Starfield Got "Major Engine Rewrite," But Director Waiting "As Long As Possible" To Show It

Starfield director Todd Howard says the game has been in the works for a long time, and it may still be a while before we see it.

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Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda includes some big notable properties like The Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Fallout, but it also includes new games in development like Starfield. The space-faring game from Bethesda Game Studios was a topic of discussion in a roundtable interview with Xbox and Bethesda executives.

The Starfield exchange takes place between Microsoft's Larry Hryb and Bethesda's Todd Howard. Hryb pointedly asks what's up with Starfield, prompting Howard to joke that "it's got really good hype for a game no one has seen." He mentioned, offhandedly, that some people at Microsoft actually have seen it.

"I would say that it's a really exciting project that we've been doing for a long time," Howard went on. "Once we got on the new systems, the things we found we could do--it's a major engine rewrite on that game. People who know me, I like to wait as long as possible to show stuff. So we're closer to showing it than we were in the beginning of this conversation. And we'll see when. I think it's going to be something really, really special, and we're excited to work with Xbox on that."

Howard appears to be referring to the engine overhaul he referenced in the announcement. That's said to be the largest engine revision since Oblivion. The older technology started to show its age in some of the studio's newer games, such as Skyrim and Fallout 4.

It will be used for both Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6. Though Howard had touted its close working relationship with Microsoft in the same announcement, the engine overhaul isn't necessarily tied to Microsoft hardware. This could be where Microsoft's "case by case" approach to potential multiplatform releases comes into play.

The conversation then turned to Xbox Game Pass, which makes sense as we already know that Starfield will be offered on the subscription service. Bethesda mentioned it explicitly in the acquisition announcements, although the game still has no scheduled release target.

The announcement was notably made just one day before Xbox Series X and Series S preorders went live. Despite Microsoft giving more warning than Sony, though, the situation was a bit of a mess. Xbox Series X and Series S are coming on November 10.

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