Bethesda has been owned by Xbox for a while now, but 2023 will be the year where we finally begin seeing full Xbox exclusives coming from the company, with both Redfall and Starfield scheduled to launch next year. The fact that Starfield in particular isn’t launching for PlayStation has been particularly surprising to many, owing to the massive success that Bethesda has seen on the platform with the likes of The Elder Scrolls and Fallout over the years, but according to director Todd Howard, not only is Starfield’s Xbox console exclusivity not that unusual, it’s also beneficial for the game’s development.
Speaking recently on the Lex Fridman podcast, Howard discussed Starfield’s PC and Xbox exclusivity, and calling back to older Bethesda releases like Morrowind and Oblivion, pointed out that a focus on Xbox during development has always been part of the studio’s internal approach.
“It is exclusive – Xbox, PC… keep in mind for us that exclusivity is not unique even though we’ve done PlayStation stuff,” Howard said (transcribed by Pure Xbox). “We were traditionally PC developers in the beginning, we transitioned to Xbox, [it] became our lead platform, like Morrowind was basically exclusive to Xbox, Oblivion was exclusive to Xbox for a long period of time… our initial stuff is all Xbox, so we get into development saying we’re focused on Xbox, it’s not abnormal for us in any way.”
Howard went on to say that with Bethesda being able to focus on just Xbox and PC rather than having to divide attention across multiple platforms, Starfield’s development is benefiting from the exclusivity. Meanwhile, engineers from across other Xbox teams have also been helping with the game’s development.
“From a development side, I like the ability to focus… and have help from them – the top engineers at Xbox, to say ‘we are going to make this look incredible on the new systems’, is like from my standpoint, it’s just awesome,” he said.
Starfield is set to launch in the first half of 2023 for Xbox Series X/S and PC.