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Starfield’s lead designer and writer is an Elder Scrolls and Fallout veteran

Emil Pagliarulo is a Bethesda Game Studios veteran with 19 years of videogame experience – and now he's lead designer on Starfield.

Starfield, despite launching at the end of this year, is still very much shrouded in mystery. Whilst we know a few things about the game, we're still without gameplay and any solid insight into what the title will acutally look like once it launches on Xbox Series X/S and PC later this year.

Lucky, then, that Bethesda is starting to leave a trail of crumbs for us, heading towards – hopefully – some kind of big reveal. The latest morsel of Starfield news we've been given comes from the Bethesda site, in a new blog introducing us to lead Starfield designer, Emil Pagliarulo.

The blog reveals that Pagliarulo is a Bethesda Game Studios veteran that has 19 years' experience at the studio. Projects with his name on range from The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind to Fallout 76, and – elsewhere – Thief Gold.

"Literally the day I arrived at Bethesda I was put on the Bloodmoon expansion for Morrowind," he explains in the blog (which will be music to the ears of people hoping for that classic Bethesda flavour in Starfield).

More recent Bethesda games have inspired him, too. "Thinking about it now, Fallout 3 really stands out," he explains when asked which was his favourite Bethesda project to date. "We had just acquired this classic IP, and it was my first time being a lead, and we really had to create everything from scratch. So there are a lot of things that became staples of the franchise, that I had to help create from whole cloth. V.A.T.S., the lockpicking minigame, the dialogue system, some of the new creatures and weapons. Meeting Liam Neeson to record his lines – how can you beat that? And, you know, Fallout 3 wasn’t a huge game, really. Not by Bethesda standards. But it was tight… and it was really well-received. So there was this sense of, not only did we not blow it, we really had created something special. That was an exciting time."

Elsewhere in the blog post, Pagliarulo notes that both Cyberpunk and the PlayStation Spider-Man games have made him shake his head in disbelief, thanks to the technical achievements present in the titles. "I really love playing games that just make me shake my head, like, 'Wow. I know how they did that, and it is a crazy accomplishment.' The newest Spider-Man games have been like that for me. Or Cyberpunk. Man, to make a giant, open-ended environment like Night City? That is no easy feat. Seriously impressive."

So whilst we may not have any solid gameplay to wrap our eyes around just yet, it's good to know that Starfield is in the hands of someone that's got that classic-era and 360/PS3-era Bethesda in his blood.

If you're curious to learn more about the game, everything you need to know about Starfield ahead of the game's blast off later this year can be checked out in the link, or in the video embedded above. We're hoping to learn more about the game soon.

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About the Author
Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt


Dom is a veteran video games critic, published author and columnist that has appeared in publications ranging from Daily Star to NME. Passionate about games and the greater good they can achieve, you can usually find Dom listening to records, faffing about in the kitchen, or playing Final Fantasy VIII (again). They also have a column about games and music at The Guardian.

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