Bethesda’s forthcoming space epic Starfield is apparently so long, it’s made the developer’s head of publishing Pete Hines lose all sense of time. At a Bethesda MainStream event during Gamescom 2023, Hines said he felt like the action role-playing game didn’t “really [...] get going” until he took 50 hours to finish its main quest. That was after he’d already dropped 80 hours into sidequests.
“80 hours in, I went from doing one game to a completely different game where I started really focusing on the main quest,” said Hines, “and then I got so caught up in the main quest, that I spent the next 50 hours just doing that. [...] I’m here to tell you that this game doesn’t really even get going until you finish the main quest.”
“Telling somebody, ‘Oh, I played Starfield for 40 hours’ tells you nothing about what that person has done,” he said.
130 hours is an intimidating amount to put into anything, let alone something that turbo-blasts blue light directly into your eyeballs and brain. But try not to worry for your ocular health yet—it might not take you as long as it took Hines to bring the game to max speed.
In 2022, Starfield director Todd Howard estimated its main quest would take a player around 30 and up to 40 hours to beat. I suppose that isn’t much of a difference from 50, but at least you could have around 10 more hours to, like, go outside. Or play Crash Bandicoot.
In any case, Hines maintains that Starfield will claim a huge portion of your time. In another Gamescom conversation, this one with IGN, he said, “If I’m being honest, there’s really not an amount of time that I’m comfortable enough [with saying] ‘Now you’ve played enough Starfield to get what this game is.’ Because, like, I’m at 150, 160 hours on my current playthrough, and [...] I haven’t even come close.”
Start clearing your schedule, then. Premium or Constellation Edition buyers can play Starfield in Early Access starting September 1, and the game is officially out for everyone on Xbox Series X/S and PC September 6.