As Bethesda blasts off to the cosmos, one fan thinks they've discovered the Starfield release window - which could be sooner than we all think.

09:52, 22 Feb 2021

From the Nazi-kicking alternate reality of Wolfenstein to the grim depiction of nuclear war in Fallout, Bethesda boasts some of the best gaming IPs out there. Also giving us some steampunk style with Dishonoured and casting a spell over us with The Elder Scrolls, Bethesda has done it all and has everyone rightly excited for Starfield. Changing tack once again, there's plenty of hype for the mysterious Starfield - which looks like the developer's first foray into the sci-fi future of space exploration. While Bethesda games are usually confined to alternate realities of the past, Starfield looks like a pioneering glimpse of the human race's future. 

Since its announcement at E3 2018, there's been virtually no update on Starfield, other than the fact Bethesda is tinkering away. The first teaser showed off an orbiting space station that was caught in some sort of solar blast. That's pretty much it in terms of what the story could be about, but we also know it will use four-to-five times as many developers as Skyrim and Fallout. It's rightly tipped to be the studio's biggest outing to date.


Starfield release date

With so much wink-wink, nudge-nudge, surrounding Starfield, it's no surprise we haven't got a release date. However, a new leak claims the game was/is targeting a 2021 release date. If this is legitimate, it means Bethesda's next-gen goliath has snuck up on us from seemingly nowhere. According to "NateDrake" on ResetEra, Bethesda was targeting a 2021 release window. Although they don't expand on their sources or insider knowledge, they told the baying crowd, "There has been a strong hope & desire to have Starfield launch this yr. How major the impacts due to COVID have been on the title is anyone's guess, but 2021 was the intended goal for release as of a few months ago". 

There are a number of factors to consider here. Not only does ResetEra have a questionable history when it comes to being classed as anything more than hearsay, but there's no proof that NateDrake has any form of credentials to back up their claim. Then again, the idea of slipping Starfield through the cracks of the coronavirus pandemic is easy to imagine. Let's also remember, Bethesda's parent company (ZeniMax media) was recently acquired by Microsoft for a whopping $7.5 billion, with the deal due to close in the second half of this year.



Will Starfield release in 2021?

It might be a nice idea to take to the skies with Starfield in 2021, but we're going to air on the side of caution. A very similar rumour appeared online last year (also via ResetEra), however, anyone can throw their two cents in. We should also bear in mind that even if Bethesda was targeting a 2021 release, Microsoft could have very different plans for Starfield. Despite suggesting Bethesda's games won't be locked to Microsoft, the latest rumours suggest Starfield will be an Xbox exclusive. We've seen Sony make a small fortune from holding on to God of War and Marvel's Spider-Man, so don't be surprised if Microsoft follows suit with Bethesda's impressive back catalogue.

In 2018, Bethesda boss Todd Howard told The Guardian, "We’ve been talking about it for a decade, we started putting things on paper five, six years ago, and active development was from when we finished Fallout 4, so two and a half, three years". He also told eager fans, "Everyone should be very patient. It’s gonna take a while for what we have in mind to come out". That was three years ago, but we're just not buying that Starfield will be ready to ship in 2021. As a final nail in the coffin, Bethesda games don't exactly have a great history when it comes to sticking to release dates. Take this one with a small mountain of salt!



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