February 25, 2024

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“Starfield” may release more “live” content outside of its expansion

“Starfield” may release more “live” content outside of its expansion

There is interesting Interview in Japanese With Xbox’s Phil Spencer wandering in, he’s asked about all sorts of topics including Game Pass, Xbox’s new relationship with Square Enix, and of course Starfield, Xbox’s biggest release of the year.

When asked about Starfield’s plans for the future, Spencer said the following:

“We believe it is essential to continue updating Starfield content in order to maintain engagement with the game over the long term and encourage ongoing subscriptions. And that is exactly what Todd Howard and his team are doing now.

I find this to be a rather interesting answer, and suggests that the future of Starfield may include elements other than what has already been established. Apparently, Bethesda has already announced that Starfield will be getting a Shattered Space expansion, with current estimates pointing to it sometime in early 2024, about six months or so after launch. Bethesda’s Creator modding tools should also be available by then.

I have to wonder what “maintaining engagement” with Starfield looks like outside of that. Obviously, the big concern about launching a game like Starfield on Game Pass is that players can sign up for the game, and then cancel it after a month or so, when they feel like they’re done playing. So Bethesda needs to give them a reason To continue playing.

I don’t want to say that Starfield is going to turn into a terrible service offering, but I have to wonder what the plan is here. If the expansion releases in six months, that’s enough time to lose Game Pass subscriptions if people drop out once they feel they’ve put enough time into the game.

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I find myself thinking…Fallout 76 is here. Okay, okay, wait a second. No, not the 49 launch of Metascore, but how it has evolved over time, and created a neat little community. Since its release in 2018, Fallout 76 has been around 16 different updates Different sizes, some huge, some small. And they’re still going strong, with a new update coming to Atlantic City next December.

And of course, there’s also No Man’s Sky, a game that Starfield is endlessly compared to, and for good reason. That game has been “fixed” with more updates than I can count at this point, and again, not all huge expansions, but updates of varying sizes with decently large additions. There was an update to just base building, for example. Or land vehicles. Story questions. Major quality of life reforms and systems renewal.

The point is…I think there are more options in the game here than just bug fixing patches, some balance tweaks and then DLC in six months. I think Bethesda learned a lot from Fallout 76 in terms of how to build a player base, and Starfield certainly has a better foundation than that game had to begin with.

I don’t expect Starfield to be anything like multiplayer. But I wonder if we could move toward a series of updates, at least somewhat similar to the ones I mentioned. No, it’s not a full live service. I’m not talking about seasons and battle passes, but enough content to keep people coming back and understanding more comes between the major expansions (I assume there will be more than one).

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Maybe we’ll get those overland vehicles that everyone wants. More ship and base parts (I think that’s a given). More weapons and armor. Planets that experience a vernal life that they have never lived before (I’m thinking of some kind of “monster hunt” event). At least some amount of new quests or “surprise” events are put into the game that prompt people to log in.

None of this has ever been talked about, so obviously I can’t say that He is It happens, but I also wonder if Starfield didn’t want the stigma of live service at launch, and now if they added things (free, even expansion) that would be a nice bonus and a primary reason to keep Game Pass subs. without Things like that, I’m not sure how to prevent a lot of people from canceling Game Pass before the expansion, or even necessarily going back to the expansion when it arrives.

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