Starfield sets ne w Bethesda record with huge launch

starfield, player character exploring a planet
Starfield sets ne w Bethesda record with launchBethesda Softworks

Starfield, the big video game release for September 2023, has set a major new record for developer Bethesda Game Studios thanks to its huge launch.

The game was released on PC and Xbox Series X|S this week and, despite not releasing on PlayStation or Nintendo Switch, it has become the biggest launch in the studio's history.

"As of this morning, #Starfield has already surpassed 6 million players, making it the biggest Bethesda game launch of all time," a September 7 post by the Fallout and The Elder Scrolls maker read.

starfield, player character exploring a planet
Bethesda Softworks

Related: Xbox Game Pass free games for September 2023

"Starfield exceeded 1 million concurrent players across all platforms today," Head of Xbox Phil Spencer added on his own post. "Thanks to all the players who helped us reach this great milestone and congrats to the @BethesdaStudios."

While the game is only available on limited platforms, Starfield's high player numbers may have been influenced by its availability on Game Pass. Subscribers to either the console or PC subscriptions, or the combined Ultimate tier, were able to play the game on launch day for no extra cost.

Both quoted statistics referred to 'players' rather than 'purchasers', so it remains to be seen how well the game will perform in terms of actual sales, the amount of time the average player puts in, and how many people are still playing the game months down the line.

starfield, player character engaging in combat
Bethesda Softworks

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Critics are (mostly) really impressed with Starfield so far, with many praising how much there is to do in the game, as well as its sheer ambition. Whether it will have the legs that the constantly-ported and endlessly modded Skyrim has, something Spencer has predicted it will, time will tell.

On the other side of the fence, Sony's big gaming exclusive for the second half of the year is Spider-Man 2, which is putting a new spin on the classic Venom storyline. You can check out all the pre-order deals here.

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