Starfield is “more Oblivion than Skyrim,” according to Xbox head Phil Spencer

share to other networks share to twitter share to facebook
The Adoring Fan in Starfield alongside Xbox head Phil Spencer.
Credit: Bethesda/thegameawards on YouTube.

Most of the hardcore Bethesda RPG fans who’ve invested thousands of hours into Skyrim and Fallout 4 can't wait for the imminent release of Starfield.

Some have been passing the time until September by getting ready to make some mods for the game, dissecting the details about it revealed in a recent developer Q&A session, or wading into the discourse surrounding its main menu screen.

The latest thing that’s grabbed the attention of prospective players is a quote from Xbox’s Phil Spencer, who, in a discussion about his experience with the game so far, has touched on how he believes it compares to the two most recent mainline Elder Scrolls titles.

Are you hoping Starfield will feel more like Oblivion than Skyrim?

In a section of an interview with IGN at Gamescom that’s been uploaded to TikTok, Spencer discusses his experience with the game so far. He reveals that, having started playing back in November 2022, he’s already clocked up significant time in it.

“So, I think I’m on my 15th playthrough,” the CEO of Microsoft Gaming says in the clip, adding: “I’m probably 200 hours in,” and suggesting that regular changes being made to things like “save game formats” have meant he’s had to start over a number of times.

After revealing that in his “final character playthrough” he’s taken on the role of a “total space pirate,” Spencer asserted regarding the game: “I think it’s more [like] Oblivion than Skyrim, for people who’ve played, maybe they’ll get that.”

We’ve already had confirmation that Starfield brings back TES IV’s iconic Adoring Fan and takes a bit of inspiration from the game’s persuasion mechanics. That said, some hardcore fans on the Starfield subreddit are hoping Spencer’s comment could be alluding to incorporating some of the other aspects of Oblivion that they liked.

“Skyrim improved on Oblivion in terms of gameplay [combat was much better, for example], but the writing and quests were much better in Oblivion, and the RPG systems were more complex," asserted user Titan7771 in a thread about the clip. “Considering the combat of Starfield looks fantastic, [Spencer possibly] implying heavier RPG systems and stronger quests is music to my ears.”

Meanwhile, user SithisDreadLord420 suggested that they’re interpreting the comment as potentially alluding to Starfield having a more class-based approach to skills and levelling, making it more difficult to build a character that can do everything well.

For now, we’ll just have to wait and see whether players end up understanding and agreeing with Spencer’s point of view once the game lands worldwide.


Regardless of which previous Bethesda games you hope Starfield evokes that atmosphere of, make sure to follow us for lots of guides to its world and mechanics, as its release creeps ever closer.

You can also check out our latest mods of the month for some impressive works for other Bethesda games that might help tide you over until it arrives.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Gaming News , Starfield , Role Playing Games , and Skyrim pages.