While Starfield represents the studio's first foray into sci-fi, its interest in the genre dates back to the '90s. That's when Bethesda was developing The 10th Planet in collaboration with Centropolis Entertainment, a German-American production company behind some of the biggest sci-fi Hollywood blockbusters ever made, including Stargate and Independence Day.
Almost three decades after the game was canceled, Bethesda has now paid tribute to The 10th Planet in the form of a sew patch. The unique piece of merch, first spotted by Reddit user Dejected_Cyberpsycho, can currently be found on the Bethesda Gear Store as part of the Starfield Explorer Patch Set. The accessory features a simple drawing of ten planets encircled by the name of the canceled game. The moniker itself is a reference to the hypothetical tenth planet—or Planet X—of the solar system that scientists have been seeking for centuries due to some peculiar orbital characteristics of Neptune and Uranus that they couldn't otherwise explain.
Apart from this circular nylon reference to Bethesda's canceled sci-fi game, the $18 set also includes The Livingstone Project, New Discoveries Expedition, and Astronaut Thumbs Up patches. According to the Internet Archive's historical data, this bundle of merch isn't a new addition to the Bethesda Gear Store. Instead, the patch set has been available for purchase since Starfield itself went up for pre-orders back in June 2023. But its reference to The 10th Planet seemingly went undiscovered by the fandom until now.
Patch being sold in the Bethesda Shop references the cancelled BGS space IP 'The 10th Planet'
What Was The 10th Planet?
The 10th Planet was pitched as a combination of Star Fox and Star Wars: X-Wing, in that it was a space combat sim with hectic battles and a story campaign. The game was being developed using XnGine, a 3D game engine that Bethesda initially put together for The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall. The 10th Planet was originally planned to be released in the same year as Daggerfall, 1996, before being pushed back to October 1997.
With that second release window fast approaching, Bethesda delayed the game yet again, this time to 1998. The studio finally canceled the project in the first half of 1998 without much fanfare. A quarter of a century later, Bethesda Executive Producer Todd Howard was quoted as saying that The 10th Planet never left pre-production.
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