Bethesda’s Pete Hines recently responded to online criticism from an ex-Blizzard developer over Starfield’s start screen.

The main menu of Starfield was recently leaked among a slew of other leaks from those who received early review copies of the game.

Though most gamers didn’t bat an eyelid, one critical developer had a lot to say about it over on Twitter.

What is the Starfield Start Screen Controversy?

The Starfield start screen controversy is based on a Tweet by an ex-Blizzard developer, Mark Kern, criticizing Starfield’s main menu screen.

He suggested that it indicated that Bethesda “didn’t care” about the quality of Starfield. Bethesda’s Pete Hines later responded to this criticism.

Here’s Mark Kern’s original Twitter post that heavily criticizes Starfield’s leaked title screen:

More than just your average internet troll, Mark Kern is an industry veteran who has worked on some of Blizzard’s most successful IPs.

Kern suggested that the minimalist design of Starfield’s main menu screen suggested that the game was “rushed” and that the developers didn’t take “pride in their work”.

He believes that the start screen was a result of “hasty shipping deadlines” and that Bethesda “didn’t care” or “take pride” in the end product.

It didn’t take long for the rest of the internet to take notice and for Bethesda’s head of publishing, Pete Hines, to issue a response. Bethesda isn’t having any of it, it seems:

Understandably so, Hines appears frustrated at Kern’s comments. He is particularly disappointed in receiving such shallow criticism from a fellow developer.

He also mentioned how Bethesda has been using simplistic menu screen designs “for years”.

To compare for yourself, check out the start screen for Starfield and Skyrim below:

Skyrim title screen
Skyrim Start Screen

Fan Response to Starfield Start Screen Controversy

Many fans are on Bethesda’s side and find Mark Kern’s comments to be ridiculous and mean-spirited.

There have been countless posts online that are quick to point out how Starfield’s leaked start screen is similar to Bethesda’s previous main menu screens, which went on to be great games:

Other fans pointed out how some of the best games in recent memory also have very minimalist start screens:

Fan tweet responding to Starfield Title Screen criticism, showing minimalist title screen from Elden Ring
Source: @WOGCentral

Others expressed their thoughts on Kern’s comments on Reddit:

The general response from fans is that Mark Kern’s take is overblown. Many actually like what they see of Starfield’s start screen.

Despite the opinionated musings of one man, we won’t know about the game’s quality until it releases on September 6!

Staff Writer
Passionate gamer and writer, Alpay has been featured on GamingIntel,, and TheGamer. When not writing, he delves into virtual worlds, enjoys high-concept TV shows, and splurges on Steam sales.