Xbox’s Developer Direct brought plenty of exciting gaming news to light, but the highly anticipated standalone showcase Bethesda promised for Starfield wasn't mentioned at all. With multiple dates circulating as the release date for the studio's first new IP in decades, hearing that the game is playable from start to finish is a step in the right direction.
Windows Central’s Jez Corden, who is an established reporter from the Microsoft ecosystem, came out with a piece yesterday shedding light on the latest Starfield developments. The aforementioned rumor that Starfield is being released on March 23 is as preposterous and unlikely as it sounds. Not only would this conflict with multiple confirmed reports that Redfall is launching before Starfield on May 2, but the CD Keys store listing also claims Starfield will be delivered through the Bethesda Launcher, a claim proven to be incorrect six months ago.
Despite these baseless rumors, trusted sources with authority within the Starfield circle have notified Jez that Starfield is in a fully playable state from start to finish.
Given the sheer vastness of the upcoming sci-fi RPG spanning across multiple star systems, hearing this piece of news from a supposedly credible source is good news. Likewise, the finishing touches being put on the game will also be massive and should take some time, so a late 2023 release seems more and more likely.
Given the history of Bethesda games like Fallout 3 and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim being notorious for glitches - gamers have a name for it already, "Bethesda's Bug" - it shouldn't be surprising that Microsoft and Bethesda would rather push back the release date of Starfield in order to deliver a more polished product.
Keep in mind that Starfield is a new IP and carries the weight of the entire Xbox console market as the platform's biggest exclusive for the year, if not ever.
Playtesters are raving about the level of gameplay the title has to offer, but Xbox’s Developer Direct didn't mention Starfield. Instead, the event focused on launching Hi-Fi Rush straight into Xbox Game Pass, alongside other titles coming in late January and early February.
Early 2023 has been quite busy for Xbox, with Hogwarts Legacy also nearing release. The rest of the company and all of Microsoft’s subsidiaries are struggling to keep up with mass layoffs affecting production at all levels.