Bethesda claims that if Starfield had a PS5 version, it would have taken longer to develop the game.
After Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media in 2021, it was officially confirmed that Starfield was going to be released only on Xbox Series X/S and PC but not for PS5.
Starfield Exclusivity Explained
Recently Bethesda Publishing Boss Pete Hines shared details about the game’s console exclusivity during Microsoft’s court case against the US Federal Trade Commission. The latter is trying to block Xbox’s proposed acquisition deal with Activision Blizzard.
When asked if Starfield would be coming out this year if it was not exclusive to Xbox and PC, Hines said, “In my opinion, no, this game would not be coming out in nine weeks if we were supporting an entirely different platform.”
“Focusing on fewer platforms has been a big benefit to that team,” he added. Being on more platforms would mean “it’s going to take longer, it’s going to cost more. It’s just a far greater risk in my mind.”
Less Platforms, Less Development Time
Having a game released on multiple platforms meant it will be tested on ALL of those platforms to check if it will work on all of them. The developers could also discover platform-specific issues, which will let them develop necessary updates for that platform only. Unfortunately, this will take a lot of time since they will have to test the game for each platform they are playable on and also make those patches for each platform too. Less number of platforms, less time to test and make fixes, so Hine’s statement is rather plausible.
Thankfully, after getting delayed twice and finally making the game launch on fewer platforms, Starfield will launch earlier than planned. It will be released on September 6, 2023 for PC and Xbox Series X/S.