Starfield is going to be huge for Bethesda. It's the gaming giant's first bit of new IP for 25 years and will be a single player game that marks the start of an all-new epic franchise. But just what is the game about? And, more importantly, when will we be able to play it?
Bethesda's E3 2018 conference had plenty in store for fans of its much-loved franchises. We got concrete details for its upcoming Fallout 76 MMO, news of its Fallout Shelter spin-off coming to Nintendo Switch, a reveal of a Doom sequel, and confirmation that The Elder Scrolls 6 was officially in development (finally).
One of the most surprising announcements, however, was for an entirely new IP named 'Starfield': what Bethesda director Todd Howard called "our next-generation, single-player epic".
Starfield will be a brand-new single-player RPG from the developer behind the Fallout and Elder Scrolls games. Instead of the medieval fantasy or post-apocalyptic wasteland of its other tentpole franchises, however, this new game will be taking players to outer space.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A single-player RPG in outer space from the makers of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls
- What can I play it on? It's almost certainly coming to PC, PlayStation and Xbox, but we might have to wait for the next generation of consoles
- When can I play it? No word yet, but we may be looking at 2019 or 2020
Starfield release date
So far, what's been released is a title, trailer and, well, promise of greatness to come.
With details so thin on the ground, and a major Fallout release coming later this year, the earliest we'd expect to see a Starfield game would be 2019, though it could easily be later.
Bethesda Game Studios Director Todd Howard referred to the first Starfield game as "next-gen", suggesting it might not see a release before the next generation of consoles (either the PS5 and Xbox Two).
He might, however, just mean the game will use the capabilities of the PS4 and Xbox One's recent mid-cycle upgrades, in which case 2019 or early 2020 would be a more likely window.
We saw our first glimpse of the game on June 10th in the teaser trailer below. it's not much more than a title and setting at this point, but the video does introduce us to an unnamed planet, a floating satellite or space station, and some sort of… glowing wormhole?
Starfield news and rumors
A whole new world
Bethesda has reportedly been talking about making Starfield for years now.
There have been rumours flying around about the game since Bethesda publisher Zenimax filed a trademark for the name as far back as 2013.
Given how much mileage Bethesda has achieved out of its other tentpole IPs – Fallout and The Elder Scrolls, which have both seen various spin-off entries and MMO variants – it is presumably hoping to make Starfield a far-reaching franchise in the same vein.
Bigger than ever before
Both the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series have shared a similar character progression system and open-world backdrop, partially rooted in their sharing of the same gaming engine.
While we haven't heard specifics on gameplay, Starfield looks set to follow in the same vein, albeit in a more galactic setting. But the final frontier could hold much larger potential for exploration, allowing players to travel across various planets and encounter unknown civilizations.
There's a big gap in the market for sci-fi RPGs
With the future of the space-opera RPG series Mass Effect looking uncertain, and the unfulfilled promise of the planet-hopping exploration game No Man's Sky, Starfield will be entering a gaming market hungry for a sci-fi RPG done right. With the proven success of Bethesda's other franchises, could the developer have the next Mass Effect up its sleeves?
Keep checking back here for all the latest Starfield news
- Keep up to date with all our game coverage of E3 2018