Bethesda Game Studios’ massive new RPG Starfield saw a year-long delay back in 2022. At the time of its delay, the game was content complete, but Xbox pushed the game to iron out myriad bugs and errors with the title.
Speaking on the Giant Bomb podcast, Xbox Gaming CEO Phil Spencer revealed that the game was significantly delayed after the Xbox acquisition of Bethesda to bring the game up to snuff.
Spencer explained that Xbox made the decision to “significantly” delay the game to give the title one of the biggest QA periods in development history. Similar to Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the game was feature complete for a long time before its release date.
“Truth be told, when the acquisition closed, this game had a significantly earlier ship date, even earlier than the date we had first set for Starfield,” Spencer said. “We sat down with Todd and the team and explained that we wanted to give this team the time. I think Matt says we have every QA person in our entire company playing Starfield right now, looking at bug counts, looking at quality of where we are.”
Starfield’s past release date was set at November 11, 2022, but even before then the game was feature complete. Now with a release date of September 6th, 2023, the game’s delay has resulted in a massively successful bug hunt as well as significant visual improvements.
On the podcast, Head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty revealed that Starfield will be the least buggy Bethesda game in history. While a game of its universe-sized scope will undoubtedly have its fair share of weird bugs and glitches, it’ll be significantly less buggy than the launches of Fallout 4, Fallout 76 or even Skyrim.
“We do have an awful lot of people internally playing Starfield,” Booty explained. “Working with Todd and the team, I see bug counts, and just by the numbers if it shipped today Starfield would already have the fewest bugs of any game Bethesda has ever shipped.”
Despite its long delays to polish up the title, Starfield is still a controversial title. With the game’s framerate capped at an acceptable 30fps on console, many fans and detractors have expressed disappointment with the reveal. Furthermore, the game is launching without official mod tools for fans to make huge content addons, although they will undoubtedly come in the future.
After the horrendous launch of Arkane Austin’s Redfall, Microsoft does have a lot to prove with Bethesda’s new RPG, and Xbox is obviously keenly aware. If anything, these huge delays prove that.
Starfield launches on Xbox Series consoles and PC on September 6th. Fans who buy the game’s expensive Constellation Edition will be able to play the game five days early.