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Bethesda defends Starfield's minimal start screen design; "That's been our menu for years"

Starfield start screen

As the world awaits the release of Bethesda Game Studios' sci-fi RPG Starfield, some folks in the media and the industry have gotten their copies of the game a bit early and have started playing the massive space-based title. However, it seems that a new source of conversation has popped up online this weekend about the game; its start screen.

Mark Kern, who previously worked on games like Diablo 2, Starcraft and World of Warcraft at Blizzard, posted on X (formerly Twitter) with a screenshot of the Starfield start screen and intro menu. He clearly didn't care for the minimal design, stating, "Starfield's start screen either shows hasty shipping deadlines by a passionate team overworked, or a team that didn't care."

In a second post, Kern added that often, a game start screen is created "at the very end of development." He said, "Teams that take pride want to put a good face forward and will often redo these just prior to game going live."

While making a start screen at the end of development may indeed be true for many games, Bethesda Softworks Head of Publishing Pete Hines made it clear that was not the case for the start screen design for Starfield. In his own X post, he stated, "Or they designed what they wanted and that’s been our menu for years and was one of the first things we settled on."

Hines also took umbrage on Kern's comments about how Starfield's developers might not have cared about the game's start screen, stating, "Having an opinion is one thing. Questioning out a developer’s “care” because you would have done it different is highly unprofessional coming from another “dev”."

Starfield has started preloading for the Xbox and Windows Store versions, with the Steam PC version to follow on August 30. It will be available to play on September 1 for people who purchase the Premium edition, and September 6 for for Standard Edition players. It will also launch on Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass subscribers on that same day.

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