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Todd Howard says Bethesda worried Starfield would "never exist, that we had bitten off more than we could chew"

 Starfield trailer
Starfield trailer

Todd Howard seems to be in a wordy mood as Starfield finally launches after eight years of development and even more concepting. Just yesterday the Bethesda boss sent a victory lap letter to Xbox and Zenimax staff, and Howard also shared a message with reviewers – who've now given the game largely positive scores, with our own Starfield review giving it the highest score we can – acknowledging the fears behind the RPG's production.

"We did our very first Starfield concept art back in 2013, just over 10 years ago," he explained in a letter now posted online. "Initial development started with a small team right after Fallout 4 in late 2015. Concepting, designing, and building new technology for what we were dreaming of took... much longer than we anticipated. By 2020, we had the team at its full production of 275, just as the world turned upside down with the pandemic. We had to work in all new ways, and adapt to the many changes to our lives including the passing of our company's founder and becoming part of Xbox.

"There were many days where we thought the game may never exist, that we had certainly bitten off far more than we could chew. Development is never a straight road, it's often a winding and treacherous path. I could not be prouder of the team's continued passion and dedication to create something truly special."

Howard has discussed Starfield's bumpy development before. He recently revealed that the game wasn't truly fun until its seventh year of development, which is cutting it close even by the standards of games, which often don't come together until myriad disciplines and components coalesce near the finish line. "I thought we would find the answers faster," Howard said of Starfield's gameplay.

Howard has also owned up to the Skyrim jokes seeing as how the RPG was re-released three times during Starfield's development alone.