Starfield has been in development since 2013, says its director

Starfield will be the title of the year.

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Key notes

  • The Starfield team faced many challenges, including some tragic moments, while developing the game.
  • The idea was born in 2013, and everybody at Bethesda was excited about it.
  • Now, the game is out on September 1st for Early Access members, and Todd Howards will see you into the starfield.
starfield note from director

Starfield will be out on September 1st for Early Access, meaning that if you purchased the Premium Edition, you’ll be able to play it a week earlier than its intended release. If you don’t have access to it yet, and you have to wait until next time, then make sure to use this time to get accustomed to its complex control scheme.

But on other notes, and speaking of them, Starfield’s director, Todd Howards, released an emotional note chronicling the time it took to develop Starfield, and the challenges the team faced, including some tragic moments as well.

Windows Central received the note, which was verified by Microsoft, and it revealed some important details about Starfield. The game has been in development for 10 years, starting in 2013. Everyone was on board with the idea of exploring space in a virtual manner.

When the team finally started to work on the game, in the middle of development, the pandemic happened, then Robert Altman, one of Bethesda’s founding figures, unfortunately, passed away, and then Bethesda got acquired by Xbox. Howards goes on to say that despite the harsh challenges, Startfield is the biggest IP Bethesda has worked on, and he’s grateful to bring such a vast story to the gaming community everywhere.

Read the whole note below.

A note from the Starfield director, Todd Howards

I knocked on Robert Altman’s door. “Got a few minutes?”


It was early 2013, we were developing Fallout 4, and Skyrim was still enjoying enormous success. I was there to pitch him on our next game. It would not be a sequel to our current games, (he looked concerned), but a grand space RPG and our first new IP in over 25 years (looks curious). It would delve into creation and the search for our place in the universe (slight twinkle). You would explore the galaxy in ways only video games can do. And it would be called – Starfield. (Smile)

Sounds fantastic.”

Robert would be the very first to believe in us, no matter the situation. Our path to creating Starfield would be a long and winding one where we made other games along the way (Fallout 4, Skyrim SE, Fallout Shelter, Skyrim VR, Fallout 76, Skyrim again…). The core development from 2020 to 2023 saw enormous changes in our lives. A global pandemic, Robert’s passing, and becoming part of Xbox.

It’s incredible to be at the moment where Starfield is finally launching this week. It only exists because everyone else believes as well. We’ve been supported for decades by everyone at ZeniMax, all doing their best work yet. Special thanks to our publishing teams who aimed to create not just another release, but something that would capture the minds and inspire gamers everywhere. And to our partners in QA who had the difficult task of testing a game where anything can (and will) happen. And thanks to Jamie Leder and our Admin/HR teams who supported everyone during the most challenging years any of us have faced.

And of course, there is Phil Spencer. His support of every game and every player has been unwavering and fierce. Joining Xbox brought us closer to so many we had worked with for over 20 years. I cannot imagine a better place to create games, where the diversity of studios, creators, and games are allowed to flourish. This support came from the entire Xbox leadership team and all areas of publishing and dev support. Special thanks to the magicians at ATG whose spells and incantations helped make this our best performing game.

Most importantly, is the team I work with at Bethesda Game Studios. It’s an incredible blessing to be surrounded by so many talented and inspirational people every day. Moments like this make you reflect back. Some of us have been together for decades, some joined more recently, but everyone has the same passion. I could not be prouder of their continued dedication to create something truly special.

Lastly, a huge thanks to all of you within the Xbox and Bethesda family. Your enthusiasm and encouragement have meant the world to us. Creating this game has been one of the most challenging and thrilling experiences of our careers – a journey we’ll never forget. And as we come to the end of this chapter, we pass it along to you. Each of you is receiving the game with Early Access, and can begin playing this Friday Sep 1st, but since it’s one global time you can actually play Thursday evening (Thanks New Zealand!).

We hope you get a chance to play, and that your journey is as rewarding as ours.

All our best,


Starfield is nonetheless a title that will both define the Xbox consoles in the years to come and will be remembered as the first convincing try to explore the starts, even virtually, of course. starfield note from director

If you’ve been following us, you know that this game has been met with a wave of huge excitement, across the world. People on Reddit have been buying Xbox consoles solely for playing this game, and the community around it has also grown over the months.

We know what you think: With great expectations come great disappointments. However, we’re inclined to think that Starfield is going to be the title of the year.

We’ll see you into the Starfield. Are you coming?

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