Pete Hines on Starfield: 'We could make a safer, less buggy, less risky game if we wanted to'

An astronaut in a space suit waves to a large bug
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Never has a Bethesda game been released without at least a few bugs. We all know how it goes… we either cease to play Skyrim because our AI companions won’t stop running into traps, or we embrace the wonderful weirdness and turn it into streaming content. And it’s not just us players who feel the need to cut Bethesda games some slack for their shortcomings.

Likely in reference to all the talk around Starfield bugs, Bethesda’s Head of publishing Pete Hines recently spoke to Games Industry Biz, assuring them that “We embrace chaos" over at Bethesda HQ. If that means leaning into the little bugs that make the game a more freeing experience for players, then so be it. 

That’s how the company rolls, see.

“We could make a safer, less buggy, less risky game if we wanted to”, he continues. Sounds like a dream, Hines, so why didn’t you do just that? 

“What we try to lean into is player freedom. Yes, there's going to be some little things here and there where your companion might stand a little too close to you sometimes, yet the freedom you get, and the things that happen because of that, we absolutely love and embrace.

"Of course there are bugs. But does it take away from your experience? Or do you have a consistent, fun game that you just can't stop playing and experimenting with?"

While I’m sure that’s meant to be a rhetorical question, there’s a part of me screaming to answer “I kind of just want a game that works.” Still, Microsoft exec Matt Booty seems to think Starfield is one of the least buggy Bethesda games he’s ever played. Having seen the bug counts back in June, he reckoned that “just by the numbers, if it shipped today, this would have the fewest bugs any Bethesda game ever shipped with."

We covered exactly how much bugginess Starfield players will have to put up with in our How buggy is Starfield? list. So feel free to mosey on over there if you want to see just how free, consistent, and fun your first Starfield playthrough might end up. 


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Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for three years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.