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Starfield launch date changes on Steam - here’s what that means

The Starfield launch date is updated on Steam as new details on the RPG game look set to emerge. Here’s what that means for Bethesda, Skyrim, and Fallout fans

Starfield launch date changes on Steam – here’s what that means. A scientist from Starfield faction Constellation

The Starfield release date is coming, with the new RPG game set to be revealed in fuller detail after the Xbox Developer Direct on January 25. The Starfield Steam page, however, has been updated with a new, arguably more vague launch date that may raise eyebrows among Bethesda, Fallout, and Skyrim fans eagerly anticipating the big space sandbox. Here’s the lowdown on the new Starfield release date, as listed on Valve’s store.

On January 13, the Starfield launch date was altered on Steam from a generic “2023” to a debatably even more generic “coming soon.” The change follows Bethesda’s announcement that – in the wake of the Xbox Developer Direct – Starfield will get its own live show, dedicated exclusively to a “deep dive” on the sandbox game. As a sidebar, Redfall, the Arkane vampire game published by Bethesda, will apparently have its own release date confirmed at the Xbox event.

“Coming soon” may sound even more distant than 2023, but there is a possible – and not at all concerning – explanation for the change to Starfield’s Steam release date. Steam offers developers a variety of options for release date formats, from listing their games under exact dates, to broader release windows such as ‘January 2023,’ ‘Q1 2023,’ or, as was formally the case with Starfield, an encompassing ‘2023.’

However, if developers use one of these release window options, the Steam backend defaults to cataloguing their game as releasing on the last day of that window.  As such, ‘January 2023’ becomes, in the Steam logs, ‘January 31, 2023.’ ‘Q1 2023’ becomes ‘March 31, 2023.’ The broad ‘2023’ becomes, according to Steam’s internal data, ‘December 31, 2023.’

At the beginning of this year, Bethesda updated the Starfield support page to affirm the game would launch in “the first half of 2023.” As such, it makes sense to alter the Steam launch date, otherwise the Valve backend would still read Starfield as launching December 31. As for the dedicated Bethesda event, we still don’t have a date for that, but in the meantime Starfield’s new Steam date is unlikely cause for concern.

As we wait on the next Bethesda opus, check out the other best games like Starfield. You might also want to get a head start on Starfield character creation, or perhaps pick your Starfield traits, to give yourself the best chance of intergalactic success.