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Starfield could launch in 2021 — and be an Xbox Series X exclusive

Starfield
(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Xbox Series X could get a killer exclusive game this year in the form of the highly-anticipated Starfield

At least that's what Xbox tipster and host of the Xbox Two podcast, Rand al Thor 19 claims he's heard from insider sources, and said: "Microsoft is trying its hardest to get the game out for this holiday."

"I've been told, by very reliable people, that Starfield [is] 100% an Xbox exclusive," the tipster said. "I'm really, really confident that Starfield is only releasing on Xbox when it does and I've been told as well that Microsoft is trying their hardest to get the game out for this holiday." 

And apparently developer Bethesda, which Microsoft acquired by purchasing ZeniMax Media, has pretty much finished making the game.

"The game's basically finished. It's in, like, bug-squashing mode right now, QA stuff very much like Halo Infinite," said Rand al Thor 19, who speculated: "It would be a big boon for Game Pass and Xbox if they could both launch Halo and Starfield this fall." 

This isn't the first time we've heard that Starfield could launch in 2021. But if Rand al Thor 19's tip is accurate, then we have further credence that Starfield could arrive this year and be an Xbox or Xbox Game Pass exclusive.

Furthermore, Bethesda reportedly filed a new copyright reservation for Starfield, which appears to be dated for 2021. However, we can't celebrate until we hear an official confirmation from the studio itself.

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Stellar Xbox Series X exclusive on the horizon

bethesda

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Since Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media, there's been a lot of debating whether Bethesda's upcoming games will be Xbox/PC exclusives only. There's been no hard and fast confirmation that new Bethesda games will be Xbox and PC exclusives, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer has hinted heavily that some games will be kept for Xbox and Game Pass; not the best news for PS5 fans.  

Furthermore, Microsoft's VP Sarah Bond recently dropped a hint that Starfield will be a big exclusive for the Xbox ecosystem: "One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games coming to Xbox console and PC, including Starfield, the highly anticipated new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios."

Given the popularity of Bethesda games, having Starfield as an Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, as well as Windows 10 PC exclusive would give Microsoft a serious arrow in its gaming quiver.  

And Starfield could potentially be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to future Bethesda exclusives. There's a chance that The Elder Scrolls 6 could be an Xbox exclusive too, which would be one heck of a blow to the PS5 given the popularity of the Elder Scrolls games. 

However, time will tell on the exclusive game front, especially since Microsoft is keeping Deathloop, a game being developed by the Bethesda-owned Arkane Studios, as a timed PS5 exclusive. In short, 2021 could be an interesting year for the future landscape of games and platform exclusivity.  

Denise Primbet

Denise is a news writer at Tom’s Guide covering consumer tech news, deals, streaming, gaming and more. When she’s not playing horror games, she’s a part-time piano enthusiast and experimenting in the kitchen. You can reach her at denise.primbet@futurenet.com.