Starfield Wasn’t Universally Beloved As It Was Too Different, Says Todd Howard

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Todd Believes Fans Wanted More Fallout/Elder Scrolls Gameplay!

Story Highlight
  • Todd Howard has addressed the fan feedback after Starfield’s release.
  • He believes many negative opinions stem from players wanting an experience closer to Fallout or Elder Scrolls.
  • The director wants each Bethesda franchise to have its own identity.

A major point in Starfield’s marketing campaign was that it was Bethesda’s first new IP in over two decades. The team was already setting expectations years before launch, hoping to prepare fans for a sci-fi experience.

Last year, the game launched with mostly positive reviews, but fans began to dislike many of Bethesda’s decisions over time. It seems Todd Howard has already figured out why this happened, citing Starfield’s different approach compared to Fallout or The Elder Scrolls as the main culprit.

Why it matters: This title has received its fair share of criticism since its launch, with many conversations around it being entirely negative in 2024.

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Speaking to Kinda Funny, Todd Howard discussed the many lessons Bethesda learned after releasing its latest RPG.

When addressing the critical reception and fan feedback, he was ecstatic that most reviews landed in the 90s. However, the director did not ignore feedback coming from Bethesda loyalists.

He believes fans had already set an expectation for the RPG. They wanted a large world and the ability to explore it to their liking. Howard reckons fans were looking for another Fallout or Elder Scrolls-like experience.

He asserted that fans have every right to prefer such an experience, but Bethesda had certain goals for a sci-fi game. This entailed exploring all planets, landing on them, and more.

The content is different than you’ve seen from us in the past. Each of the franchises should be its own thing.

-Todd Howard

The director certainly raises a valid point. However, many Starfield players had the exact opposite complaint.

On more than one occasion, the RPG was criticized for sticking too closely to Bethesda’s old design, with elements like frequent loading screens, an ancient NPC conversation camera, and more detracting from the overall experience.

Fortunately, fans are still quite fond of Bethesda’s work if the recent interest in Fallout is anything to go by. The studio just needs to modernize its biggest strengths successfully for a more refined formula.

Starfield Continues To Improve With Each New Update

Following months of feedback, Bethesda is introducing 60FPS gameplay to Starfield on Xbox Series X. The RPG will also debut vehicles for traversal on land, directly addressing two of the biggest criticisms.

Since September 2023, the developer has made remarkable progress. With the development of The Elder Scrolls 6 in full swing, this feedback should prove critical in ensuring Bethesda avoids retreading similar errors for what could be its biggest game to date.

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