Bethesda Removes Voiced Protagonist Feature From Starfield


  • Bethesda dropped the idea of a talking main character in Starfield, saving time and adding depth to the game.
  • Actors got hired to voice the hero but got replaced due to the studio’s change of heart.
  • Starfield’s decision to ditch the voiced protagonist turned out to be wise, leading to praise for the game’s companions and storyline.

Bethesda Game Studios, known for their iconic open-world RPG titles, made a significant decision during the development of their highly-anticipated game, Starfield. In a surprising turn of events, the studio abandoned the concept of a voiced protagonist, a feature they experimented with in Fallout 4. This unexpected change took place after actors were initially cast to bring the main character to life in the game. 

Voiced protagonist: a departure from tradition

Bethesda has a long history of using non-voiced protagonists in their games, preferring text-based communication between the player character and NPCs. Fallout 4, however, broke from this tradition by introducing a fully voiced main character, and this departure was met with mixed reactions from fans.

Early plans for Starfield

Starfield, an ambitious space-faring RPG, initially followed Fallout 4’s path by incorporating a voiced protagonist. Actors Cissy Jones and Elias Toufexis were chosen to voice the female and male versions of the protagonist, respectively, back in 2018. Recording sessions were underway, with both actors investing numerous hours into their roles.

A change in direction from Bethesda

In a surprising twist, Bethesda decided to shift gears and revert to their non-voiced protagonist approach. This decision came as a disappointment to the actors who had already invested time and effort into their roles. Elias Toufexis, the male protagonist’s voice actor, revealed that Todd Howard, a prominent figure at Bethesda, informed him of the change via email. Howard explained that they wanted the protagonist to be more of a blank slate for players to project themselves onto, prompting the removal of the voiced lines.

Toufexis expressed his disappointment, stating that he had “just lost a $200,000 job.” However, Bethesda showed professionalism by offering both actors alternative roles within the game that would remain significant to the Starfield experience.

Despite the initial setback, Cissy Jones and Elias Toufexis made their return to the Starfield project in 2020. Toufexis assumed the role of Sam Coe, while Cissy Jones portrayed Andreja. These characters, though not the protagonists, played important roles in the game’s narrative and world.

The wisdom of the decision

In hindsight, Bethesda’s decision to abandon the voiced protagonist feature appears to have been the right call. Starfield received praise for its well-executed companion characters, such as Sam Coe, and the omission of a voiced protagonist likely saved significant development time. Crafting a voiced protagonist involves recording and writing an extensive amount of dialogue, a task that can be resource-intensive.

In the world of game development, changes and adaptations are not uncommon. Bethesda Game Studios’ decision to remove the voiced protagonist feature in Starfield after initially embracing it demonstrates the flexibility and willingness to make tough decisions in the pursuit of creating the best possible gaming experience.

The shift from voiced to non-voiced protagonist, while initially met with disappointment by the actors involved, allowed Bethesda to focus on other aspects of the game, resulting in a well-received title with memorable characters and a captivating narrative.

As Starfield continues to soar through the cosmos, it remains a testament to the ever-evolving nature of game development and the importance of making choices that align with the vision of the project.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Randa Moses

Randa is a passionate blockchain consultant and researcher. Deeply engrossed with the transformative power of blockchain, she weaves data into fascinating true-to-life next generation businesses. Guided by a steadfast commitment to research and continual learning, she keeps herself updated with the latest trends and advancements in the marriage between blockchain and artificial intelligence spheres.

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