Starfield's lead quest designer had 'absolutely no time' and had to hit the 'panic button'

"We were finally at a state in the project where we could play through the whole [game]. And it became very clear that we were missing the large final location that was going to tie the story together and have a satisfying action-filled payoff," Shen said. "I was both implementing the main quest and leading the quest design team, so I had absolutely no time. The entire quest design team was already overbooked."

Part of the issue, Shen said, was the sheer size of the team working on Starfield. Skyrim's development team was around 100 people, which made collaboration between different departments easier. That team size grew to about 150 for Fallout 4, then over 350 for Fallout 76, and 500+ for Starfield. That's not just Bethesda Game Studios but outside developers like Machine Games, Nobody Studios, Arkane, Snowed In, and The Forge Interactive.

just_looken62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

7 years of development time according to this over 500 people working in the game to give us this "story".

I think starfield is the worst to come out of bethdesda main i still can not finish the main campaign its so boring then the temple power crap.

To think we went from 150 fallout 4 to this and fallout 4 had 6 dlcs in the same time frame starfield got a photo mode expansion hazahh.


Just remembered they delayed starfield from 2022 release imagine what it was like then

Christopher62d ago

I think it's a big learning lesson for them. They say as much.

***According to Shen and Brigner, the sheer number of people working on a game across different studios can cause problems. "It's more difficult than ever to know who does what, who you're supposed to report to," Brigner said. A fractured team can also create a "silo effect," where "every department is scrambling for resources and saying 'no' to collaboration requests," said Shen. This can lead to the "inadvertent consequence of favoring the department" over the needs of the game, as well as slowing even basic collaboration between departments to a crawl.***

I think this is common for large studios now, especially those working on story driven content. You really need a team of managers who are about to keep everyone working on the same page and encouraging cooperation to accomplish the defined outline elements of the story. You can't just treat it like when you were a closed studio of just 100 people.

just_looken61d ago

To true just like anthem or dragon age 4 for example heck even skull bones 0 direction.

Ra303061d ago

No leadership at the top but then we're talking about Microsoft so its not like Starfield didn't have not enough Indians. Starfield had more than enough developers working on the project the problem was to many Chiefs and none of them knew what they were doing. Microsoft is one out of control dumpster fire after another.

just_looken61d ago


Ms just tossed cash for the last 3 year's remember after the redfall disaster they admitted they were hands off Bethesda but going forwards they are now involved.


So like redfall this was a internal disaster now the patches after launch and anything 2024 beyond that is all Microsoft

Einhander197260d ago

Well one thing we can all be sure of is that in no way was it the fact that Microsoft needed a big game to release in 2023 on game pass so they rushed the game out the door before it was finished the way Bethesda envisioned it originally, this is nothing like Redfall, of that we can be sure.

It was everyone's fault but Microsoft that is something we can all be sure of.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 60d ago
-Foxtrot62d ago

The more they team grew, the quality dropped

100 / 150 for Skyrim and Fallout 4

350 / 500+ for Fallout 76 and Starfield

That’s insane

coolbeans62d ago

-350 Fallout 76 / 500 Starfield

That part is a jump in quality though. lol

-Foxtrot62d ago


Imagine if they didn’t do 76? Starfield would come off a little worse

rakentaja61d ago (Edited 61d ago )

to -Foxtrot:
Fallout 76 was not made by the main Bethesda team (Fallout 4 etc.), but by a completely different team based in a different city (B-Tier). That's why it s****d. Fallout 4 is (A-tier) and Starfield is supposed to be A-Tier as well game but the quality of the game suffered due to bad decisions (random planets) and the sheer size of the game.

Abear2162d ago (Edited 62d ago )

So AI will be writing Bethesda stories from now on?
This is the same as saying Bethesda grossly mismanaged the production of this game and therefore shouldn’t be trusted with a budget that size.
They should have delayed it again and made the wrong decision there too.

8bitAssassin62d ago

Their customer service already does.

Christopher62d ago

How would an AI written story solve the issues of getting what people need from other internal or external groups to accomplish their tasks?

Abear2162d ago

Not advocating for AI to do it, but if people fail so hard I could see them going that direction in the future

FPS_D3TH62d ago

Smaller teams take more accountability and produce much better experiences. It’s wild how many games have come out from large development teams that lack focus and control

sagapo62d ago

Not necessarily imo. The key is to have a solid synergy between the dev teams.

E.g. Hello Games is a very small team, (maybe too small?) when NMS got released.
It sucked lacking a lot of promised features. Who was to blame here?

I can agree that having more and bigger teams make it harder to keep control tho.

WolfSeed62d ago

Many slacker in that company, eh? With 500 people and the amount of time it was developed, we should have gotten Red Dead Redemption 2 levels of quality in Starfield.

Christopher62d ago

This is reductive. People aren't slacking or lazy because of poor cohesion and improper management aimed at making the various parts of the company work well together. They're working hard, the problem is no one is directing them properly on how to implement or work with others on their end goals.

Huey_My_D_Long61d ago

Seriously? Slacker? Ill be honest, thats a very simple way of looking at things.