Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier recently tweeted that the rumors suggesting Starfield is near completion are false. According to people he has communicated with who are familiar with the game's development, the planned release date for Starfield is "way later than most people expect." He later clarified that the game is set to launch in late 2022.
This is a shift in expectations, as fans were anticipating Bethesda to utilize the same business strategy as it did with Fallout 4. In 2015, the company revealed Fallout 4 in June and launched it in November. A short five-month wait for one of the most anticipated games at the time was unprecedented, and it is still considered a gold standard for how to treat AAA launches.
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However, Schreier did confirm that Starfield will be shown at E3 this June. In a separate post, he made it clear that this is when Bethesda intends to tease the game's release date for late next year.
Schreier also says that Starfield's development team was "very small until 2019." Two years is certainly not enough time for a game of this scale to fully develop, which only adds validity to his claim.
However, Schreier's tweets contradict what other people have stated in the past. Rand al Thor, co-host of The Xbox Two podcast, previously claimed that Starfield is "basically finished" but it's in "bug squashing mode right now." This made it sound like the game would launch this year.
Due to recently leaked photos and E3 closely approaching, the hype for Starfield is quite high. Fans are hotly anticipating when they'll get their hands on Bethesda's next RPG, and if it hits as hard as Elder Scrolls and Fallout, then the company will have a critical darling on its hand.