Starfield's anticipation for its early 2023 release continues to grow. Starfield is the first new IP for Bethesda Game Studios in 25 years, and it represents Todd Howard's thought process developed over at least a decade. Howard and his team have created a world that looks natural evolved from real life, including humanity's role among the stars.
Howard encourages players to experiment with their own style, rather than forcing them to follow restricted narratives. The Settled Systems are light-years from Earth with hundreds of star systems and over 1,000 planets, through which players will meet various factions, mercenaries, pirates, explorers, and corporations that have their own agendas.
Corporations in The Outer Worlds
Obsidian Entertainment's The Outer Worlds is a successful RPG in its own right, allowing for a future when humanity has colonized the planet. The game's setting is the Halcyon System, a place publicly marketed as wholly owned by corporations.
The Halcyon Holdings Corporate Board, or simply The Board, is the system's founding shareholders who control governance, laws, and religion throughout Halcyon. Food shortages, illness, corporate conspiracies, mutational wildlife, and blissful ignorance hide beneath the system's shiny facade as The Board tricks colonists into believing that breaks, time off, and weekend reprieves are detrimental to success and morale.
The Board of Directors creates strategies to reward unsuspecting colonists with peaceful Early Retirement - being brutally massacred by auto mechanicals - in The Outer Worlds.
Corporations in Starfield
Corporations will play a part in Starfield, with several dozen people mentioned or previewed on character creation screens, but their overall position has yet to be defined. By Howard's careful emphasis on how current systems may evolve in the future, their roles should be given prominence.
Interstellar banks suggest that some institutions are fundamental pillars of the Settled Systems governing through some aspect of law. Different corporations appear to relate to manufactured equipment, spaceships, defense systems, and other aspects of surviving in space. Players have noted entities like Argos Extractors, Axion Energy TEC, KFactor, Lunar Robotics, and Tranquilitea.
Starfield is in an excellent position to avoid similarities to The Outer Worlds. By keeping the majority of corporations grounded in manufacturing and engineering, Starfield can avoid the notion that they are monopolies or significant corporations that control every aspect of life. That's not to say that some individuals can't be considered as significant corporations or representative of corporate greed, but restricting their oversight helps set this game world apart.
Factions in Starfield
Howard and his team have described how several factions flesh out the explorable worlds rather than using corporations to control the Settled Systems. Whether players remain in Constellation or join other factions, they will encounter the two opposing factions at the core of the Settled Systems: the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective.
These factions will sway the player by using traditional RPG mechanics and player agency. However, Howard has also claimed that players may join other factions to suit their play style. This will lead to different endings that emphasize player choice.
- United Colonies
- Freestar Collective
- Crimson Fleet
- Ryujin Industries
- Xenofresh Corporation
Players may expect corporate influence to remain in the game, including while Outer World corporations competed, as the Board established the law.
Starfield is intended to be a complex and heavily populated experience with player choices to explore. The game world has shown that corporations will be an ever-present factor in the future, similar to their presence today.
Starfield will be released in 2023 on PC and Xbox Series X/S.