Starfield is Bethesda's biggest launch ever with 6 million players on Xbox and Windows PC

Starfield key art 2023
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

What you need to know

  • Starfield is currently available on Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC, as well as being available through Xbox Game Pass. 
  • Starfield released in early access for Premium Edition buyers on Sep. 1, 2023, with a wider launch on September 6. 
  • According to Bethesda, Starfield already reached 6 million players the morning of September 7. 

It's early days for Bethesda Game Studios' new science-fiction role-playing title, but things are off to a strong start.

Starfield already reached 6 million players the morning of Sep. 7, 2023, as shared by the game's official Twitter account. This comes not quite a full day after Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer shared that Starfield had 1 million concurrent players, including a peak of over 250,000 players on Steam at once. 

Bethesda Game Studios' last mainline single-player game, Fallout 4, released in 2015 and hit $750 million in revenue in its first day. Maligned at launch in 2018 over major bugs and other issues, the multiplayer-focused Fallout 76 received numerous updates and has reached over 11 million players as of 2021. 

Starfield is the first title from Bethesda Game Studios as an Xbox first-party game, and as such launched day one in Xbox Game Pass, while also being exclusive to Xbox Series X|S consoles and Windows PC.

Looking ahead, Bethesda Game Studios is also currently working on a current-generation update for Fallout 4, though there is no date for when to expect the update outside of a 2023 release window.

Analysis: If you build it, they will come

This is the biggest Xbox first-party launch in a while, so it's great to see the work of the teams at Bethesda and Xbox rewarded. Much like Bethesda's other games, I expect that the arrival of modding tools and Creation Club content will ensure Starfield lives on for quite some time.

It's also going to be interesting to see what affect this has on Xbox console sales, which have noticeably been outpaced by sales of the PlayStation 5 in 2023. One game alone won't "turn the tide" no matter how big, and revenue in the Xbox business is healthy as-is, but I expect many more players are now interested in grabbing an Xbox Series X|S console. 

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • fjtorres5591
    Six million?

    Wait until the weekend.
    Gamepass has 30M+ subscribers. The game isn't for everybody (as evidenced by the few reviewers grading the game for what it isn't instead of what it is) but the XBOX has always been the best console for Bethesda rpgs and now it's the only one, like back in MORROWIND days, so a large plurality of XBOX players are Bethesda rpg fans. Figure 10M minimum, plus the newcomers from...elsewhere.

    The first impressive measure of STARFIELD success will come when the MS gamepass cloud servers start having issues. Saturday?

    Also, since the game is a slow burn, the big test comes next month when the folks fully hooked stop playing anything else. The news will be coming fast and furious. Especially the latter part. 😎

    The soap opera is just starting.