Grand Theft Enterprise: You can steal spaceships in Starfield, Pete Hines says

(Image credit: Bethesda)

At today's "Extended" Xbox Game Showcase, Xbox communications manager Malik Prince sat down with Bethesda Softworks senior VP of global marketing & communications Pete Hines to chat more about some of the games we saw over the weekend. Bethesda's space RPG Starfield was featured, naturally, and the two discussed the open-ended gameplay that allows players to find their own path instead of simply following the pre-written narrative. 

And during the chat Pete Hines casually mentioned that you can kill people, steal their spaceships, and fly away with them. So, there's that.

"We don't want to put too many limits on what the player is or isn't allowed to do," said Hines. "We love it when players say, 'I wonder what happens if…' and then they try it." 

At the time he was talking about stealing items from shops, but the discussion quickly escalated to more serious crimes and having the freedom to play the game the way you want to. 

"You could spend thousands of hours doing nothing but ship-building," Hines said, "and [make that your focus] and that's okay." Players could also choose to just explore all the planets, or just follow the main story line for a more guided experience through Starfield. "And no approach is wrong," said Hines.

Hines then imagined a conversation between two players comparing notes about their different experiences during the same quest, with each making totally different decisions that led to different outcomes.

"Oh yeah, I just ran in and stole a ship and shot all of the crew members and took off," said Hines. "Like… you can do that? You can do anything. I think that is a special part of a Bethesda Game Studios game."

"You just gave me some ideas for stealing people's ships, so I appreciate that," said Prince. "That's going to be top of the list to do in Starfield."

That's a level beyond stealing someone's horse in Skyrim, but useful information for anyone who wished they could jump into one of the Brotherhood of Steel's Vertibirds and claim it for you own in Fallout 4. What you can do with a stolen ship in Starfield—strip it for parts, sell it, or add it to your fleet—remains to be seen. You can see the Starfield discussion starting here at about 52:32

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.