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How Elon Musk Helped Bethesda Prepare For Starfield

Bethesda spoke with Elon Musk and members of the SpaceX team in order to better prepare for creating a sci-fi RPG in space. "Starfield" is the next massive RPG from the team behind "Elder Scrolls" and "Fallout," coming sometime in 2023 to PC and Xbox Series X|S. While the gameplay footage shown has made it clear that "Starfield" shares much of its DNA with the other Bethesda RPGs, it's still a brand-new IP in a setting the team hasn't tackled before, meaning Bethesda needed to do some research.

During the Lex Fridman podcast interview with game director Todd Howard, Fridman asked Howard if the team had spoken with billionaire and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk. Howard confirmed that he had spoken with SpaceX, with Fridman asking how the reality of the work at SpaceX may have impacted the game itself. While Howard pushed back on the idea of the company impacting decisions they made for "Starfield," he described visiting the facility as "'The Avengers' meets NASA." Howard said he got to see some of the next-generation spacecraft that were in development and that he was in awe with the entire experience. While Howard didn't cite any specific examples of how this impacted the game, he did discuss the scale of the machines.

Todd Howard discusses the scale of modern spacecrafts

Continuing the discussion on the Lex Fridman podcast, Howard discussed the size and scale of the spacecrafts he had seen at SpaceX, the Air and Space Museum, and at NASA. "You go visit the Space Shuttle, sort of overcome with how big it is, and I go stand back by the engine and think about that thing leaving orbit," Howard said. He continued, saying that Musk had explained to him that pushing these ships out of orbit and into space was on the edge of physics, because of how difficult it is to leave orbit.

While Howard did not directly relate any of the spacecrafts he saw or his conversations with Musk back to "Starfield" in the interview, it highlights how much time and research had gone into creating that sci-fi setting that the game takes place in. After wrapping up the conversation about "Starfield," Fridman attempted to get Howard to give a rough release window for "Elder Scrolls 6," with Howard refusing to confirm anything specific. Both projects are eagerly anticipated by fans and critics alike.