“Starfield didn’t give me that…”: Bethesda’s Todd Howard Gets Brutally Honest About the Negative Reviews of Starfield Despite Record Breaking Reception

Will the industry break free from broken launches, or is it the new way to market games?

starfield

SUMMARY

  • Regardless of poor critical and player reception, Starfield went on to boost Microsoft's revenue via Game Pass.
  • Defending its poor initial reviews, Todd Howard solidified his stance for taking on a new IP for Bethesda, their newest in 25 years.
  • And it looks like Starfield might get better with time and have players ease up with their fuming remarks.
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Upon launch, Starfield was the gaming equivalent of ‘pineapple on pizza’— Everyone hated it. But over time, it amassed a new fan following, as well as winning over its initial player base. While there are still some polarizing opinions on this game, it can’t be denied that Bethesda is keeping up with the trend, i.e., launching a broken game and then working on it over the next few months… Still, they’ve managed to salvage their reputation after the messy splatter Fallout 76 left.

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Starfield launch still
Starfield holds on with lukewarm reviews

And of course, Todd Howard is at the center of it all. Drawing flak for everything that went wrong with this game, Bethesda’s boss had some explaining to do. Stating that it was a bold new IP (their brand new one in about 25 years) with Bethesda trying out ambitious feats, Howard appeared on the Kinda Funny Gamescast to clear the air.

What players expected from Starfield

Bethesda games have a way with exploration as Todd Howard has a way with his marketing. Games like Fallout have given players some memorable NPC interactions over the years, aside from the endless ocean of lore to swim in.

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But when a $70-priced game feels annoying at every point, comparisons to previous outings of the studio are a given (Players are complaining about lockpicking, for crying out loud, Todd!).

Video game designer Todd Howard at the 2018 Gamelab Congreso Videojuegos
Bethesda boss defends the Microsoft exclusive| Via: Wikimedia Commons (2018 Gamelab Congreso Videojuegos)

Despite the poor NPC A.I., the dull dud of an environment, and pathetic ragdoll physics at launch, Starfield went on to improve with each update. Yet, each one of these patches makes you wonder, “Why wasn’t this available at launch“? And in this day and age of supersonic SSDs, this game’s endless loading screens, unskippable cutscenes upon landing your ship, and pointless interactions that could’ve just been an email… Players felt robbed, and that’s only putting it lightly.

Despite all (deliberate) odds, Starfield boosted Microsoft’s revenue owing to an increase in Game Pass subscribers. And now, Todd Howard cleared the air on why their new IP is not reminiscent of their crowing glory.

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Defending Starfield and its ambitions

Appearing on Kinda Funny Gamescast, Howard spoke about how the team at Bethesda wanted to make a brand new IP and understood the critical reception that could come from such a venture. And for all players that said, “This is what I want out of a Bethesda game, to explore the world in a certain way, and Starfield didn’t give me that…”, he has a fitting response-

“Perfectly understandable. This is a different experience. And I do think, you know, for us, particularly me, going into a science fiction game I want to be able to land on all the planets, I want the game to say yes to us. Knowing that the content is going to be different than you’ve seen from us in the past when you’re exploring a landscape, and that’s some of the trade-offs we’ll make, to do what we think makes a science fiction game.”

Wanting the game to be its own distinct franchise, separate from Elder Scrolls and Fallout, he went on to add that their actively working on adding new maps and gameplay options. So, Starfield looks all set to only get better with time and pull a Cyberpunk 2077 on us.

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Written by Divyashree Shashidhar

Articles Published: 34

A lover of all things anime, gaming, comics, and food, Divyashree (or Denji, as they'd prefer) is re-kindling their fire for writing and editing all things pop culture as a Content Editor at FandomWire/Animated Times. While they're not hard at work, you'll find them petting their adorable cats, and cocooned in bed.