Microsoft is going to host a joint Xbox+Bethesda conference in a few weeks, according to Matt Booty from Xbox Game Studios.
Booty reportedly spoke to French outlet Le Figaro and noted the joint event would occur in a few weeks’ time. This would place such an event around mid-June. If that timeframe sounds familiar, well, it should considering that timeline lines up with E3 2021. E3 this year is slated to be an all-digital event and is set to take place from June 12 through June 15. Moreover, after a leak suggesting the showrunners were considering a paywall, it was confirmed E3 would be free for all.
The idea of a joint Xbox+Bethesda conference makes sense given Microsoft’s unprecedented $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media, of which Bethesda is a part. The EU recently approved the acquisition earlier in March of this year.
Phil Spencer had noted in October that he wasn’t “planning their future” in reference to Todd Howard and Robert Altman of Bethesda. In March, Spencer noted Microsoft will “continue to invest” in communities on other platforms, alluding to Sony and Nintendo platforms.
All this is against the backdrop of Starfield purportedly not slated to release this year, according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier who Tweeted,
Rumors like this keep floating around but Starfield is nowhere near done, according to several ppl familiar with development. It'll be at E3 but the planned release date I've heard is way later than most people expect. Sharing this so that folks keep their expectations in check https://t.co/LVFzmX1XYu— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) May 20, 2021
Schreier followed up and noted the majority of Bethesda Game Studios, including the flagship Maryland office, was working on Fallout 76 up until its launch. This meant Starfield’s core team was actually quite small and remained so until 2019.