Starfield devs were reportedly “extremely worried” about the release date before the delay

What a relief.

Image via Bethesda Game Studios

It’s one of the biggest video game news stories of the day: Bethesda announced that both Starfield and Redfall have been pushed back to the first half of 2023. The delay is sure to disappoint fans of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls, especially since Starfield was originally slated for the Skyrim anniversary date of 11.11.22. The developers, however, are reportedly quite relieved with the delay.

The news comes from a Bloomberg report by Jason Schreier, who claims to have spoken with some Starfield developers prior to E3 2021. They “were extremely worried about committing to an 11.11.22 date based on the progress they’d made so far,” according to Schreier’s tweet. Unfavorable Cyberpunk 2077 comparisons were reportedly being made internally as well — that CD Projekt Red game caught a lot of flack for launching in a broken state, until a particular patch started bringing people back in droves. Avoiding a potentially similar situation with Starfield does seem to be a wise move for Bethesda.

To further reinforce this point, Schreier cites a previous report in the same thread, claiming that Starfield was never going to hit its then-rumored 2021-2022 release window. The dev team was purportedly looking to reach a playable alpha by that summer, which would still leave the game several steps away from completion.

No new release date was given for Starfield (or Redfall) beyond the “first half of 2023” stated in Bethesda’s announcement. It also promised the “first deep dive into the gameplay for Starfield soon,” and that is something we’ve been waiting to see for some time. Previous dev diaries have talked about the game’s dialogue and persuasion system, the robot companion VASCO, and the significance of the game’s main music theme. However, none of those actually showed extended gameplay — they used concept art and developer commentary for the most part. A true gameplay preview will be very welcome, and the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase next month seems like a perfect place for it.