Todd Howard seemingly condones Xbox trick that'll let you play Starfield early

Starfield gameplay trailer vista
(Image credit: Bethesda)

As Starfield's long-awaited launch approaches, Bethesda's Todd Howard has reportedly sent a memo to staffers that's become public. It's touching for the most part, though Howard doesn't miss the opportunity to let everyone know that he's aware people will be using the infamous New Zealand trick to play the game. 

"Creating this game has been one of the most challenging and thrilling experiences of our careers - a journey we'll never forget," he says (thanks, WindowsCentral). "And as we come to the end of this chapter, we pass it along to you. Each of you is receiving the game with Early Access, and can begin playing this Friday, September 1, but since it's one global time you can actually play Thursday evening (Thanks New Zealand!)."

For those not in the know, certain games opt for a universal release time, which suits some more than others. For example, as per the Starfield release times, those on US Pacific can play Starfield in early access at 5pm on August 31, whereas those in the UK will have to wait until 1am on September 1. While there's not much you can do about that on PC, you can tinker with your Xbox's settings to make you think you're somewhere else – typically New Zealand for most as that works out best, timing-wise. 

Naturally, it all comes down to players being excited to play the new thing, which Howard seems pretty at peace with, but it's amusing all the same. It's not the only joke he cracks in the memo, either. At another point, he talks about the games released between Starfield being pitched and eventually launching, and yes, many of those games include Skyrim's myriad editions.

Check out our Starfield launch live coverage for all the news as it happens.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.