Starfield Being An Xbox Exclusive Allowed For Greater ‘Focus’, Says Todd Howard
Bethesda’s Todd Howard has been doing the rounds today in a variety of interviews to promote the full launch of Starfield, and he had some particularly interesting comments to share about Xbox exclusivity with the BBC.
In recent years, there’s been a lot of discussion around the decision to make Starfield exclusive to Xbox consoles and PC (and whether that’s good thing or not), and Todd used the opportunity to highlight some of the positive aspects of it:
“When you’re making something exclusive then the more you can focus.”
“You know this is the hardware or the thing people are playing on, so the ability to focus on that always yields a better product. You do want people to be able to access it of course. But being with Xbox means there is an ease of access for us and I’m told we’re expecting more people playing this launch than anything we’ve ever done before and that’s despite the success of our previous games.”
Howard also went on to point out that attaching brands to games is something that you see often — he used the example of Nintendo and Zelda — and he believes “there are times when that can be a real benefit.”
The Starfield creator clearly has a bias in this situation given Microsoft’s purchase of ZeniMax Media back in 2021, but nevertheless, it seems the game’s exclusivity isn’t going to have a major detrimental impact on player numbers – as Todd mentioned, the team is “expecting more people playing this launch than anything we’ve ever done before”.
Why Xbox Exclusivity Allows for Greater Focus?
According to Todd Howard, the decision to make Starfield an Xbox exclusive has allowed the development team to achieve greater focus on the specific hardware and platform. Here are some reasons why this exclusivity has been advantageous:
- Targeted Optimization: By designing the game exclusively for Xbox consoles and PC, the development team can optimize Starfield’s performance, taking advantage of the hardware’s capabilities.
- Streamlined Development: Focusing on a single platform allows for streamlined development, reducing potential complications and ensuring a more efficient production process.
- Quality Assurance: With fewer platforms to consider, Bethesda can dedicate more resources to quality assurance, ensuring a polished and bug-free experience for players.
- Exclusive Features: Xbox exclusivity provides the opportunity to incorporate exclusive features and take full advantage of the platform’s unique capabilities, potentially enhancing the gameplay experience.
While some may argue that exclusivity limits accessibility, Howard emphasizes that being part of the Xbox ecosystem offers ease of access and a potentially larger player base. The anticipated high player count for Starfield’s launch demonstrates the positive impact of Xbox exclusivity on the game’s popularity.
The Benefits of Brand Attachment
Howard also highlighted the advantages of attaching brands to games, drawing a parallel to Nintendo’s successful association with the Zelda franchise. Here’s why brand attachment can be beneficial:
- Familiarity and Trust: Linking a popular brand to a game instills familiarity and trust in players, potentially piquing their interest and increasing the game’s appeal.
- Established Fanbase: Brand attachment allows developers to tap into an existing fanbase, leveraging their enthusiasm and support to generate interest and drive sales.
- Expanded Reach: Associating a game with a well-known brand can expand its reach beyond traditional gaming audiences, attracting fans of the brand who may not be frequent gamers.
Although Todd Howard’s opinion may be influenced by Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the positive reception and high expectations for Starfield’s launch suggest that the exclusivity deal has not deterred potential players.
What are your thoughts on Starfield’s Xbox exclusivity? Do you believe it allows for greater focus and better quality? Let us know in the comments below!