Starfield almost had a voiced protagonist similar to Fallout 4

Starfield design director Emil Pagliarulo says Bethesda initially wanted to stick with AAA industry trends of the time and have your character be voiced.

Image via Bethesda

Starfield is almost upon us and having gone gold, we have a good idea of what to expect out of the game, but it was almost different in one key regard. Bethesda almost made the player protagonist fully voiced, much like it was in Fallout 4. It was apparently an effort to adhere to AAA gaming trends of the time, but was ultimately scrapped to allow the team to focus efforts into the other corners of Starfield.

Details on Starfield’s would-be voiced protagonist were shared by design director Emil Pagliarulo in a recent interview with Polygon. In said interview, Pagliarulo revealed the details about how Bethesda initially brought in a voice actor to voice Starfield’s player character.

Starfield two characters looking at a planetary horizon
As usual, there are tons of characters to interact with in Starfield, but the protagonist was almost voiced through all of those interactions.
Source: Bethesda

So, why do all of that initial groundwork in the first place only to throw it away? For the answer to that, Pagliarulo claims it was to go along with big trends in gaming when Starfield’s development began.

Given that voice work, creating countless lines of dialogue in both male and female options for a vast array of responses and situations, takes a ton of time and money to accomplish, it seems Pagliarulo’s team was lucky to be able to shed the idea of a voiced protagonist in order to work on other parts of Starfield. With the game launching in early September, stay tuned for further news and updates leading up the anticipated release.

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TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 29, 2023 10:40 AM

    TJ Denzer posted a new article, Starfield almost had a voiced protagonist similar to Fallout 4

    • reply
      August 29, 2023 11:02 AM

      I wouldn't have minded an option to hear a voiced male & female protagonist, but in Fallout 4 that definitely seemed to restrict the amount of dialogue choices and questions and responses you could make as a character.

      Even with the mods that actually show the full text of what your character is going to say in 4, it was incredibly limited compared to Fallout 3 and New Vegas. So probably for the best to ditch that.

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