Bethesda's recent release, Starfield, has made significant waves in the gaming community. Within a short span since its launch, the game has managed to surpass the concurrent player peak of its predecessor, Skyrim, on Steam. This achievement is particularly noteworthy given the immense popularity and success of Skyrim over the years.
Impressive Numbers in Context
According to recent data, Starfield has amassed a peak of 313,993 concurrent players on Steam. This figure eclipses Skyrim‘s 12-year-old record, which stood at 287,411 players. However, it's essential to note that while Starfield has outdone Skyrim, it hasn't yet reached the heights of Fallout 4, which had a peak of 472,962 players. Despite this, the numbers are a testament to Starfield‘s growing popularity and the anticipation that surrounded its release.
Starfield has reached 325,000 concurrent player, and has beaten Skyrim's all-time peak. pic.twitter.com/3nD34YXEdf
— SteamDB (@SteamDB) September 10, 2023
Factors Influencing the Stats
One significant element to consider when evaluating these statistics is the introduction of the Game Pass. Both Skyrim and Fallout 4 were available on PC before the Game Pass was introduced. In contrast, Starfield is the first Bethesda game to launch with the subscription service.
This means players have the option to play Starfield on Xbox's PC launcher or console without any additional cost, provided they have a Game Pass subscription. This availability could potentially skew the numbers, as many might opt for the more affordable Game Pass route rather than purchasing the game outright on Steam.
However, in reverse the concurrent release on subscription services means Starfield's unit sales are unlikely to ever match those of Skyrim. While Starfield will be popular and sell millions, its availability on Game Pass and lack of availability on PlayStation means it is unlikely to become one of the best-selling games of all-time.
That's why user metrics are more useful in understanding the impact Starfield has had. Or course, Microsoft was well aware of the changes in the market and the demand for the game. That's why the company removed its $1 7-day trial to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate a week before the launch of Starfield.