It appears that recent rumors that id Software is helping Bethesda in the Starfield fight aren’t true after all. Todd Howard discussed these rumors in a recent interview, in which he explained what exactly the studio behind Doom and Wolfenstein is doing to assist the developers of Skyrim and Fallout.
Oddly enough, leaks about id Software helping Starfield with combat seemed promising for the game’s core gameplay loop, and the recent Xbox Games Showcase did significantly improve the combat gameplay, underscoring the idea that the partnership is bearing fruit. However, according to Howard, that wasn’t the case, and his studio instead sought help in a completely different department.
Specifically, Howard noted that id Software assisted Bethesda with the Fallout 4 fight, but not Starfield. Instead, id’s expertise in motion blur and instant game visuals is being used in an upcoming space exploration role-playing game. Howard also mentioned that “some of the other things they did in id Tech” were brought into Starfield’s Creation Engine 2, but he didn’t elaborate on what those features might be.
Since Starfield is capped at 30 FPS on Xbox Series consoles, the game’s handling of post-processing effects such as motion blur is critical to the player’s perception of fluidity. Utilizing a studio with id Software’s tenure to optimize the game in this regard makes perfect sense, and while it remains to be seen what else id helps with, combat is clearly off the list.
Still, it’s good news. While it’s not surprising to have id Software working on Starfield’s combat elements, the fact that the studio wasn’t involved with this aspect of the gameplay suggests that Bethesda Game Studios’ in-house combat development is good. What was shown during Xbox Showcase suggested a major upgrade since last year’s game demo, and the developers seem to have figured it out on that front.
Given the game’s meteoric rise to popularity following the Xbox Game Showcase, it wasn’t surprising to see some developers start teasing Starfield ahead of its September release, but it doesn’t seem to be working out for them. The community is pretty happy with what Bethesda has shown, and the only thing left is for Todd Howard’s team to deliver on their promises.
Starfield launches September 6 for PC and Xbox Series X/S.