Bethesda boss Todd Howard has returned to Reddit almost two years after his last appearance, celebrating Skyrim's 10th anniversary, in order to thanks fans and subsequently bask in over-enthusiastic praise. In the message posted to the Starfield subreddit 'ToddBethesda' writes:
"Hey everyone! Long time lurker here. A quick THANK YOU for your passion and excitement for Starfield. I can remember when this sub started, and as it's grown, your excitement has fueled all of us at Bethesda. We like to say we have gaming’s smartest fans, and you certainly are. Starfield has been a labor of love for us and the fact that all of you care enough to build a community around it means the world to us. We can’t wait for you to play."
All a bit anodyne, but needless to say the eye of Todd being upon them has resulted in the subreddit's most-upvoted post and plenty of space junkies getting overly excited. It's a nice enough stunt, and a bit of a no-brainer for Bethesda to butter-up the game's most committed fans in the immediate runup to the game's launch: Howard hasn't stuck around to reply to any comments, but naturally his mere presence was enough.
Howard's also been busy behind-the-scenes, sending out an internal email to Bethesda and Microsoft employees before the games hit (obtained by WindowsCentral). Again there's nothing too Earth-shattering in here, though Howard does begin with the recollection of first pitching the game to Zenimax CEO Robert Altman:
"I knocked on Robert Altman’s door. “Got a few minutes?”
It was early 2013, we were developing Fallout 4, and Skyrim was still enjoying enormous success. I was there to pitch him on our next game. It would not be a sequel to our current games, (he looked concerned), but a grand space RPG and our first new IP in over 25 years (looks curious). It would delve into creation and the search for our place in the universe (slight twinkle). You would explore the galaxy in ways only video games can do. And it would be called—Starfield. (Smile)
Howard goes on to talk about the incidents along the way, which include launching several other games, Altman's death, the pandemic, and being acquired by Xbox. He takes a whole paragraph to praise Phil Spencer and Microsoft upper management, and claims "the magicians at ATG [Xbox Advanced Technology Group] whose spells and incantations helped make this our best performing game."
Howard ends by saying everyone on the email will get a free copy of the game which, if I worked at Bethesda, is frankly the least I'd expect.