Bethesda Game Studios has finally released Starfield, after years of anticipation from Xbox and PC fans. And as you would expect, it’s a big hit. In fact, according to Bethesda, it surpassed six million players at release, making it the biggest launch of its history. Of course, it being included with an Xbox Game Pass subscription means this number is inflated. While there’s no denying this bit of marketing is a tad misleading, there’s also no denying its a major win for Xbox. Further, it’s one of the most popular games on Steam right now alongside the likes of Counter-Strike, Dota 2, and Baldur’s Gate 3.
In the past 24 hours, Starfield concurrent players on Steam peaked at 313,993. This was a new time all-time high for it and it remains the high for the space-faring RPG. This is only enough for it to take the number four spot on the Steam concurrent players chart, behind the aforementioned games. However, while it’s come up short against some modern competitors, it’s enough to top some of its historical competition. Emphasis on some.
More specifically, with 313,993 concurrent players, the game soared past Skyrim’s peak 12 years ago when it achieved 287,411 concurrent players. Of course, Steam wasn’t as popular back then. In other words, there’s a very good chance if Skyrim was released today it would blitz 313,993 concurrent players. Evidence of this is Fallout 4, which achieved 472,962 concurrent players eight years ago. Yet again, while Steam’s increase in popularity works in the favor of Starfield, what doesn’t is the fact it’s available on Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass PC. When the other two Bethesda Game Studios games released, Xbox Game Pass didn’t even exist. This is no doubt stealing a considerable number of players away from playing on Steam.
What remains to be seen is how well Starfield will maintain this player base over time. Will it be more like Skyrim, which is still relevant 12 years later or will it be more like Fallout 4, which felt like it came and went? It’s too early to tell, but the new Xbox game is off to a good start. That said, with games like Mortal Kombat 1, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Alan Wake 2, and more looming it may find it hard to maintain this good start.
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