Video game start screens are just that – start screens. You spend a few seconds glimpsing over the main menu before jumping into settings to tweak the aim sensitivity and increase the FOV. These menus can be simple or highly detailed. In the case of the latter, it doesn’t mean the game is any better than a game with a simple start screen. Well, according to the former World of Warcraft team lead Mark Kern, a simple start screen could spell disaster for the actual game.
Kern blew up X this past weekend after calling Bethesda out for the simple start screen. He claims that a simple start screen means zero effort was made on the experience and this likely translates to the game itself.
The user, who goes under the handle Grummz (honestly never heard of him before this), posted a Tweet stating that a start screen can reveal how much love and attention was put into a game. In the case of Starfield, the team “didn’t care”.
The tweet blew up with close to 9 million views as of writing. Many Xbox fans have completely lost it and have called the user out for his views on the matter.
This tweet may come across as a simple troll attempt but that has yet to be seen.
“The physiognomy of start screens. The start screen of a game can reveal a lot about how rushed the team was and how much pride they took in their work. Starfield’s start screen either shows hasty shipping deadlines by a passionate team overworked, or a team that didn’t care.”
The tweet got so much attention that even Bethesda’s own Pete Hines responded to the thread. He defended the simplistic design stating that Bethesda has always opted for a simple start screen. He claims that it is one of the first things the team work on when starting a new game.
“Or they designed what they wanted and that’s been our menu for years and was one of the first things we settled on Having an opinion is one thing. Questioning out a developer’s “care” because you would have done it differently is highly unprofessional coming from another “dev”.”
Xbox studio InXile Entertainment has also jumped into the conversation in a rather sarcastic, now-deleted tweet. The studio said:
“We are moving all dev resources off the game and onto the start screen. The campaign will be 45 minutes long but the start screen will be 20+ hours.”
Everyone will have their own opportunity to judge the Starfield start screen when it releases next month. Of course, your energy might be better spent judging the game because that’s what is important. Starfield reviews are dropping 8 hours before early access on 31 August.