead at IGN, it’s my job to stay sooner or later; I’m all the time waiting for the following massive factor. And the following massive factor for Bethesda Recreation Studios isn’t The Elder Scrolls 6. Not less than, not for some time. The following massive factor for Todd Howard and his crew remains to be going to be Starfield! Let me clarify.
Naturally, the majority of BGS will transfer on to Elder Scrolls 6. In reality, we all know that with Starfield shipped, the follow-up to Skyrim has accomplished pre-production and moved into full manufacturing. However for us, the gamers of Bethesda’s expansive video games, Starfield will stay our focus for fairly a very long time. Like, a lengthy time. That is for a few causes.
First, not solely is Starfield a big sport by any metric, providing tons of of hours of role-playing journey – together with a excessive diploma of replayability through which you can also make totally different selections each on your character and out within the universe – however it’s additionally going to be supported by Bethesda for years (not months) to return. BGS has walked the stroll on that with their earlier RPGs; we’re going to get patches, content material updates, DLC, and full-blown expansions for Starfield, additional fleshing out and sharpening the worlds the crew has constructed.
And second, the actual fact is that trendy AAA video games take a really, very very long time to construct. Regardless of the development in instruments accessible to builders, mission durations are, by and huge, getting longer, not shorter. Certain, The Elder Scrolls 6 might have been introduced again in 2018 – earlier than a single line of code had been laid down – however it’s going to take a few years to get it carried out. Starfield took eight years, and whereas Todd Howard advised me again in June that he hopes TES6 doesn’t take that lengthy, probably the most logical prediction is that it’s going to be a five-year improvement cycle.
Which may imply Starfield is the one BGS launch we get within the Xbox Sequence X era. The Elder Scrolls 6 is more likely to goal the next-generation Xbox that’s seemingly arriving round 2028 as an alternative – even perhaps as a day-one launch sport, as Oblivion was supposed to be for the Xbox 360 earlier than ending up transport 4 months into the console’s lifecycle.
Additionally, given Howard’s well-earned choice to maintain his franchises near his chest – at the least in relation to the mainline entries (I see you, Fallout: New Vegas!) – and work totally on one sport at a time, it appears we’ll have to attend till after The Elder Scrolls 6 to get Fallout 5, per Howard himself in an interview with me final yr. And whereas I want Howard a lifetime of excellent well being and hope he by no means has an itch to retire, given his age (reportedly 53) and that aforementioned choice to remain within the director’s chair and work on one massive sport at a time, it’s additionally doable that, irrespective of how profitable Starfield is, we’d by no means see a sequel to it. Or if we do, it’s genuinely 15-plus years away, your children will probably be enjoying it on day one, and it may find yourself being Howard’s last sport.
It’s unusual to consider that sort of stuff, as a result of we’ve by no means actually needed to, given how younger the online game business is as an entire. Virtually none of our best creators have retired, not to mention handed away (thank goodness!). Even Shigeru Miyamoto, although he doesn’t actually personally direct video games anymore, is barely 70!
Anyway, the purpose is that, due to how Howard chooses to work – a selection he’s completely earned – and the way lengthy his sort of video games take to make, Starfield is clearly the current for Bethesda Recreation Studios, however it’s additionally the longer term too, at the least for some time. Luckily, there’s an entire universe on the market to discover.
Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s government editor of previews and host of each IGN’s weekly Xbox present, Podcast Unlocked, in addition to our month-to-month(-ish) interview present, IGN Unfiltered. He is a North Jersey man, so it is “Taylor ham,” not “pork roll.” Debate it with him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan.