Todd Howard says that hundreds of plans for Starfield "went out of the window"

A spaceship in Starfield docked on a rocky planet
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield director Todd Howard has spoken about plans for the game that didn’t make the final cut, including the idea for a very neat Fallout reference. 

In an interview with The Washington Post, journalist Gene Park mentioned that he’d hoped to find the nuclear wasteland from Fallout 3 on Earth in Starfield, since the planet has a destroyed surface which is completely devoid of life. Spoiler alert: the reference wasn’t included, but Howard revealed: “We talked about it.”

He then confirmed that hundreds of other plans didn’t get included in the game's final version, either: “Oh, we planned, and those plans went out the window,” he said.

“We knew we were going to rewrite parts of the engine, so we started building technology for the planets and the outer space stuff on our previous engine and renderer.” 

In general, Starfield faced some big challenges in its development. It was ported over to a new engine, and the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the developers ended up producing the game from home, too, which was “very, very slow”. 

The response to Starfield has been generally positive now that it's out. Yesterday, the space-exploration RPG hit an all-time concurrent player peak of 330,723 on Steam, which surpassed Skyrim’s record of 287,411. Meanwhile, on its release date (September 6), it managed to hit a concurrent player peak over one million across all platforms - including PC, Xbox Series X|S and cloud streaming.

Modders have been very busy in Starfield, too - we’ve already seen Thomas the Tank Engine added to the game, as well as Todd Howard’s face (who can now be projected from your flashlight). If you’re a Star Wars fan, you can also replace all of the United Colonies’ guards with Stormtroopers. They don’t bump their heads on things, though. 

For more games to get lost in, be sure to take a look at our recommendations for the best open-world games. You can also keep up with future releases with our roundup of upcoming 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.