Mobile Menu

Starfield Delay is a Bitter Pill

Starfield will be coming out on September 6. That is a little bit disappointing.


Not because there aren’t other great Xbox games on the horizon, I should hasten to add. There are. Between Game Pass and Xbox’s first-party releases, I can barely keep up as it is, without adding a giant Bethesda-sized RPG into the mix as well.

And not because I have any issue with a delay in principal. Get Starfield where it needs to be before you hit go on it – there’s no problem with that. It didn’t really have a release date anyway, what with it just being “first half of 2023”.

It is a bitter pill to swallow because the taste is all too familiar. This game was originally announced in 2018, and was in development from the release of Fallout 4. It has been delayed multiple times.

What issues are they trying to fix? What enormous hurdles will these precious months allow them to overcome? With every month, the pressure mounts – this has to be the most bug-free Bethesda release ever. Fans will have serious questions.

Starfield already has a relatively large amount to prove. Unfairly, for the most part. It is not only the first new Bethesda IP in decades, but it’s also their first game released under the Xbox banner. It will be their first game as a console exclusive after the purchase, and there will be a vocal minority who are desperate for it to fail.

And maybe that’s why the delay is necessary, and it’s why it’ll be forgotten seconds after release. So long as it works as well as it should.

And so the bitter pill isn’t so much any individual fact about the delay, which is positive, maybe even necessary. It’s more about it as part of an ongoing narrative.

Starfield and Xbox

See, Starfield has been the big Xbox exclusive that will lead the way for the new era of the console. It isn’t Halo, Gears and Forza. It’s new and exciting, and it’ll probably be a critical darling whatever happens. After Halo Infinite developed this aura of negativity, it was the next best thing.

And then it just never released. It was on the horizon, undated, and then the release date seemed like miles away. Then it was delayed. And now, delayed again.

Even though Xbox is clearly gearing up for a fantastic 2023, and even though they’ve already released a GOTY contender in Hi-fi Rush, there still feels like a little bit of unfinished business.

It won’t be the last time we have this feeling either. The issue with announcing a generation’s worth of games before your console is even out, is that the conversation ends up entirely about those games. Where is Fable? Where is Hellblade? Will we ever see Perfect Dark?

Microsoft will soon start to prove the conversation about them not having enough games completely wrong. That’s not really up for debate.

But until the marketing side of things is smoothed out, it’ll feel like a good long time until these “big hitters” make it home. Hopefully there’s a plan in place to deal with that reputation too.

But in the meantime, September can’t come quick enough. Hopefully it’s the last time we’ll have to deal with a Starfield delay.


Article By

blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

Follow on:
Twitter: @matgrowcott