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Starfield is set to be one of 2023’s biggest video games – it almost has to be from Microsoft’s perspective after the disappointing launch of Redfall, its other big exclusive released this year. Created by the makers of Skyrim and countless other memorable RPGs, the space opera is hoped to follow the footsteps of these titles and become a game that’ll captivate players for many years to come.

Of course, Starfield isn’t the first RPG set in space or to allow the player to freely travel the stars on their own ship. In fact, BioWare’s legendary Mass Effect series, itself one of the benchmarks for sci-fi RPGs, once almost went into that direction as well with Andromeda, the studio’s former General Manager Aaryn Flynn told GLHF in an interview.

“Honestly, it's fair to say that if you read what Starfield is about, Andromeda had similar ambitions – plans to explore and actually travel in a spaceship,” Flynn said. Why was that vision never put into action, though? “The vision did get modified. And that was largely out of pressure to ship and to get things out there. One of the biggest challenges we had with Frostbite on that game – and we had this issue relatively late in development, with a year to go – is we were waiting on some technical improvements to come in for the last elements of our game.”

However, the Frostbite team, which itself was in danger of being overstretched, had to focus on supporting the studios developing EA’s annual sports games like FIFA and Madden. “So we lost that support and had to cut some of those things,” he explained.

Mass Effect: Andromeda, which came out on March 21, 2017, ended up not having free space travel. Flynn said that the team should have been more conservative right from the start: “We just couldn't pull it all off, and so the vision ended up being less than what we were hoping to do.”