Phil Spencer was asked about Game Pass, Xbox’s new partnership with Square Enix, and, of course, Xbox’s biggest game of the year, Starfield, in an intriguing Japanese-language interview.
“We believe it is essential to continuously enhance Starfield’s content in order to maintain long-term engagement with the game and increase subscriptions. This is precisely what Todd Howard and his colleagues are doing at the moment.”
This is a… moderately intriguing response, implying that Starfield’s future may include additional elements beyond those already planned. Bethesda has apparently already announced that Starfield will receive an expansion, Shattered Space, which is anticipated to launch in early 2024, roughly six months after the game’s initial release. Additionally, Bethesda’s creator modification tools should be available by then.
However, I must question what “keeping up with Starfield” entails in the future. A major issue with releasing a game like Starfield on Game Pass is that players can terminate their subscription after a month or so if they decide they’re done with it. Therefore, Bethesda must give them a reason to continue playing.
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I do not wish to imply that Starfield will be a formidable field service product, but I must question what the intent is here. If an expansion is released in six months, that’s enough time for Game Pass subscribers to leave if they believe they’ve spent enough time with the game.
I am wondering…Fallout 76. Okay, I’ll wait a moment. No, not the launch of 49 Metascore, but how it has grown and created a pleasant little community over time. Since its 2018 release, Fallout 76 has received sixteen updates of varying sizes, some large and others minor. They are still working on it, with a December update for Atlantic City expected.
And of course, there’s No Man’s Sky; Starfield is frequently compared to No Man’s Sky, and with good reason. The game has “self-fixed” with more updates than I can count, and not just enormous expansions, but updates of varying sizes and additions of the appropriate size. For instance, only the base building has been modern. or terrestrial conveyance. Story objectives. Extensive renovations and system updates to enhance the quality of life.
The reason is… I believe there are more options available than just bug-fixing upgrades, balance adjustments, and DLC in six months. I believe Bethesda learned a great deal from Fallout 76 about developing a player base, and Starfield has a significantly larger player base than the game did at launch.