Starfield Almost Had A Voiced Protagonist, But Here’s Why Bethesda Decided Against It

Bethesda Game Studios initially considered having a voiced protagonist for their upcoming game Starfield, but ultimately decided against it in order to give players more freedom in shaping their character, according to design director Emil Pagliarulo in an interview with Polygon. Pagliarulo explained that in pre-production, they had hired an actor and chosen a voice, but later realized that it was too specific and limited players’ options.

The studio then faced the dilemma of whether to have multiple voices or hire a more convenient voice actor, but they ultimately landed on the decision to have an unvoiced protagonist. Pagliarulo stated, “We realized that the only way to really do it and let the player be the person they want to be was to have an unvoiced protagonist.”

Not having a voiced protagonist allowed the team to tackle the issue of player choice in dialogue options. Pagliarulo acknowledged that in games like Fallout 4, where players read a line of dialogue and then hear a different spoken line upon selection, it can be jarring and disrupt immersion. By opting for text-based dialogue, the team found it to be a freeing experience.

Despite not having a voiced protagonist, Starfield boasts over 200,000 lines of spoken dialogue. This decision to forgo voice acting also contributed to the creation of a larger world for players to explore.

Starfield, the highly anticipated new game from Bethesda Game Studios, will be exclusive to Xbox consoles due to Microsoft’s acquisition of parent company ZeniMax. The game’s rollout will begin on August 31 for those who purchased the Constellation Edition or the upgrade, and on September 5 for all other players, including Game Pass members.

While Microsoft may miss out on potential sales by not releasing Starfield on other platforms, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer remains confident in the game’s success.

For more information on pre-ordering Starfield and its release date, GameSpot has provided a comprehensive guide.