The highly anticipated space-based RPG game, Starfield, was made available to the general public in its Early Access version at 8 pm Eastern time on Thursday. Within a short span, a hacker group named Rune claimed to have cracked the PC version available on Steam. This information was first brought to light in a Reddit post by user Majestic-Surprise420.
Details of the Leak
According to the aforementioned Reddit post and a report by Neowin, pirate sites are now offering the game for free download in a package sized at 116.62 GB. The post also provided guidance for potential downloaders, advising them to block the game's .exe file on their PC firewall to prevent it from connecting online.
Potential Impact on Bethesda and Microsoft
This rapid piracy of Starfield could pose challenges for its developer, Bethesda Game Studios, known for their work on the Elder Scrolls game series and Fallout 4. The game's swift appearance on pirate sites might not have been the scenario envisioned by Bethesda or its parent company, Microsoft, especially considering the game's stature as one of the most ambitious projects from the team.
Initial Reviews and Future Plans
Despite the piracy concerns, Starfield has received mostly positive initial reviews. Metacritic has given it an aggregate score of 87 based on reviews from various media outlets. However, some major platforms like IGN, GameSpot, and Digital Trends have provided slightly lower ratings, such as 7 out of 10 or 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. For those who pre-ordered the standard edition, the game will be available starting September 5 at 8 pm Eastern time. Bethesda has also announced plans for a story-based expansion pack for Starfield and has mentioned that official mod support will be introduced in the future.
Reddit Community's Reaction
The Reddit community had varied reactions to the news. One user, ImAnOlogist, commented on the speed of the crack, suggesting that “Negative 5 days is a new record.” Another user, ElmStreetVictim, humorously shared their experience of downloading a file named “Starfield.exe”, which was only 255 kb in size and failed to work. The discussions also touched upon the changing sizes of games, with user Virtxu110 reminiscing about times when games were between 80 to 100 MB in size.