The much-awaited game Starfield is making headlines ahead of its official launch, but not for reasons the development team might have anticipated. A leaked image of the game’s main menu screen has caused an uproar on social media, with critics and fans making negative assumptions about the work put into the game by its development team.
The main instigator of the controversy is Mark Kern, a former Blizzard producer known for his role in creating titles such as StarCraft, Diablo 2, Warcraft 3, and World of Warcraft. Kern opined via a Twitter post that the simplicity of Starfield’s main menu hints at hasty shipping deadlines, an overworked development team, or a lack of concern by the creators. The provocative statement has since drawn considerable backlash from the gaming community, defending the game’s simplicity and the team behind it.
Kern’s tweet also elicited a rejoinder from Pete Hines, Bethesda’s head of publishing. Hines defended the menu’s design, asserting that the main menu was settled on during the early stages of development and created just as the team had wanted it. He also admonished Kern for questioning the developers’ diligence and care based on the game’s menu design – a criticism he found “highly unprofessional.”
The leaked Starfield main menu screen presents a straightforward design showcasing a celestial view with the Starfield logo front and center. Many users have argued that it isn’t reasonable or fair to demean the game developers’ work based on a single component. Bethesda has had its share of allegations relating to an overworked development team, but critics argue that the assumptions being made based on the leaked menu footage may be misguided, given the combativeness often found on the internet.
Supporters of Starfield also highlighted other successful Bethesda games, such as Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which had equally simplistic start screens. Overall, they denounce Kern’s assumption that the structure of a starting menu mirrors the quality of a game as a whole.
Starfield, set to be released on September 6, is already garnering attention from reviewers and influencers worldwide. Unfortunately, leaked information regarding its design elements has spread across the internet simultaneously, dampening the experience for fans looking forward to experiencing the game without spoilers.
The full extent of Kern’s accusation’s worth, and Bethesda’s defense, will soon be put to the test with the game’s imminent release. In the meantime, fans and critics alike are urged to form judgments of the game based on comprehensive gameplay rather than a singular aspect.
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