Todd Howard says exclusive games are always "a better product"

A ship landing in Starfield
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

The director of Starfield, Todd Howard, has defended the game’s Xbox Series X|S console exclusivity, and has stated that exclusive games are always “a better product”. 

In an interview with the BBC, Howard said that although it’s important for “people to be able to access” games, choosing to make them exclusive allows developers to focus on the platform that they know gamers will be using. He also suggested that there can be a “real benefit” to certain games being associated with specific brands, making reference to The Legend of Zelda’s intrinsic ties with Nintendo and the Nintendo Switch.

“When you're making something exclusive then the more you can focus,” Howard said. "You know this is the hardware or the thing people are playing on, so the ability to focus on that always yields a better product. You do want people to be able to access it of course. But being with Xbox means there is an ease of access for us and I'm told we're expecting more people playing this launch than anything we've ever done before and that's despite the success of our previous games.

"I do also think people attach brands to certain games,” he continued. “When you think of Zelda you think of the Switch and I think there are times when that can be a real benefit."

Today (Wednesday, September 6), Starfield left its early access period and is now available for all to play on Series X|S and PC - it’s playable via Xbox Game Pass, too. 

In his review, TechRadar Gaming’s editor-in-chief, Jake Tucker, gave Starfield a four out of five and praised the sheer quantity of things to explore, as well as the game's starship combat and deep skill system. However, he expressed concerns over Starfield's soul, which he described as “largely absent”. 

Although Starfield is probably going to keep everyone busy for some time, if you’re looking for something new to play, be sure to check out our lists of the best PC games and best Xbox Series X games.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.