Bethesda consulted a former Skyrim and Fallout 4 writer, who's since become a Catholic priest in training, to help build out the RPG's two in-game religions.
Bethesda created two new religions for Starfield: The Sanctum Universum, a church that believes humanity's ascent to space exploration is proof of the divine, and the Enlightened, an atheistic group who instead reckon there's nothing theological going on at all.
Speaking to Polygon, Starfield lead designer Emil Pagliarulo explained how the developers went about creating a world with opposing beliefs and how they approached the topic of religion more broadly. As it turns out, Bethesda writer turned seminarian Shane Liesegang was recruited to help out on both fronts and specifically to help write the Sanctum Universum.
"[Religion] was a way to talk about these big concepts but not dive too far down the rabbit hole — you don't want to offend people," Pagliarulo said. "We actually had Shane Liesegang, who was one of our writers [on Skyrim and Fallout 4]... He's now studying to be a Jesuit priest. We talked to him about: If we were to make this real, this religion, what would we do? How would we write it? And so he advised us and did some writing for us, he wrote for the Sanctum Universum, and it really grounded it in the believable."
Pagliarulo goes on to confirm that Starfield's story doesn't reveal which in-game religion has it right, saying it's "open to interpretation."
Starfield Early Access is letting folks with the fancier editions of the game hop into its sprawling universe "up to five days" ahead of the wider September 6 release date on Xbox Series X/S and PC.
And just in time, Microsoft has quietly killed the $1 Xbox Game Pass deal.