COVID And Working From Home Made Starfield Development “Very, Very Slow,” Todd Howard Says

Starfield game director Todd Howard has commented on how the global COVID-19 pandemic impacted the development of the sci-fi RPG. Speaking to The Washington Post, Howard said when developers shifted to a work-from-home setup in early 2020, this made production on Starfield “very, very slow.”

Not only were the team members crafting Starfield the game, but also the new technology underpinning it. Starfield was originally set for release in November 2022, but the game later got pushed to September 2023. Howard said when the team chose the November 2022 date, it did so knowing they had “lots of buffer” built into it.

However, Howard acknowledged that, “As things moved on, we were off by a percentage, and a percentage when it comes to the scale of this game turns out to be a lot of time.” Of the delay to September 2023, Howard said, “We felt it was the right thing to do to give us the time we required.”

Howard also shed some light on content that did not make it into Starfield, including a recreation of the nuclear wasteland from Washington D.C. from Fallout 3. “We talked about it,” Howard said.

According to the report, Bethesda had “hundreds of plans” for Starfield that didn’t make it into the final product. “Oh, we planned, and those plans went out the window,” Howard said. “We knew we were going to rewrite parts of the engine, so we started building technology for the planets and the outer space stuff on our previous engine and renderer.”

Starfield got off to a good start, reaching 1 million concurrent players on launch day and 6 million total players as of September 7. Launch is just the beginning for Starfield, as Bethesda plans to support the game with at least one expansion, Shattered Space, in the future.

Starfield is out now for everyone on Xbox and PC, and on iPhone and Android through streaming. Players have discovered that having sex every day is a good way to level up and how to print infinite money. It’s also been discovered that Starfield has really good potato physics.

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