As far as we know, Microsoft confirmed last year that Starfield will launch after Redfall is released, sometime in the first half of the year. With a recent leak suggesting that Redfall is scheduled for a May 2 release, this would give Starfield at least a month left before the first half of the year ends. But, a recent Steam release schedule change and an insider on Twitter implies that Starfield will come out a bit later.
The Steam platform offers developers multiple options when it comes to setting release dates. They can be specific, fixed dates when the developer has scheduled an official public release or they can be generic time windows like January 2023, Q4 2023, or 2023 in general.
Well if you head to Starfield’s storefront page on Steam right now, you will notice that the release date has been updated from ”2023” to ”soon”.
Going from a specified time frame to something as general as soon doesn't sound like an improvement in any scenario, especially considering that Steam catalog’s release dates as the last day of the specified time frame, which is December 31 in this case.
Another school of thought coincides with the info publicized on Twitter by industry insider ‘Onion00048’ as it claims Bethesda is now targeting a release of Starfield a bit later this year.
If this holds true then that would mean that Starfield is going live somewhere between October and December of this year, with Arkane’s Redfall still holding steady on course for a Q2 2023 rollout on PC and Xbox platforms. But if that’s the case why didn’t Bethesda change the Steam release date to Q4 2023, or give us a concrete date if the game is coming out before June ends?
— Gamingnews (@Onion00048) January 13, 2023
The fact that the game isn't going to be shown at the upcoming Developer Direct live stream, scheduled for January 25 and organized by Xbox and Bethesda to showcase their games, has fans wondering if the game’s launch window is even planned for this year at all. Xbox has confirmed that Starfield will receive its own dedicated showcase sometime soon but until the game is released, we can never know if those playtester rumors are actually true.
Ultimately, the blame falls on Todd Howard, who revealed Starfield at E3 2018 and gave the game a November 2022 release date. The game has been delayed since and if we're right, it will be delayed again. The good news is that it's Bethesda we're talking about and this award-winning studio always delivers. As they say, "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."