Two weeks after its global launch, Starfield has hit another milestone. It is now Bethesda’s biggest launch in terms of player count, with the studio calling the numbers “astronomical.”
Bethesda Game Studios announced on social media that Starfield has now surpassed 10 million players. This definitely includes both pure sales (PC + Xbox) and Game Pass users trying it out via subscription, but the time frame for the game to reach the new milestone is unclear.
Starfield initially became available to owners of the Premium edition on September 1, with its full global release on September 6. On September 8, Bethesda revealed that it had surpassed 6 million players, so it took the game about 12 days to reach another 4 million users.
— Bethesda Game Studios (@BethesdaStudios) September 19, 2023
What is the biggest Xbox game launch this generation?
Given the lack of official sales figures, we can only rely on third-party data. According to GSD (via GamesIndustry.biz), Starfield became the fastest-selling new IP of 2023 in Europe and the fifth fastest-selling video game of the year so far. It also managed to dethrone Forza Horizon 5 as the biggest Xbox launch this generation in the region (in terms of digital and physical sales).
However, Starfield still lags behind Playgorund Games’ racing title when it comes to global player numbers (including Game Pass data).
Launched on November 9, 2021, Forza Horizon 5 reached over 4.5 million users in less than 24 hours. On November 19, Playground Games announced that the title had crossed the 10 million mark in its first week, calling this milestone the “biggest first week in Xbox history and Xbox Game Pass ever.”
So it took about 12 days for Starfield (19 if you include a brief early access period), and roughly one week for Forza Horizon 5 to surpass 10 million players.
Another notable Xbox first-party release this generation was Halo Infinite, which attracted over 20 million players in less than two months. But its free-to-play multiplayer makes things a little tricky.
It is also difficult to estimate the impact these games could have on Game Pass. The last official figure we have is 25 million subscribers announced in January 2022. Although it is unlikely that the number of users has stagnated since then, Microsoft insists that the 25 million milestone reached nearly two years ago should still be referred to as the “official tally.”