Starfield: Todd Howard’s letter to employees about the game’s release
Bethesda Game Studios executive producer Todd Howard has written a letter to employees about the release of Starfield, Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years. The text of the letter is quoted by the media outlet Windows Central.
From Todd Howard, director of Starfield:
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)
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 believed 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,
Todd Howard is really proud of this project. He has been working at Bethesda since 1994, which is almost 30 years, and has worked his way up from producer and junior designer (the first game was The Terminator: Future Shock (1995)) to director and exclusive producer of the studio. Since 1996, he started working on The Elder Scrolls series (the first game The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (1996)). As Todd himself says, the game development cycle is increasing and he probably won’t create many new projects, perhaps The Elder Scrolls VI will be his last game, so Starfield is the penultimate one. And it looks like the entire Bethesda team gave it their all this time.
We would like to remind you that Ukrainians are also working on Starfield, we recently did a big interview with Ilya Gulyaev, a Ukrainian artist from Bethesda Game Studios. He also said that Starfield looks incredible and inspires even those who have seen many good games over the past 25 years.
As for the Ukrainian language in Starfield, it is not yet available. A petition on change.org to add Ukrainian, we’ve already written about has collected 10,903 signatures, but it has nothing to do with Bethesda’s desire and ability to add a Ukrainian language to the game. At least, it won’t be available at launch.
Early access to Starfield starts tomorrow, September 1, at 3:00 Kyiv time. According to some journalists who have already started playing, Starfield is the least buggy Bethesda game in the studio’s history.