Why the Starfield delay is not bad for the Game Pass

Starfield's delay was somewhat expected, and while it remains a divisive topic, it's also all for the better.

Bethesda delayed Starfield in May, confirming what was already on everyone's minds back then.

The Game Pass and Starfield will benefit from the delay, even if it might not seem like it right now.

Fast forward to the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase, which Bethesda bookended with a 15-minute gameplay trailer for Starfield, and it's clear why the delay had to happen. This isn't to say that Starfield wasn't impressive in its initial debut. Starfield looks the part of an expensive game. But, you can't deny that Starfield barely broke orbit in its initial debut as it failed to wow audiences enough to make them jump on the rocket-sized bandwagon.

Based on what we just saw, Starfield still lacks the edge that helped make The Elder Scrolls and Fallout so memorable. It could probably still sell millions of copies as is, but we doubt that it will start a new franchise that the studio could circle back to after working on The Elder Scrolls VI and Fallout 5.

Xbox might have no big first-party titles coming out later this year, but the Game Pass is getting a lot of games to make up for it.

By pushing Starfield back from November 11 to Q1 2023 Bethesda gave itself more time to go back to the drawing boards and make the game better. We don't expect Starfield to be perfect when it hit store shelves. We're still talking about Bethesda here, bugs are par for the course. But, with both Starfield and Redfall out of the picture, Microsoft had to find a way to maintain the subscription base of Game Pass, and it's safe to say that the tech giant delivered.

As it faced pressure from fans and from its competition - Sony's new PS Plus is starting to take shape and turning doubters into believers - you could argue that Microsoft dedicated the entirety of June 12 to make up for delaying Starfield by at least one quarter.

The 90-minute or so event was filled with a list of games headed to the Game Pass later this year and it's much, much, much, longer than the list from E3 2021.

An expected consequence of delaying Starfield is that it has to be a great game at launch for the longer wait to be worth it.

Just off the top of our heads, we can name A Plague Tale: Requiem, High on Life, Scorn, and As Dusk Falls. Not to mention, Starfield isn't the only game coming out in early 2023 we all can look forward to seeing. If everything goes well, the Game Pass' library will welcome lots of heavy hitters in the opening months of next year like Minecraft Legends and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. When you consider the names of the games we just mentioned and the fact that Microsoft usually drops a surprise announcement or two every month for a new game for its subscription service, you can see why we're saying the delay was good for the Game Pass.

Ultimately, the Game Pass is a numbers game. The goal is to expand and broaden, which can only happen with a steady stream of big titles with smaller games sprinkled in between. The Game Pass might not have the likes of Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite coming later this year, but it will add a handful of notable games that are worthy of your attention. Plus, 2023 is just around the corner, which will more than make up for 2022's relatively lackluster Game Pass slate.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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