Bethesda’s Pete Hines Comments On Starfield Main Menu Controversy

Bethesda’s Pete Hines Comments On Starfield Main Menu Controversy

Bethesda’s head of publishing has weighed in on the debate surrounding Starfield’s main menu.

Bethesda‘s head of publishing, Pete Hines, has commented on the discussion surrounding Starfield‘s simplistic main menu design, calling the developer who started the conversation “highly unprofessional”.

Earlier this week, review codes for Starfield started getting sent out to gaming journalists and content creators and, as is typical for most major triple-A releases nowadays, many of them ended up sharing photos of the main menu screen to notify others that they were currently playing the game.

Bethesda and Xbox probably didn’t expect something so minor to kick off a massive debate, but that’s exactly what happened. Mark Kern, former team lead for World of Warcraft and producer on Diablo 2 and Starcraft, shared an image of the main menu on Twitter, criticising it by saying that it suggests the “overworked” team at Bethesda was rushed by “hasty shipping deadlines” and didn’t take pride in what they were doing.

Kern tweeted, “The physiognomy of start screens. The start screen of a game can reveal a lot about how rushed the team was and how much pride they took in their work. Starfield’s start screen either shows hasty shipping deadlines by a passionate team overworked, or a team that didn’t care.”

As of the time of writing, the tweet has garnered over 5.4 million views and tons of comments from game journalists, developers, and gamers alike, most of which disagree with the take and argue that it’s very minor and disrespectful to the developers at Bethesda. The discussion has gotten so big at this point that even one of Bethesda’s most well-known team members, Pete Hines, has commented on it, calling out Kern for being disrespectful.

After being tagged by a Twitter user sarcastically telling Hines that Bethesda should focus only on title screens from now on to avoid being called out, Hines responded to Kern’s tweet, confirming that the menu choice was purposeful and was one of the first things that Bethesda settled on. Hines also chastised Kern for his comments about the menu screen showing a lack of care from the team, saying that it was disrespectful to the developers.

Hines said, “Or they designed what they wanted and that’s been our menu for years and was one of the first things we settled on. Having an opinion is one thing. Questioning out a developer’s “care” because you would have done it different is highly unprofessional coming from another ‘dev'”.

Kern hasn’t replied to Hines’ tweet as of the time of writing, but he has responded to how much controversy that it’s caused, replying “It’s a start screen… Y’all acting like I f*cked your mother” to one Twitter user who called him a “tool” for his comment.

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