A former WoW dev suddenly took to Twitter to criticize Starfield’s start screen. And Bethesda has clapped back without hesitation.
Starfield’s official release date is just around the corner on September 6. However, the game finds itself entangled in a somewhat unexpected drama spurred by Mark Kern. The former WoW developer has directed his criticism toward Starfield’s start screen.
In a recent tweet, he speculated that the nature of the start screen might unveil aspects of the development process. Deeming it to be the work of “a passionate team overworked” or “a team that didn’t care,” he emphasized the importance of a well-crafted start screen.
Without a doubt, his statement erupted into heated discussions. And before long, it had captured a swift response from Pete Hines. In case you’re wondering who he is, he’s Bethesda’s Head of Publishing.
Hines clarified that the menu design had been integral to their creative vision since the beginning. It was among the initial elements to be settled upon. He characterized Kern’s criticism as lacking in professionalism. Thus, underlining the diversity of perspectives within the realm of game development.
Gamers are backing Bethesda in this situation. A number of these supporters pointedly referenced Kern’s history of poor decision-making as a contributing factor to his status as a former WoW developer.
Some went as far as recalling Kern’s debatable marketing strategy surrounding Firefall. Back then, he spent millions of dollars on a Firefall-themed bus. This event, in turn, played a pivotal role in Kern’s removal as CEO by the Red 5 board of directors in 2013, despite the fact he was one of the company’s co-founders.
Making games is like creating art. Even a painting that captivates one observer may still leave another unaffected. And so, the impact of a game and its elements varies from person to person. Certain developers might prioritize a captivating start screen. As they aim to captivate players right from the moment they launch the title. Meanwhile, others might allocate their attention to different facets. In the case of Starfield, a vast and expansive game replete with about 1000 planets waiting to be explored.
With that said, the decision ultimately rests with the development team itself. They understand what best serves their game’s interests and what’s required to actualize it. Thus, it’s essential to respect the choices made by fellow creators instead of criticizing that they don’t care about their game.