Bethesda Game Studios announced the release date Sunday (June 13) for its epic new space-based adventure game "Starfield."
In a Microsoft and Bethesda E3 Showcase today , the Maryland-based firm confirmed recent leaks with a Nov. 11, 2022 release for "Starfield" — along with a first-look trailer. The game will debut exclusively on PC and Microsoft's Xbox Series X | S console.
"Starfield" is the first major new universe from Bethesda in 25 years, from a studio best known for the "Elder Scrolls (opens in new tab)" and "Fallout (opens in new tab)" franchises. But it isn't Bethesda's first space franchise, as the company is also known for its various "Doom" and "Star Trek" games — and it is said to be working on a revival of the 1990s "Commander Keen" series, too.
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"There's real magic when you step into a new world, and can make it your own," Todd Howard, Bethesda's executive producer, said in a livestreamed presentation from E3 (opens in new tab). The conference this year is running in an online-only format (opens in new tab) due to ongoing pandemic quarantine restrictions.
"We're creating a new universe with 'Starfield', set hundreds of years in our future," Howard continued. "It's an epic about hope, or shared humanity … It's a game we've dreamt of playing, and it wasn't until now that we had the hardware, the technology and the team." Howard offered another glimpse into the Starfield universe in a making-of video unveiled by the Washington Post (opens in new tab).
While Howard didn't allude to the "team" in detail, it's possible he is referring to the deep pockets of Microsoft, which purchased Bethesda for an eye-watering $7.5 billion last year (opens in new tab).
"We are committed to forging the next era of gaming, conjuring worlds never before possible, unlocking play across all devices and delivering the power of games to everyone," Sarah Bond, head of Xbox creator experience, said at E3.
Despite Bond's assurances that Microsoft gameplay is possible "across all devices", it appears "Starfield" will not be offered for Sony PlayStation or Nintendo Switch platforms, at least for a while. "Yes, it's exclusive," Bond said of the game.
The two-minute teaser trailer (opens in new tab) only shows a few glimpses of what "Starfield" has to offer us, but you can see an astronaut wandering around their home base and then a crew member getting their futuristic spaceship ready for flight, on what appears to be a moon-like surface. Intriguingly, a robot appears to be wandering nearby the spaceship during startup – perhaps an allusion to some kind of mission helper.
"We've come to the beginning of humanity's final journey," the trailer says in part. "That's why we're here – to discuss what's out there."
Back in 2019, Howard hinted that traveling through space in "Starfield" will be a harrowing experience. "Traveling in space in our game, I want to say it's like flight in the '40s, like it's dangerous," Howard said during an E3 Coliseum chat, according to PC Gamer (opens in new tab), whose parent company Future also owns Space.com. "It's still dangerous to go and explore, even though lots of people do it," Howard added.
"Starfield" was first announced in 2018 with an even vaguer trailer that gaming news website Polygon (opens in new tab) interpreted as "a first-person shooter/RPG [role-playing game] hybrid." Project rumors, however, started in 2013 when Bethesda trademarked the name "Starfield" along with "Fallout 4", GameSpot reported (opens in new tab).
Bethesda offered a few more details about "Starfield" on its website (opens in new tab), saying it would allow open character creation (which "Elder Scrolls" players have enjoyed for a long time), and an open-world, role-playing game (RPG) format. It promised more updates on its website and Discord channel (opens in new tab).
Major recent space-gamed competitors to "Starfield" including the remastered version of the "Mass Effect" trilogy from BioWare, released in May, along with Microsoft's "Halo: Infinite", which is releasing this fall after a pandemic-induced delay and was also discussed during E3.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.