Fan debate sparks after Phil Spencer says Starfield is “more Oblivion than Skyrim”

Starfield Player Standing In Between Two Stuctures(1)
Screenshot via Bethesda Softworks

With Gamescom currently unfolding in Cologne, Germany, anxious fans are finally getting more news about one of the year’s most anticipated games. Microsoft and Bethesda are ready to talk about Starfield, and they’ve brought footage. There’s a lot to wade through in search of the best information. Some of the most intriguing news has come from off-the-cuff interviews. To no one’s surprise, Microsoft executive Phil Spencer has been one of the loudest voices.

“I think it’s more Oblivion than Skyrim,” Spencer said in a show floor interview with IGN. “For people who’ve played, maybe they’ll get that.”

The comparison left people talking long after the interview concluded. In a lengthy Reddit thread, fans debated just what the comparison might mean. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion released in 2006, before some Starfield fans knew their ABCs, and even Skyrim has been around for more than a decade.

Note: If you’re stoked for Starfield, then check out what the best Starfield Backgrounds are.

Despite characterizing Oblivion as ‘jank,’ Reddit user SonofMapplethorp added that, “It’s my favorite out of them all because it balances the RPG and casual parts better than the others.”

SithisDreadLord420, answering a question about the difference between the two games that came from a Skyrim fan who hasn’t played Oblivion, added additional context: “My take as someone that has poured too many hours into both is that in Skyrim you can literally be the best at everything and level that up. In Oblivion… [it] was more efficient if you focused on your major skills and therefore there was more of a ‘class flavor’ to each playthrough that made replay more valuable and unique.”

Long-time Bethesda fans definitely seem to appreciate Spencer’s comparison. The general feel is that in a few quick words, the gaming executive let the right people know just why Starfield could offer exactly the sort of experience they’ve been waiting for.

“Phil somehow makes Starfield even more attractive after all this time,” said laharre. “Only better endorsement would be to say it’s more Morrowind than Skyrim.” With that said, it’s Phil Spencer we’re talking about — he needs Starfield to do well for Xbox. It seems he’s building up the right hype with his opinion that Starfield is more similar to Oblivion.

Maybe two game comparisons are enough for now, though. And maybe Starfield can’t drop soon enough for fans who have been anticipating its arrival for years. In the meantime, what does “more Oblivion than Skyrim” say about Starfield to you?

Jason Venter
About The Author
Jason Venter is a contributing writer for PC Invasion since 2022 who can trace his love for video games back to the Apple IIe port of Mario Bros. in the late 80s. He remains a diehard Nintendo fan to this day and loves JRPGs, adventure games, and platformers in particular, but he still plays games in most genres and on most hardware. After founding indie gaming site HonestGamers in 1998, he served as an editor at Hardcore Gamer Magazine during its entire print run. He has since freelanced for a variety of leading sites including IGN, GameSpot, and Polygon. These days, he spends most of his time writing game guides and entertaining readers with his fantasy novels.