Starfield's studio design director pleads for people to stop asking questions because only 'Todd Howard himself is authorised to talk'

Starfield - Adoring Fan, a person with a bright yellow fauxhawk next to an overlay showing their skills
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Emil Pagliarulo, Studio Design Director at Bethesda Studios, a man who has been with the company for over 21 years, had to take to Twitter yesterday to say that he cannot, under any circumstances, spill the space beans on Starfield. This comes after relentless online questioning that, in the run up to the game's release, has clearly reached fever pitch.

"I know this isn't what any [Starfield] fan wants to hear from me, but I feel like I need to make this clear: no one other than Todd Howard himself is authorised to talk publicly about unreleased game info," Pagliarulo wrote. "You have tons of questions. I get it. … I am SO humbled by your anticipation of Starfield. Seriously. It's mind boggling to me. So it really does pain me to say that I simply CAN'T answer 99% of your questions."

Pagliarulo goes on to write: "I can't share my opinions on game content; I can't talk about performance; I can't discuss... well, most things. I signed an NDA. I'm a professional. I don't want to get fired." The tweet was also posted to the Starfield subreddit, where user FlatbushHaitian responded: "He said leave me the fuck alone in the nicest way." 

User Titan7771 also wrote: "Honestly, a really nice response for what I'm sure is an avalanche of [obnoxious and rude] comments." Pagliarulo has had to deal with fan vitriol before, as several replies to Titan7771 call out the Fallout community's harsh response to his work

After some digging: yikes, they aren't wrong. A thread from about 6 years ago in the Fallout subreddit with nearly 9,000 upvotes was titled "Until Bethesda fires/relocates Emil Pagliarulo, do not expect quality storylines ever again. Yes, it's that bad." This was in response to a talk Pagliarulo gave on Fallout 4 and Skyrim, where he served as writer and lead designer.

A polite-yet-firm Twitter thread seems very civil given what the man's endured in the past. 

It's yet another example of the struggle Starfield's community is enduring while the oft-delayed title looms into view. There are healthier things fans can do with their time than cornering contract-bound developers with their questions, anyway: like assembling a 1,000 page lore compendium.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.