Starfield Is Bethesda’s Biggest Game Launch Ever, Surpassing Even Skyrim And Fallout

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If you follow gaming news or even just this site at all, then we don't have to tell you that Starfield is the latest first-person open-world RPG from pioneers of the format, Bethesda Game Studios. It is a titanic title, and given that the company releases about two games per decade, it's a huge release, too.

Fortunately for Bethesda and its Microsoft overlords, Starfield has also been a huge success. The company announced one day after the game's official launch on September 6th that the new release had hit 6 million players across all platforms. That unsurprisingly makes it the biggest Bethesda game launch of all time.

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This really isn't an unexpected result. People have been eager for new content from Bethesda after waiting twelve years since the release of The Elder Scrolls Part V: Skyrim and some eight years since Fallout 4. Bethesda hasn't been idle in that time, dabbling in mobile games with Elder Scrolls Blades as well as running its Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76 live service titles, but those games don't offer the same experience as a mainline Bethesda release.

While pent-up player demand is likely a major cause of Starfield's success, the gaming market itself has radically expanded since the launch of Fallout 4. Not only has gaming simply grown as a hobby—gaming revenues outstrip films, TV, and music put together—but more and more types of people are playing what used to be considered "hardcore" games thanks in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic. People you'd previously never expect to play a game like Baldur's Gate 3 or Starfield are snapping up the new titles with impressive enthusiasm.

Starfield's player numbers also benefit from the title being on Microsoft's Game Pass service from day one, too. Anyone who downloads and launches the game for free on Game Pass gets counted in those six million players, so that number doesn't exactly translate to six million sales. Even still, to hit six million players one day after release is an incredible accomplishment, and we don't mean to rain on Bethesda's parade.

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The game had over 300 mods on NexusMods before it even officially released.

Even if you're not feeling the Starfield buzz right now, you might want to keep an eye on the game. Not only will Bethesda likely be releasing expansive DLC add-ons, but modders are hard at work patching up people's complaints using tools adapted from earlier Creation Engine games. Starfield is already a big success, but it will only improve over time, and we're looking forward to the future of the title.