Starfield release date speculation has eclipsed everything else about the RPG

Starfield space game
(Image credit: Bethesda Game Studios)

What is Starfield's release date? We still don't know. The official line from Microsoft and Bethesda is "the first half of 2023" as it's been since the original delay was announced way back in May 2022.

But that hasn't stopped people from speculating about the actual release date. On a daily basis. In forums, on Discord, on Reddit, on Twitter, that's pretty much the only thing about Starfield that is being discussed these days. Things have gotten so bad the subreddit had to create a pinned "Release date speculation / False information megathread" to push back the endless, constant waves of release date rumor posts that were eating it alive.

It's become, frankly, exhausting. The speculation about Starfield's release date has fully eclipsed every other topic about Bethesda's space RPG. Whereas players used to excitedly theorize about what might be on the game's 1,000 planets, or what skills might not have yet been revealed, or how the main storyline is structured, or the complexities of its ship-building system, the only thing being discussed regularly now is when. When.

We're not really any closer to knowing. The situation hasn't been helped by Bethesda's silence—not only do we not know the release date, we still don't even know the date of the Starfield showcase that might give us the release date. And several recent rumors and supposed leaks about the release date have spun the community into an even bigger frenzy of speculation.

Recent events that have led to more speculation about Starfield's release date:

🚀 Jan 13: Starfield's release date on Steam changes from "2023" to "Coming soon" though it turns out that doesn't mean anything in particular.

🪐 Jan 16: YouTuber MrMattyPlays says a source told him Starfield was delayed into the summer of 2023.

👨‍🚀 Jan 25: A leaker (who accurately predicted the Hi-Fi Rush release) said Bethesda wants to delay Starfield to the fall of 2023 because it's in worse shape than Redfall, which the leaker describes as being in "rough shape."

👽 Also on Jan 25: The Microsoft Bethesda showcase reveals launch dates of April 18 (Minecraft Legends), May 2 (Redfall), and June 20 (TES Online's new expansion), not leaving much room for a Starfield release in the first half of the year.

🌌 Jan 27: A gray market key reseller shows the release date as March 23, 2023. (It also states the platform will be the Bethesda launcher, which no longer exists.)

👾 Feb 2: The Bethesda support page for Starfield currently says Starfield is planned for the first half of 2023, leading to speculation it definitely won't be delayed again.

(Image credit: Bethesda Game Studios)

You can see why the community is in a tizz over all this, but it doesn't stop it from being extremely tiring. I'm not saying Bethesda should come out and give us a concrete release date if it's not ready to—that's what led to this mess in the first place. Delays happen all the time in gaming, but there's a problem inherent in going from a specific release date—especially one as notable as 11/11/22—to a vague release window like "the first half of 2023." In general, maybe publishers should stop claiming release dates before they know they can actually hit them? Just a thought.

And I'm definitely not blaming fans who just want to know when the damn game is coming out already. Yes, the constant, repetitive posts about every unsourced rumor and uninformed guess are irritating. But they just want to know, and I get that. I want to know, too. If only because it will mean I can stop reading about how nobody really knows. 

We'll eventually hear the actual release date, and be able to get back to speculating about fun things like the story, the quests, the game systems, and what exactly is on all those 1,000 planets. I'm looking forward to that date just as much as I am Starfield's release date.

Image

Starfield factions: Find a cause to quest for
Starfield cities: See the big spaces in space
Starfield companions: Collect cosmic comrades
Starfield traits: Give your hero some history
Starfield ship customization: Make your spaceship special

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

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.