Today’s Starfield Direct gave us a better look at Bethesda Game Studios’ upcoming galaxy adventure. It’s impressive. The successful formula of Fallout and Skyrim is felt throughout the entire presentation, and I am indeed excited to get my hands on Starfield when it comes out later this year on September 6, 2023. However, the high level of skepticism lingers around my head as recent Xbox first-party game quality has unfortunately plummeted.
Since the last generation, the team at Xbox failed to capture the heart of many, and the Xbox One fell behind in sales; even its first-party games were nowhere near the same caliber as Sony PlayStation’s first-party releases. Cancellations of games were happening, and first-party studio closures were alarming under the leadership of Phil Spencer.
Even its acquisition of ZeniMax Media, which Microsoft poured billions of dollars into, isn’t doing any good for the green team… yet. The lowkey success and surprise release of Hi-Fi Rush from Tango Gameworks didn’t even move a needle that’s beneficial for Team Xbox. Redfall, Arkane’s Left 4 Dead-inspired game, disappointingly launched in a horrible state. Everyone hated Redfall. It was a technical mess, uninspired, rushed, and left a lot of loyal Xbox fans with a bad taste in their mouths.
Xbox always says that everything they do is for the gamers, for the developers. While that may be true in some cases, that’s not what we’re seeing here. Where’s the follow-up for Gears 5? It’s almost three years. Why don’t we see any updates of Perfect Dark from The Initiative? What is id Software doing right now? There are just too many questions that many of us Xbox owners have. But with Starfield, despite its numerous delays and teasers, the recent Starfield Direct made me hope that Xbox may have a chance to redeem itself later this year.
Bethesda and Xbox will need Starfield to capture the hearts of many. The huge delay should give the team at Bethesda Game Studios the time to polish Starfield to make it run at the best performance with minimal to no bugs on Xbox Series X|S and PC.
Starfield is huge, ambitious, beautiful, and very impressive. The amount of freedom you have in the game is quite overwhelming, and that’s a good thing! Bethesda Game Studios put a lot of effort into making Starfield the best there is; the possibilities, the world-building, it’s amazing to see the amount of content we can consume in a vast game. This is also why I’m afraid for Team Xbox, especially Phil Spencer. Players have high expectations; the game will scrutinize every inch and every polygon, and even the slightest performance issues can be a huge deal-breaker for everyone. It’s now the game that Xbox needs to make a win.
Xbox needs this, Bethesda needs this, Phil Spencer needs this; if Starfield fails, I will certainly believe that Xbox may forever lose the faith of its fans forever.