A select few are playing Starfield already

While we all wait for the Starfield launch to arrive, some people are already digging in, with Pete Hines and Phil Spencer among those spotted playing.

Some people are already playing Starfield - a person in a space suit makes an open-mouthed pouting expression.

Wish you were playing Starfield already? So do we, but there are a few people who’ve already got that privilege. While we count down the days to the Starfield release date, some fortunate people are already in the position to get their hands on the most anticipated space game of the year. As the months become weeks, the wait is almost over – but that doesn’t mean we’re not a little jealous of those playing Starfield right now.

While we’re all busy with more immediate games on our plate, such as getting ready for the Diablo 4 season 1 start date or picking out our race and class of choice before the Baldur’s Gate 3 release date arrives, some of the top players at Microsoft and Bethesda are sinking into Starfield for themselves. One user on the Starfield Reddit was surprised to see Bethesda Game Studios’ new RPG pop up among the ‘Popular with friends’ category, showing that several people had been playing it.

As it turns out, the people in question are Pete Hines, senior vice president at Bethesda Softworks, and Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Gaming and the Xbox brand. Both have publicly viewable Xbox live profiles – Pete goes by ‘DCDeacon,’ while Phil is simply ‘P3’ – and you can follow people on the site without them having to confirm you, so it’s not that strange to see them in the list.

Starfield - Xbox image showing the space game listed under 'Popular with friends' and showing Pete Hines, Phil Spencer, and another user with a Starfield profile picture playing.

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that some of the top dogs at Microsoft and Bethesda are getting hands-on with the game; Spencer was actually spotted playing Starfield via Xbox back in November 2022, so this isn’t even a completely new phenomenon. If the pair have been playing it again recently, however, that suggests they might be checking out something more closely resembling a final build.

Neither seems to have picked up any achievements, according to their respective Xbox profiles, suggesting that they’re probably still not live in the current build of the game. While we’re sure Bethesda are going all-in to ensure as few Starfield bugs at launch as possible, we doubt either of the pair have been pulled in to help test whether any Starfield companions clip through walls while you’re talking to them, so they’re probably just checking out the game for themselves. That’s just a perk of the job, we suppose.

Of course, it’s also possible that they’re just doing it to tease the rest of us and get us dreaming once again about all those Starfield romances we’re going to pursue, and wondering whether it’s worth another upgrade to really master the Starfield system requirements. If so, it’s absolutely working as intended.

With the game arriving on Microsoft’s Xbox and PC Game Pass service on day one, now feels like a great time to take advantage of the $1 Game Pass deal that has recently returned for new subscribers – after all, if you’re going to see what the service is all about, you might as well try what might be the most talked-about game of the year while you’re at it.

While we can’t give you the kind of access to Starfield that Microsoft’s top-level employees are afforded, we can tell you all about every Starfield creature revealed so far, and when you can actually play for yourself on the Starfield early access start date.

Still looking for more? While a good Starfield wiki can be a handy source of information, our new Starfield Database goes further, offering you daily news, searchable databanks, and even interactive tools.