Bethesda’s head of publishing, Pete Hines, has said that game bugs are inevitable and they ultimately allow the studio to lean into player freedom.
In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Hines discussed Starfield and the studio’s history with buggy games, as well as why the developer likes to prioritize player freedom over making a technically perfect title, saying that it likes to embrace the chaos some bugs could create.
“Bethesda Game Studios has a reputation for things that happen in their games, yes,” Hines said “The thing people miss far too often is that there is some amount of that which is intentional, meaning we embrace chaos.
“We could make a safer, less buggy, less risky game if we wanted to. But 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.”
Starfield launched in early access last week for those who preordered the Premium Edition or Constellation Edition of the game, and so far players have been running into the usual bugs Bethesda can be known for. But Hines doesn’t think they’re a problem for the overall experience.
“Of course there are bugs,” he said. “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?”
Hines went on to say that there was a certain Starfield bug in the pleasure city of Neon where a shark would get on an elevator. When the doors opened on ground level to reveal the shark, citizens would start screaming and running away while guards tried desperately to kill it.
“I said: ‘Do not take this bug out of the game!’ I’m almost positive they did but I love that stuff,” he added.
Starfield officially launches on September 6 for Xbox Series X|S and PC. In TechRadar Gaming’s Starfield review, editor in chief Jake Tucker said: “Bethesda’s latest is a polished effort that offers the galaxy but doesn’t have any soul.”