There is an internal memo by the Starfield director that has been making the rounds and it seems to give hint of the real reason why the review codes were so few.
We have previously reported the reason for Sirus Gaming’s late review stating that the publisher has not given any codes for the Southeast Asia region. Not only that, even the publications in the UK are not able to publish their reviews before the launch of Starfield due to the same reason. Microsoft has not given a clear reason for not sharing review codes early, but it seems this new internal memo could shed some light.
According to Windows Central, a new internal memo by Starfield Director Todd Howard has been making the rounds within Xbox, Microsoft, and Bethesda. It is the same congratulator note for the Bethesda team for launching the game and etc., but there is a certain part of it that might explain the shortage of review codes:
“Each of you is receiving the game with Early Access, and can begin playing this Friday Sep 1st, but since it’s one global time you can actually play Thursday evening (Thanks New Zealand!).”
This memo that Windows Central shared was verified by Microsoft to be accurate, so it is not fake. It seems the reason for the shortage is the copies being shared with Microsoft, Xbox, and Bethesda first. Only a few would then get copies, unfortunately, and the ones prioritized are those in the US and only a few in Europe and Southeast Asia.
Anyways, some have opted to buy their own copies (including ours) for their reviews so it will take a while before we can publish them.
Jokes aside, the memo shares Howard’s thanks to those who got involved in the development of the game and to celebrate, Bethesda is giving them access to the game with Early Access. So lucky of them.
Starfield launches on September 6, 2023 on Xbox Series X/S and PC with early access on September 1, 2023 for those who got the special editions.