While Starfield was easily one of the most hyped releases of 2023, Bethesda’s space epic failed to really move the needle for a lot of players. Overshadowed by the mammoth success of Baldur’s Gate 3, the gigantic interstellar adventure left players largely feeling a little ‘meh.’ Currently sitting at ‘mixed’ on Steam, averaging around 6/10, Bethesda has taken to the forums to respond directly to negative reviews which, in all honesty, just feels a bit weird.
Starfield currently sits at ‘mixed’ on Valve’s online storefront, no doubt amplified by a recent Steam sale that cut the cost of the space game by 20%. Valve has calculated that the wave of recent reviews are also sitting largely in the amber, meaning that Starfield’s Steam page isn’t looking particularly healthy at the moment.
As you scroll through the reviews, though, several of them appear to have developer responses – yes, Bethesda has indeed replied. While several weeks ago we saw boilerplate-style responses, the most recent ones are actually tailored directly to the complaints that people are making.
Where ‘UptownMermaid’ criticized the game’s seemingly infinite loading screens, Bethesda developer ‘FalcoYamaoka’ replies “While there may be loading screens in between fast travelling, just consider the amount of data for the expansive gameplay that is procedurally generated to load flawlessly in under three seconds. We believe that shortcoming will not hinder our players from getting lost in the world we created.”
The most recent replies, though, are from Monday November 27, but this time from ‘Kraken.’ While they reuse some of FalcoYamaoka’s response to solar system traversal, they are, once again, tailored directly to the player’s complaints.
A quick search for either developer brings up two Twitter/X accounts for FalcoYamaoka and Kraken. The latter joined in December 2022, but is a base profile with no followers or author bio. Kraken joined in July 2023, and has an image, but nothing else. This may debunk the ‘AI community support’ theory, but it’s clear the duo are using the same responses, given the similarities in the Grav Pack and fast travel paragraph in the image above.
AI or not, though, the whole thing is just a bit weird. While smaller indie developers are likely to jump onto forums and respond directly to criticisms, I never thought I’d see Bethesda doing it. Perhaps it’s a positive – they’ve certainly proved me, and many others wrong. However, it does all just feel a bit odd.
If you’re yet to dive into the Settled Systems to make up your own mind, then we have a list of all the best Starfield traits, as well as everything you need to know to build the best Starfield outposts. Alternatively, if you’re wondering why Starfield isn’t worthy of GOTY, I have the answer.
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