Starfield has crossed over 6 million players on the PC and Xbox combined

Starfield's explosive launch, with 6 million players in less than two days, signals a monumental win for Bethesda, Microsoft, and Xbox.

Starfield will likely hit 10 million players in its first weekend post-launch.

The early days often decide the fate of a video game, and for Bethesda Game Studios' Starfield, the inception has been nothing short of a supernova.

Within less than two days of its official release, Starfield has amassed a staggering 6 million players, as confirmed by its official X (previously known as Twitter) account.

Such a number isn't just impressive on its own; it makes Starfield the largest game launch in Bethesda's rich history as it surpasses esteemed predecessors like Fallout 4.

While this immediate success stands testament to the game's allure, the context behind these numbers is multifaceted. On one hand, the success of Starfield signifies a momentous win for Bethesda, marking its first brand-new franchise in 25 years. Players, both old fans and new, have been venturing into the expansive universe of Starfield, exploring all of its "dull" planets, undertaking missions, and grappling with the choice between staying on the narrative path or going into the unknown. But on the other, this surge of engagement raises questions about the revenue model and the broader strategy of Xbox and its digital-first approach.

The ambiguous nature of the 6 million players' metric means we are left pondering: How many among these are new Xbox Game Pass subscribers versus existing ones? How many decided to buy the game outright, versus accessing it by way of a subscription? Not to mention, what percentage came from a free copy given away as bundled with an AMD-powered graphics card, processor, and/or laptop?

Many are hoping that Starfield's success will start a finally positive trend for the Xbox platform.

It's no secret that Xbox has been gradually shifting its focus towards engagement metrics rather than raw sales since it introduced the Xbox Game Pass in 2017. In this new paradigm, a game's success isn't necessarily dictated by copies sold, but by the number of players it attracts and retains. This shift to engagement-driven metrics isn't just a fleeting trend but a deliberate strategy by Microsoft to emphasize long-term revenues through recurring subscriptions rather than one-time game sales.

However, this doesn't undermine Starfield's sheer popularity. Its launch on Game Pass likely played a pivotal role in its massive engagement. And why wouldn't it? For a consumer, the prospect of accessing Starfield alongside hundreds of other titles for a monthly fee, as opposed to a one-time purchase of $69.99, is undeniably enticing. Additionally, with Bethesda games known for their longevity, Starfield promises to be a long-term engagement magnet for Xbox Game Pass.

Naturally, fans are busy talking about Starfield as well, and the topic isn't just its success but about its various facets, from Todd Howard telling PC gamers to upgrade their PCs to the praise that it's getting and so much more

We'll likely never find out just how many people bought Starfield or subscribed to Game Pass because of it but we'll know if Xbox and Microsoft as well as Bethesda are happy with the numbers.

Ultimately, it's hard to overstate Starfield's importance to the Game Pass. Beyond mere revenue, it cultivates goodwill towards investors and ensures easier funding and approval for future projects between Xbox and Bethesda. But revenue specifics remain elusive. Despite Starfield's potential to generate a windfall, the exact monetary success is hard to pin down, especially when so many players access the game through pre-paid Xbox Game Pass subscriptions.

The gaming community's insatiable curiosity further intensifies these discussions. Numbers are thrown, be it 6 million, 10 million, or more, and each becomes a hot topic of debate regarding its implications. 

As the momentum continues, it's evident that while you might not witness a console-selling title from Xbox annually, games like Starfield showcase Xbox's capability to produce stellar titles that dominate conversations and push the boundaries of engagement metrics.

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Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5872

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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