Starfield is “more Oblivion than Skyrim,” according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer

Starfield is “more Oblivion than Skyrim,” according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said Starfield is “more Oblivion than Skyrim” – and we can trust him, since he’s been playing the Bethesda RPG for 200 hours. 

In an interview with IGN during Gamescom 2023, Spencer gave a small insight into Starfield, including how long he’s had access to the upcoming game. “I think I’m on my 15th playthrough,” Spencer told the outlet, “I’m probably 200 hours in, but not on one playthrough.” 

So how long has it taken for the Xbox exec to rack up this many hours? Fans first spotted Spencer playing Starfield on his Xbox Series X back in July, but as it turns out, he’s had access to the Bethesda game since November 2022 – that’s around the time we were originally supposed to get the game before it was delayed into 2023. That’s one of the perks of being the Microsoft Gaming CEO, I guess.

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, likes Starfield to Oblivion as opposed to Skyrim #gamescom2023 24, 2023

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Elsewhere in the same chat with IGN, Spencer also gave fans a bit more of an idea of how Starfield plays. “I think it’s more Oblivion than Skyrim,” the CEO revealed, “for people who’ve played, maybe they’ll get that. It is an epic, epic game.” This isn’t the first time those close to Starfield’s development have compared it to Skyrim or Oblivion, but it’s interesting to see that Spencer is likening it to The Elder Scrolls 4, rather than 5.

One of those comparisons revealed that Starfield has over four times as much dialogue as Skyrim, which really puts into perspective just how big this game is set to be. The Starfield dialogue system is also a modern take on Oblivion’s persuasion mechanics, so if you’re a fan of Bethesda’s other works, you’re almost guaranteed to enjoy Starfield, as if there was any doubt there anyway. 

Elsewhere at Gamescom, Starfield’s Todd Howard has paid tribute to Skyrim and Fallout during a presentation.

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After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I’m also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.  

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