Why it's funny: Don't get me wrong. I'm a Bethesda fan, but it's hard to think of a game developer more prone to releasing buggy software. Sure, we have seen some wacky day-one glitch-riddled launches from other studios. Cyberpunk 2077 immediately comes to mind, but Bethesda's track record for buggy releases has entered meme territory.

So it's funny that Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty recently said that Starfield has the "fewest bugs" of any other Bethesda game. The comment came during a Summer Game Fest interview with Giant Bomb on Monday (below).

"Just by the numbers, if it shipped today, [Starfield] would have the fewest bugs in any game Bethesda has ever shipped, and we've got more time to go," Booty said.

Talk about setting easily attainable standards. What's worse is that it's not even the number of bugs that counts. It only takes one to ruin the experience. An avatar going into a T-pose when getting into a car is mostly amusing and only somewhat annoying. However, the game crashing every time the player attempts to get into a car is game-breaking. It's not quantity control, Matt. It's quality control.

It's also the willingness to fix those bugs. Take The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as an example. Skrim launched in 2011 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Since then, the game has gone through various ports to newer hardware, received graphical "upgrades," and has had special editions released at full price. Yet there are still hundreds of known glitches that Bethesda never patched while porting or remastering.

There are so many bugs in Skyrim that the community created a dedicated mod at no cost to Bethesda that fixes many of the vanilla version's glitches. So it's easy to use Bethesda as a whipping post regarding releasing unfinished software, but having fewer bugs than any of its other games is not a good brag.

That said, fewer bugs is always good news, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in the same Q&A that Bethesda currently has all QA staff playing the game, looking for new bugs, and attempting to replicate known ones. He also mentioned that Starfield's numerous delays have allowed the team to really dial it in.

"Truth be told, when the acquisition closed [in 2021], this game had a significantly earlier ship date than where we're actually launching," Spencer said, adding that the extra time has improved the game's stability.

Ironically, Bethesda has not released a demo, yet people are already pointing out glitches revealed in related assets. A screenshot posted to Starfield's Steam page, which Bethesda has since deleted, shows an avatar aiming a rifle with its fingers clipping through the gun two inches behind the handgrip (preserved in the tweet above). Of course, this is more amusing than game-breaking.

Starfield launches on PC and Xbox Series consoles on September 6, 2023. And after hyping up its "fewer bugs" condition, Matt Booty better hope that players don't encounter too many problems with it because even a few serious glitches, and Matt will be facing a huge plate of crow come Thanksgiving.