Starfield hits a huge milestone on its journey to join Xbox's most successful games

Starfield ship planet orbit
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Starfield is a sci-fi RPG exclusive for Xbox and Windows PC, from the creators of Fallout 3, 4, and The Elder Scrolls franchises. 
  • The game launched proper this week after some paid early access period. 
  • Xbox lead Phil Spencer just announced the game has hit 1 million concurrent players across Windows PCs, Xbox, and cloud gaming services. 

Starfield is a resounding success, and as I noted in our Starfield review, most likely has a bright future ahead of it. 

Starfield is the first new IP from Bethesda Softworks in almost 30 years. The fabled house that brought us Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 3 has turned their hand to hard-space sci-fi, and it looks as though it's paying off dividends. 

In comments on X (formerly Twitter), Microsoft Gaming CEO and Xbox lead Phil Spencer posted the following, celebrating the game's success. "Starfield exceeded 1 million concurrent players across all platforms today." Spencer continued, "thanks to all the players who helped us reach this great milestone, and congrats to the @BethesdaStudios." 

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Starfield is an important game for Xbox, which has been criticized quite heavily over the past decade for a dip in overall game quality and consistency. Microsoft invested heavily in building up its first-party studio output in response to that feedback, purchasing Bethesda Softworks and its sister studios like DOOM's id Software and Wolfenstein's Machine Games. Microsoft has begun to see the fruits of those labors now, with Tango Gameworks' Hi-Fi Rush kicking off the year with a bang, and Starfield delivering another big hit for the firm this summer. 

Microsoft has still endured blips here and there. I would guess Minecraft Legends from the Spring hadn't hit the metrics the company had hoped for. And earlier this summer, Redfall from Arkane failed to ignite players' imaginations, owing to its bugginess and general blandness. Microsoft still has a few upcoming Xbox games and upcoming PC games under its name to launch in the next year including the hotly anticipated racing sim Forza Motorsport, as well as further afield games like Towerborne

Starfield may mark the psychological turning point for Xbox game quality. Even games like Halo Infinite which was somewhat derided for its post-launch for poor live service content, have seen an uptick lately. 

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!