Bethesda’s past space endeavor: Unveiling the untold story of the aborted project ’10th Planet’

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Long before the much-anticipated Starfield, Bethesda Softworks embarked on a clandestine journey with an ill-fated space simulation game that never materialized—dubbed 10th Planet. A recent revelation by Bruce Nesmith, a seasoned veteran of Bethesda Softworks, shed light on this mysterious project in a candid interview with MinnMax.

Nesmith’s journey with Bethesda dates back to 1995, when he initially joined the team and later returned to play pivotal roles in the development of renowned titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Starfield. However, his initial stint with the company was tainted by the turbulence surrounding the ambitious yet ultimately doomed 10th Planet.

According to Nesmith, the seeds of 10th Planet were sown in the ’90s, germinating from an idea pitched by Hollywood producer and writer Dean Devlin, known for his involvement in the sci-fi blockbuster Independence Day. The game was set to unfold a tale of belligerent extraterrestrial forces originating from a mysterious 10th planet with a rare appearance once every millennium, owing to its eccentric hyperbolic orbit. In a solar system largely demilitarized, humanity would be forced to repurpose conventional F-16 fighter jets for interstellar warfare, combatting the invasive alien menace in a desperate bid for survival.

Despite the game’s intriguing premise, Nesmith’s reservations about the project were evident, deeming it more suitable for an ’80s sci-fi narrative than a contemporary gaming landscape. The pressure to wrap up the project within a mere nine months pushed the development team, yet after a prolonged period, the game was only about halfway complete. Ultimately, Bethesda made the tough call to terminate the project, leading to Nesmith’s departure from the company.

Reflecting on the aftermath, Nesmith emphasized the detrimental impact 10th Planet had on Bethesda Softworks, positing it as a contributing factor to the company’s eventual sale to ZeniMax. Remarkably, despite its cancellation and the scars it left, 10th Planet never surfaced during the development of Starfield, although Nesmith humorously mused about the idea of embedding an Easter egg referencing the abandoned project.

For more enthralling insights into Nesmith’s career journey and the backstory behind Bethesda’s decision to prematurely unveil The Elder Scrolls VI, delve into the comprehensive MinnMax interview. Amid the shadows of 10th Planet’s ghost, Bethesda continues to steer the Starfield ship, promising a cosmos of thrilling adventures and untold mysteries for avid gamers to explore.

For gaming enthusiasts eagerly awaiting the launch of Starfield, Nesmith’s anecdotes offer a glimpse into the company’s past struggles and the resilience that shaped its future endeavors. Although the remnants of 10th Planet remain buried in the annals of Bethesda’s history, the lessons learned from its turbulent development journey have undoubtedly influenced the company’s subsequent projects and decisions.

During the interview, Nesmith affirmed that no elements of 10th Planet found their way into the fabric of Starfield. Nonetheless, his account of the game’s troubled trajectory serves as a cautionary tale, reminding game developers of the perils associated with rushed development cycles and the need for a cohesive vision that aligns with contemporary gaming sensibilities.

In the wake of the discussion, one cannot help but ponder the ‘what-ifs’ surrounding 10th Planet. Would it have transformed into a landmark title akin to Bethesda’s renowned offerings, or would it have faded into obscurity, forgotten in the annals of gaming history? Alas, the enigmatic tale of 10th Planet remains a testament to the complex, unpredictable nature of the gaming industry, where even ambitious projects with stellar potential can meet an untimely demise.

As Bethesda forges ahead with its galactic opus, Starfield, anticipation continues to mount, bolstered by the studio’s commitment to delivering immersive, groundbreaking experiences. While the shadows of 10th Planet may linger in the memories of Bethesda’s veterans, the future appears resolutely focused on crafting captivating narratives and pushing the boundaries of gaming innovation. As players await the unfolding of Starfield’s rich tapestry, the legacy of 10th Planet serves as a reminder of the industry’s perpetual quest for innovation and the enduring spirit that fuels the creation of unforgettable gaming adventures.