Starfield now has more players than The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda Game Studios' Starfield looks set to be a cornerstone for the studio and the Xbox platform in the years to come.

Starfield isn't bigger than Skyrim yet but, at the rate that it's going, it'll get there eventually.

After years of anticipation, Bethesda Game Studios released Starfield, immediately captivating Xbox and PC enthusiasts. Bethesda has proudly reported that upon release, Starfield surpassed six million players, crowning it the largest launch in the studio's history. The incorporation of the title into the Xbox Game Pass subscription boosts this number as well, which has been a considerable win for Xbox. Additionally, Starfield's popularity surged on Steam, sitting comfortably next to prominent titles like Counter-Strike, Dota 2, and Baldur's Gate 3.

In just a single day, Starfield recorded a peak of 313,993 concurrent players on Steam, surpassing the record of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which hit a peak of 287,411 concurrent players 12 years ago.

Though it should be noted, the gaming landscape was different then. Specifically, services such as Xbox Game Pass were non-existent at the time. The availability of Starfield on Xbox Game Pass might be pulling a significant portion of players away from Steam, but this doesn't diminish its success.

Starfield might never outsell Skyrim but its impact will be felt just as much in the years to come.

On the game's official launch day, Starfield tallied an impressive one million concurrent players across all platforms. In terms of its sales, while specific numbers remain undisclosed, it is evident that the game has attracted a broad audience, even counting those who accessed it early through premium purchase options.

This massive uptake isn't just about the numbers, but a testament to Bethesda's consistent commitment to quality. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim sold 3.5 million copies in its initial 48 hours, amassing over 280,000 concurrent players on Steam during its launch. Over time, it has been purchased 60 million times, cementing its position among the top 10 best-selling games in history.

However, not every player's response to Starfield is glowing. The reception has been a mix of admiration, criticism, and skepticism. The game is perhaps most disappointing to those who were under the impression that they were diving into Bethesda's response to No Man's Sky and Elite Dangerous and not just another Bethesda formula RPG only that it's set in space. Furthermore, the game's release has also seen a divide between fans and skeptics. Some gamers express that critics of Starfield might not have even played the game but merely followed the popular trend of critiquing Bethesda or Xbox titles.

The best thing about Starfield is that it gives Bethesda Game Studios more reasons to trust its gut and continue working on older franchises like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout.

This isn't impossible. After all, trolls planned to review bomb Starfield ahead of its launch, just because it's not on the PlayStation 5 - an advantage, if you ask Todd Howard.

On the flip side, Starfield's engrossing and expansive universe have earned praise. The game's rich lore and attention to detail create a mesmerizing experience. From intricate narratives behind every exploration to the freedom of engaging in myriad activities like kidnapping, setting up supply chains, or simply enjoying space vistas, the game offers a diverse range of experiences. Games very rarely deliver on expectations. In the eyes of many, Starfield does this.

A significant mention should goes to Starfield's modding community as well. It's already gaining traction on platforms like Nexus mods, it's only a matter of time before Starfield achieves the same legendary modding status as Skyrim.

All that's left for Starfield now to do is to continue improving.

While the future holds challenges, especially with upcoming titles such as Mortal Kombat 1, Marvel's Spider-Man 2, and Alan Wake 2 potentially vying for attention, Starfield has firmly established itself as a celestial body in the gaming universe, promising countless hours of exploration and excitement.

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Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5842

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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