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It looks like Bethesda accidentally posted Starfield’s ESRB rating before the board published its overview of the RPG. The game’s Twitter page updated their banner with the rating in the top-left corner, though the ESRB’s usual detailed overview explaining what factors prompt which rating tags is still nowhere to be seen.

The tags still raise some interesting questions, though.

  • Violence
  • Blood
  • Suggestive Themes
  • Strong Language
  • Drug Use

Fallout 3, Fallout 4, and Skyrim ratings all include “Intense Violence” tags, probably because heads and limbs had a habit of flying off in a spurt of blood if you so much as looked at an enemy. Perhaps given its space setting, Starfield will adopt a Star Wars-style approach to combat, with clean cuts and energy bolts instead of traditional bullet weapons. Or perhaps, with so many planets to explore and things to do, violent combat simply won’t be a significant focus, though that seems rather doubtful given the frantic opening segment with space pirates and gunfights.

The Australian rating still classified the violence as “high impact,” though, along with “high impact drug use” and gave the RPG an adults-only rating. That’s not entirely uncommon for the Australian board, which tends to be rather more strict than the ESRB or Europe’s PEGI system.

Games usually get their ESRB rating not long before launch, with some exceptions. Barring any unexpected problems, it seems like we won’t see any more Starfield delays ahead of its Sep. 6, 2023, launch date. We'll likely know a whole lot more about the space game soon. Xbox and Bethesda are devoting an entire showcase to it on June 11, 2023, after Xbox's own presentation.