Starfield rating confirms "in-game purchases," which doesn't necessarily mean microtransactions

Starfield cities
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield's now-official ESRB rating confirms it has "in-game purchases," but this doesn't necessarily guarantee microtransactions. 

The tag of "in-game purchases" has been used by the ESRB to describe DLC expansions for games in the past, so it could be that Starfield is actually set to receive post-launch content instead of having a more conventional in-game store.

Considering Bethesda has an extensive history of post-launch expansions, dating all the way back to Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, we wouldn't be surprised if Starfield also grows after launch. But Bethesda also has a history of DLC, to be fair, with its most notorious being Oblivion's iconic horse armor.

There's also a third possibility for this tag: Bethesda's Creation Club. The developer offers this in Skyrim and Fallout 4 as a way of rolling out both developer- and fan-made content for players to download at no extra cost. Although downloading Creation Club content wouldn't cost you anything, it'd still technically be an in-game purchase due to the fact you're downloading something from within Starfield itself. 

Starfield could have microtransactions, DLC expansions, Creation Club content, or all three. Just don't take this ESRB rating to mean that the new Bethesda game will absolutely have microtransactions, either when it launches on September 6, or sometime after release.

Before its launch, we've got the Starfield Direct to look forward to on June 11, where Bethesda and Xbox have pledged to reveal "much, much more" about the sci-fi RPG at the big showcase

Xbox's head recently reassured Starfield fans about the upcoming game after Redfall debuted to disappointing reviews and player reception earlier this month.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.