Starfield, the upcoming space-RPG from Bethesda Game Studios, has reportedly been in development since at least January 2016, according to the LinkedIn profile of a developer. Counting pre-production, this means that by the time Starfield releases later this year, it would’ve had a development cycle of around six years.
According to concept artist Lucas Hardi who has been with Bethesda Game Studios for over ten years now, Starfield‘s development apparently began in January 2016 (as spotted by Reddit). However, this could’ve been the conceptual and pre-production stages as another user pointed out, the game entered full production in 2017.
At the same time, Bethesda Game Studios were also working on Fallout 76. Starfield‘s pre-planning seemingly began shortly after the release of Fallout 4, as Todd Howard confirmed this to be case. Bethesda usually take around two years of pre-production before a project can enter full development, which lines up with Starfield‘s reported development cycle. Unlike Fallout 76, though, Starfield aims to be a single-player experience that the studio has become known for.
More importantly, this should give us a vague idea of when we can expect The Elder Scrolls 6, going by Bethesda’s development cycle per major game. We previously reported that The Elder Scrolls 6‘s speculated release window could be a few years off, judging by Bethesda’s usual four-year long development cycle. Once Starfield launches this year, it could take up to four years for The Elder Scrolls 6 to release, pinning its launch window sometime in 2026.
However, it’s also entirely possible that Bethesda had completed pre-production on The Elder Scrolls 6 at this point, though the four-year development cycle still stands. Either way, fans of Bethesda’s single-player games are being treated to Starfield this year, which is their most ambitious project to date.
Starfield releases on 11 November 2022 for Xbox Series X/S and PC. It will also arrive day one on Xbox Game Pass.