Earlier this week, Microsoft released its first major game in 2024. Let’s take a look at Hellblade 2’s initial metrics and compare them to other Xbox first-party titles.

Comparing Hellblade II's low player count to other Xbox first-party games

Launched on May 21, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II received generally positive reviews from critics, with an average Metascore of 81 on both Xbox and PC. The game was praised for its graphics, story, sound design, and acting performance, but was mainly criticized for its gameplay and lack of at least minimum challenge.

Microsoft and Ninja Theory have yet to announce Hellblade 2’s launch sales or how many players tried it on Game Pass. So we can only judge by publicly available metrics.

On the US Xbox store, the game currently has a 4.3/5 score based on 1,900 reviews. On Steam, 87% of the 1,398 user reviews are positive, indicating a “Very Positive” rating. Players have the same complaints as the press: beautiful graphics and overall presentation, but boring gameplay and puzzles.

According to SteamDB, Hellblade 2 peaked at only 3,982 concurrent players at launch. Of course, the majority of its audience is likely on Xbox (and Game Pass), but these are still fairly modest results for a game released by a major publisher.

For comparison, Hi-Fi Rush, released on Xbox and PC on the day of its announcement, peaked at 6,132 CCU on Steam.

The 3.9k peak also puts Hellblade 2 near the bottom of Steam’s top 100 new releases of 2024, right between indie roguelite survival game Nordic Ashes: Survivors of Ragnarok (3,992 CCU) and Take-Two’s annual tennis title TopSpin 2k25 (3,964 CCU). Player count doesn’t equal sales, but low numbers won’t help such a big-budget game succeed commercially.

When looking at metrics of other titles published by Microsoft or developed by its first-party teams, Hellblade 2 barely cracks the top 30. Its peak CCU is on par with games such as Minecraft Dungeons (4,022 CCU) and State of Decay (3,339 CCU).

Below are the top titles from Xbox’s first-party studios by peak concurrent players on Steam:

  1. Starfield — 330.7k CCU (by Microsoft’s subsidiary Bethesda, which still operates and publishes its games as a separate business entity);
  2. Halo Infinite — 272.5k CCU (thanks to free-to-play multiplayer);
  3. Halo: The Master Chief Collection — 161k CCU;
  4. Forza Horizon 5 — 81k CCU;
  5. Age of Empires IV — 73.9k CCU;
  6. Sea of Thieves — 66.9k CCU;
  7. Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) — 61.8k CCU;
  8. Pillars of Eternity — 41.9k CCU;
  9. Forza Horizon 4 — 38.7k CCU;
  10. Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition — 38.7k CCU.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the first game in the series, came out in 2017 when Ninja Theory was still an independent studio. It recouped its budget of less than $10 million in just three months, surpassing 1 million units sold by June 2018.

Although the sequel’s development costs remain undisclosed, it is clear that Hellblade 2 cost way more money and required a much larger team to make. Given its modest launch, it will be really difficult for the game to break even.

Got a story you'd like to share? Reach us at [email protected]