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Starfield Tops 12 Million Players

Starfield Tops 12 Million Players - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 December 2023 / 7,612 Views

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer speaking at CCXP in Brazil announced Starfield has surpassed 12 million since it launched in September. 

This figure is up from 10 million players on September 19 and six million players as of the morning of September 7.

"Starfield has now had over 12 million players since the launch of Starfield and it still sits in our top 10 most played games from our studios," said Spencer. "So thank you everybody for all the support on Starfield and making it a tremendous hit."

Starfield released or the Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Game Pass on September 6.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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42 Comments
2zosteven (on 03 December 2023)

sales numbers and how many registered players would be nice

  • +4
KratosLives (on 03 December 2023)

Mid game

  • +3
ClassicGamingWizzz (on 03 December 2023)

If one guy dowloads it on gamepass and plays a minute that counts as a player, shows us what percentage bough the game , what percentage finish the game and how many gamepass downloads the game had and then we talk

  • +2
LivncA_Dis3 ClassicGamingWizzz (on 03 December 2023)

I want this too!!!

  • +1
shikamaru317 ClassicGamingWizzz (on 03 December 2023)

Well, let's see here.

-It's currently 10th place on Xbox's Most Played Games list, 3 months after release, the highest rated singleplayer game on the list.

-9% of people have the achievement for completing the final main story mission currently, which is comparable to other large RPG's. 9% have the final main story achievement in Skyrim, 10% have it in Fallout 4, 14% have it in Witcher 3, 10% have it in Dragon Age Inquisition, 10% have it in Dragon's Dogma, 4% have it in Kingdom Come Deliverance

-The game reached 1m+ players pre-release, which means at least 1m people bought the special edition of the game that included early access. It was also on Steam top 100 sellers ever since release, and top 100 on the Xbox Top Paid list ever since release. It is currently the 3rd bestselling Xbox Series game on Amazon US behind only Madden 24 selling for $35 and CoD MW3. Sales are probably at least 3m of the 12m I'd guess.

  • +4
LivncA_Dis3 shikamaru317 (on 03 December 2023)

Damn just 1/4 of that massive number

  • -2
shikamaru317 LivncA_Dis3 (on 03 December 2023)

Sales would probably be at least double that number were it not for Gamepass. Xbox doesn't care as much about sales these days, they care about boosting Gamepass subs. However, sales will still be strong lifetime as many will use their Gamepass discount to buy Starfield eventually. Bethesda games have very strong legs due to DLC, re-releases, and strong mod support. Starfield will likely eventually hit over 10m sales and over 30m players, it is just a matter of time.

  • 0
xgamerx (on 02 December 2023)

it's the 10th most played game on xbox behind mostly free to play games.. that's not bad for a single player game.

  • +2
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smroadkill15 (on 03 December 2023)

"But its not sales, they only need to launch the game!" I'm not why this needs to be brought up every single time. We've known for some time player count is how MS announces engagement, especially with Game Pass being the front and center. Get over it already.

  • +1
Pinkie_pie (on 02 December 2023)

12 million players so that's around 10 million played it via game pass and 2 million bought the game?

  • +1
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JRPGfan Pinkie_pie (on 03 December 2023)

Probably not far from the truth. However, there could be multiple players/users, on a single install. So 12m players, is probably bit less than that overall.

  • +3
chakkra JRPGfan (on 03 December 2023)

The game reached 1 million players on pre-release. And again, the game has been on the Steam top 100 for 25 consecutive weeks (even though the game has been out for only 12 weeks) so I would assume that it has sold a bit there. And just as a reference, not a single game from Sony has been on the Steam top 100 for that long.

  • -2
enurtsol Pinkie_pie (on 04 December 2023)

At least a million already bought the expensive Premium edition for early-access on Xbox before official release (and another million bought the early-access Premium edition on PC)

So that's over 2 million already on the more expensive early-access edition, not even counting the less expensive standard edition yet

  • 0
DekutheEvilClown enurtsol (on 04 December 2023)

Firstly that was not from an official source, just an estimate from a source that can sometimes be anywhere from 20% to 300% of the actual numbers. Secondly early access could be played on Gamepass by buying the deluxe edition update add-on. I did that using MS reward points so it didn’t even cost me any real money.

Also the source that claimed 1 sales on steam during early access currently has total sales of the game on steam estimated at 1.51m. So either their initial number was wrong or very few people bought it after the early access.

I’d say the 1.51m number for steam sounds quite accurate and PC was the majority of sales in Europe(and I believe USA too, but can’t remember if it was explicitly stated) so probably 2.5-3M sales all told.

  • 0
Drakrami (on 03 December 2023)

Sales numbers mia lol..
Sounds more like a disaster than a tremendous success lol. A triple A game like this from Bethesda should easily sell 25million copies. Now they come up with numbers like 12 million players, a metic they made up themselves, for all we know it could be counted when someone's just downloaded the game or something. Apples to apples, from what we do know, a super niche game like HiFi Rush which probably sells 1million copies if it released normally, actually reached 3 million players by this "Microsoft" metric. So 12million players for Starfield viewed in this sense is not very good.

Not to mention: many people played this game hardly means anything.
Many people used their money to buy this game to play is where the meat is.

It's not like gamepass is growing like bananas either.

  • -1
VAMatt Drakrami (on 03 December 2023)

Why is it so hard for people to understand that Microsoft is now in the streaming service subscription business, moreso than the software sales business?

  • +1
DekutheEvilClown VAMatt (on 04 December 2023)

People understand that but this players metric is nonsense. Someone who streamed the game for 5 seconds to trigger a weekly or daily reward is a “player”.

Netflix don’t just announce viewers and give the number that watched it for 10 seconds. or more. They list the top shows by the number of hours watched and they use other metrics to gauge success, like completion rate.

45.6% of players on Xbox didn’t complete the first mission. Are those really players? More people completed Spider-man 2(58.9%) than finished the first mission in Starfield. This is why raw player count is meaningless.

  • 0
VAMatt DekutheEvilClown (on 04 December 2023)

The issue is, at least as I see it, that Microsoft presenting sales numbers would also be nonsense. What good are sales numbers from a company that is prioritizing subscriptions over sales of the games? Microsoft is actively trying to reduce sales of their games, in favor of new and continued game pass subscriptions. So, I don't see any clean number that would allow for comparisons, either historical or to current competitors.

So, while I understand and agree that number of players doesn't tell us a whole lot, I also understand that it's the only obvious thing to report. I suppose, if somehow they were able to gather this data, that it would be good to know unit sales, plus new game pass subscriptions driven by a title, plus continued subscriptions that would otherwise have lapsed had the game not been released. But, I feel like that's probably impossible information to get, even for Microsoft. In a best case scenario, it would have to involve a lot of supposition and estimates, rather than hard data. At least with player count, it's easily measurable and understandable.

  • 0
Drakrami VAMatt (on 04 December 2023)

Oh yes. I understand. Even though the subscription model makes 0 sense because it does not bring in more money.

So let's talk in "Microsoft talk", subscription. They last reported 25 million subscribers back in January 2022. New numbers has been MIA since. And whenever I buy a new computer, I'm offered free gamepass trials; do they count as Microsoft numbers? Most likely. So they give out gamepass for free to a bunch of people, and still can not boost growth.

  • 0
rapsuperstar31 (on 03 December 2023)

What were the sales expectations for the Playstation versions of the game, 10 million? 22 million would look a lot better, but 12 million players is still a good number for the game.

  • -1
xgamerx (on 03 December 2023)

steam numbers mean NOTHING as long as gamepass is not on steam..

  • -4
DekutheEvilClown xgamerx (on 03 December 2023)

There’s an estimated 5-7M PC Gamepass subs. Steam has around 120m Monthly Active users and around 70m daily active users.

Gamepass has almost no effect on steam.

  • 0
xgamerx DekutheEvilClown (on 03 December 2023)

people who play starfield on pc gamepass do not show up on steam. you can't totally dismiss that.

  • 0
DekutheEvilClown xgamerx (on 03 December 2023)

People also buy on GoG, Epic, Windows Store etc.

That doesn’t take away from the value of the steam userbase which is a very stable and reliable large sample of PC gamers taste,

  • 0
Libara (on 02 December 2023)

B...b...but I've been told its a bad game 😭

  • -4
Zkuq Libara (on 02 December 2023)

The number of players is a poor indicator of quality, one way or another. Whether a game meets expectations is also a separate thing from quality, although it might get reflected in user reviews, which one might expect to be an actual indicator of quality.

  • +13
Bandorr Libara (on 02 December 2023)

When the POSITIVE comments on steam (that has it as mixed) are stuff like "it was a glass of hot water" and "loading simulator" I take that as a better indicator than a game that is free of additional charge on a service with 30+ million subscribers.

Doesn't make it bad. But I wouldn't consider "played" as a good indicator when all it takes it downloading a free game and playing it for 5 minutes to count as "played".

  • +2
Libara Bandorr (on 02 December 2023)

You're trying way too hard 🤣

  • -5
zero129 Bandorr (on 02 December 2023)

First its not a free game. I dont know why you are trying to play this card?. also i think its a great game with plenty more to offer once the modding community takes off just like all Beth games have been is a modders play ground and thats when they really shine. Pitty you wont get to try it until you get yourself a Pc or an Xbox when in a few years.. You Will hear so many people talking about this game just like with Skyim etc.
But for now i guess it will just do with you shit talking about it in the article comments on news sections of the game while bragging about steam reviews :-D :-D ...

  • -5
Zkuq zero129 (on 02 December 2023)

It's a fun game in my opinion, but in undeniably has some pretty serious flaws as well.

  • +8
Bandorr zero129 (on 02 December 2023)

Didn't say it was a free game. Said it was free of additional charge. Which it is. The "charge" is game pass. The game cost no money on game pass.

Thus it is free of additional charge. I even edited my comment to include that because I wanted to be clear of my statement.

"Sold 10 million" is impressive. "Played by 10 million" is generic. It's the same as toting a demo.

  • +12
TheLegendaryBigBoss Bandorr (on 03 December 2023)

I think starfield is not even in the top 100 best selling games of steam currently

  • -4
Mnementh TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 03 December 2023)

It is #90 in top sellers after 25 weeks and #78 most played (although daily peak is higher than surrounding games, so I probably check at a bad time). Was that so difficult to check, literally just a few clicks away, that you had to "think" and make up something?

  • -2
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TheLegendaryBigBoss Mnementh (on 03 December 2023)

My bad, it was so far at the bottom I missed it! Relax dude lol

  • 0
chakkra Bandorr (on 02 December 2023)

Well, considering the game was the 4th most played single-player game on Steam in the last 24 hrs, I would say quite a few people are playing it for more than 5 minutes. I mean, the game reached 25k people playing it at one point; and just as a reference, that is as much as the people playing GoW, TLOU, R&C, Returnal, FFVIIRE, SP, SP Miles Morales and HZD, all combined.

  • +4
Bandorr chakkra (on 02 December 2023)

That is far more interesting information than "12 million played". Thank you.

  • 0
DekutheEvilClown chakkra (on 03 December 2023)

It was the 70th most played game on steam in the last 24 hours. Removing every game with even a multiplayer component lets you remove a whole ton of games(that number must be counting BG3, Stardew Valley, Elden Ring, RDR2 etc. as Multiplayer games)

It has 12m players in 3 months while being available to 30m subscribers for no additional charge, and available to non-subscribers for the cost of a subscription. God of War: Ragnarok sold 11m copies in 3 months as a $70/£70 game. That was when the number of PS5s sold was about the same as the current number of series X/S, and it was also on the PS4 vs. Starfield on PC additionally. Also, when gamstat website used to track players the player number was generally around 30-50% higher than the sold number(due to game sharing, second hand market etc.) so GoW probably had about 13-14m players in that time using the same metric, but with a much much higher barrier to entry. GoW: R has also been completed by 45.3% of the players, Starfield is 9.45% on Xbox.

Starfield was a successful game by normal standards, but it was far from the mega hit many were expecting. It’s player numbers are even tracking behind Forza Horizon 5.

  • +5
TheLegendaryBigBoss chakkra (on 03 December 2023)

Well, the rest of the games you mentioned are fairly old so Starfield should be higher

  • +2
hellobion2 (on 02 December 2023)
  • -13