Starfield will have 1,000 planets to explore, and fans are divided on whether or not that's actually a good thing.
During Starfield's gameplay debut at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase, Todd Howard revealed that the Starfield map would feature 100 star systems with 1,000 planets to explore. At least some of those planets will feature detailed locations to visit, but you can also land anywhere on the surface of any world in the game.
"I hate the 1000 planet promise," Reddit user Joboj says. "It will just mean everything is super spread thin and empty. There is no way to make that many planets and have most of them matter AT ALL."
That concern is echoed by people like LaotianDude, saying "I hope the worlds don’t feel empty," and fred_chexter, who says "I'd rather have a smaller amount of places to explore but of better quality than a vast amount of places with shallow depth to it." Even our colleagues at PC Gamer have doubts about whether Bethesda can make all those planets interesting.
This being the internet after a major game announcement, these concerns sparked a wave of contrary, positive comments.
"I continue to see the word 'empty' pop up," steamin661 writes. "Do people expect space to be fully populated or settled? When I go to Yosemite National park I don't look at all the natural beauty and say 'this looks empty.'"
In another post, asking "Why are people acting like there isn't a full sized Bethesda game in here?" user AnimaniacSpirits says. "So much of the '1000 planets procedurally generated' talk seems to miss the fact we know Bethesda games are already big, with 10s of thousands of lines of dialogue and thousands of characters to interact with."
It's a safe bet that many of those planets will be largely devoid of things built by human hands - either constructed by people in-universe, or built by the hands of the designers at Bethesda.
It's unclear how much of a role procedural generation will play in Starfield, but Howard did mention in an interview two years ago that "we're pushing procedural generation further than we have in a very, very long time."
After the reveal, fans can't stop calling Starfield No Man's Skyrim.