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Starfield is reportedly aiming to launch in 2021

Starfield
(Image credit: Zenimax Media)

Starfield, Bethesda's long-awaited sci-fi RPG, could be launching as soon as this year according to a journalist. 

Jeff Grubb, a Venture Beat reporter with a known track record for accurate leaks, appeared as a guest on the Dealer - Gaming YouTube channel earlier this week. He claimed to know a few new details about Bethesda's plans regarding Starfield, claiming the developer will unveil the space-faring RPG later this year at E3 2021, before aiming to towards the end of the year.

Grubb states that Bethesda is targeting a similar marketing cycle to that of Fallout 4. Back at E3 2015, Fallout 4 was officially unveiled to the world for the very first time, with Bethesda revealing that it would launch in just a few month's time, later that year. Fallout 4 ended up launching in November 2015, giving the game less than six months from reveal to release. 

According to Grubb, Starfield is targeting a release date in late 2021. Of course, the journalist states that the only complicating factor is obviously COVID-19, which could absolutely throw Bethesda's best-laid plans completely out of whack, depending on how the rest of this year goes. While Grubb states that the current plan is to launch Starfield in late 2021, this could easily change as the year unfolds.

This information actually lines up with a rumor circulating earlier this month. Previously in March, a ResetEra user claimed that Bethesda was targeting a 2021 release date for Starfield, and this information was accurate as of a "few months ago." This could all be slightly contradicted by Bethesda lead developer Todd Howard, who revealed that Starfield was still a way off from release back in November 2020.

Right now, we don't know if Microsoft's purchase of Bethesda is going to affect Starfield's release. While we know that was being developed as a next-gen game, a previous rumor claimed that Sony was negotiating a Starfield exclusivity period just a few months ago, which might well have been scrapped due to Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda. 

In the aftermath of the purchase, even PlayStation boss Jim Ryan was unsure whether Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 would come to PlayStation platforms. We'll have to wait and see whether Starfield will be coming to platforms outside of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and for more information on when the game will actually be launching.

For a complete list of all the games that definitely are launching this year, head over to our new games 2021 guide for more.

I’m Gamesradar’s freelance reporter! I love grinding away at RPGs, losing at Apex Legends, and talking about anime for far too long.