Are Bethesda’s Promises About Starfield Enough To Save It?


Recently, Bethesda Game Studios took to Reddit to discuss Starfield’s latest update (1.8.88), reeling off a few paragraphs about what’s coming and what the team is working on. It was stressed that the group maintaining Starfield is ‘hard at work on many of the issues’ being experienced by the community at large and that there are technical improvements on the horizon, as well as some quality-of-life fixes and new features being developed.

There was talk of new city maps, ‘new ways of travelling’, and better mod support, all of which are arriving in a series of updates that will be deployed every six weeks or so.

But is that really enough to bring Starfield back from what seems like the cusp of becoming irrelevant?

Still Going Down

Starfield was released just three months ago, but it already seems like everyone has moved on. I’ll admit that’s more or less typical for a single-player title, as it’s inevitable that the bulk of the player base will finish the story and switch to something else, but let’s not forget that Starfield was touted as being an endless game with an innovative New Game Plus model that would keep players engaged for years and years.

Ultimately, that hype fell flat, as I’m sure many millions of gamers will agree.

Three months after Starfield was released, it seems to have passed out of relevance, for the most part. There’s a core following keeping the embers glowing, but the downfall has been monumental thus far, and I feel that’s because there’s no indication of what’s coming next. There’s ‘Shattered Space’ somewhere out there, but we don’t know what that looks like or when it’s going to arrive.

Bethesda Game Studios is working on the Creation Kit for better mod support, but creators are already leaving their constructs in the dust because Starfield was ‘such a disappointment’. And anyway, should it be up to the community to bring back to life a game that was developed for years and stressed as being the shining gem in Bethesda’s line-up?

If we use Steam as a representative example (as everyone often does), we can see that Starfield’s player count has dipped below that of Skyrim (2011) and Fallout 4 (2015). They’re both infinitely better titles that boast staggering replay value without the existence of some pseudo-innovative ‘play it over and over again’ kind of mechanic.

It’s on a downward trajectory for now, and only time will tell if it can resurface with the addition of the content that Bethesda Game Studios is promising. Check back in six weeks, and then another six weeks, and then another six weeks…

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