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Starfield Leaks Possibly Confirmed In The Most Bizarre Way

Bethesda typically keeps a tight lid on its upcoming projects, releasing only bits and pieces from their games during development. However, a small slip-up from one of Bethesda's employees may have just confirmed leaked images from one of Bethesda's most anticipated projects. 

There may not be a more mysterious game in the pipeline from Bethesda than Starfield. Not much is known about the game, other than the fact that it takes place largely in space. Bethesda director Todd Howard has described space travel within the game as "dangerous." Howard has also said that the game skews closer in tone to Bethesda's other action RPGs, rather than feeling like a space sim. Otherwise, nobody outside of Bethesda really knows much about Starfield, including when it is supposed to finally see an official release.

However, Bethesda production and studio director Ashley Cheng might have recently confirmed a few interesting details about Starfield — and the reveal occurred in an extremely random way.

Todd Howard was recently given the Deleop:Star Award for his contributions to the gaming industry. During a stream of the awards, a number of Bethesda employees offered their thoughts on Howard's leadership and the direction of the company. Ashley Cheng appeared in the presentation, proudly wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the Starfield logo on the front.

While Cheng had several kind things to say about Todd Howard, many eagle-eyed viewers were distracted by a certain logo on the sleeve of his t-shirt. The design on Cheng's sleeve resembles a planet surrounded by stars. Given that Starfield is a space-focused game, the very use of cosmic imagery isn't necessarily surprising. No, what makes this logo so exciting is that it seems to match up to a similar design seen by Bethesda fans earlier this year. 

Back in September, a series of images began making the rounds on Reddit and other social media channels that reportedly showed screenshots from Starfield. One of the most striking of these images was one of an astronaut standing next to a spacecraft. A patch similar to the logo on Cheng's sleeve can be seen on the astronaut's suit. These images were not verified by Bethesda at the time, but the sight of one of their employees wearing a shirt bearing the same design seems to point to the screenshots being legitimate.

It wasn't long before the image of Cheng and the t-shirt began to go nearly as viral as the original leaked Starfield images. Fans on Reddit began debating the authenticity of the earlier leak and comparing the imagery to Chen's shirt.

However, one social media response was particularly intriguing. One Twitter user posted a screenshot of Cheng wearing the t-shirt. The logo on Cheng's sleeve was circled in the screenshot, and the Twitter user tagged Bethesda marketing head Pete Hines to ask him if they could get a few of these t-shirts.

In an amusing response, Hines tweeted, "Yeah, lemme get to work on getting you one. Just as soon as I get one for myself."

It's interesting to note that Hines seemingly acknowledged that the t-shirt was legitimate, and not just something Cheng had made at home. However, Hines did not directly acknowledge the logo on the sleeve, which could mean that Bethesda is still trying to keep an air of mystery around the game. While fans still don't really have an idea of what to expect from Starfield, it does seem more likely than ever that those leaked images were the real deal.

It should be noted that the Starfield screenshots that leaked earlier this year were allegedly from a 2018 build of the game. In that amount of time, a lot can change about a high profile video game. That could be the reason why Cheng was so causal about wearing an officially branded Starfield t-shirt on the call. Maybe that design is from a version of the game that no longer exists.

The accidental Starfield reveal wasn't the only interesting tidbit to come out of the Develop: Brighton Digital 2020. During an interview with James Batchelor of GamesIndustry.biz, Todd Howard discussed the continued development of not only Starfield, but The Elder Scrolls 6. According to Todd Howard, both games will utilize procedural generation in ways that the company hasn't experimented with in a long time. This feature has big implications for The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield, as it seems to indicate that both games will be absolutely massive when they have been completed.

While exact details concerning the setting and characters of Starfield are still hard to come by, it's exciting to know that the few images fans have seen to this point have apparently been legitimate. Starfield doesn't have a release date, but the game will most likely be an Xbox exclusive, given Microsoft's recent purchase of Bethesda's parent company, ZeniMax Media.