Gears 5 reaches 3 million players at launch, mostly because of Xbox Game Pass

What you need to know

  • Gears 5 is a third-person shooter from The Coalition.
  • The game features a lot of new additions to its campaign and multiplayer.
  • The game was played by over three million gamers during early access and launch week.
  • You can purchase Xbox Game Pass through Amazon (opens in new tab).

Gears 5 is a third-person shooter from The Coalition, the Xbox Game Studios team responsible for the acclaimed Gears of War franchise. It launched in early access a few weeks ago as an Ultimate Edition, and last week, the Standard Edition became available to everyone else. As has become tradition, Microsoft just revealed the launch players for the game. Keep in mind that the title is part of Xbox Game Pass, so the figure includes those who played it through the subscription service and those who bought it.

Microsoft sent out a press release which said that in the first week, which includes the four-day early access period, Gears 5 garnered over three million players. It's unclear how many of them bought the game and how many played it through Xbox Game Pass. You can read an excerpt from the statement below.

Thanks to the incredible support from our fans, Gears 5 kicked off the... season strong – attracting over three million players in its opening weekend and setting new records for Xbox Game Pass with the biggest launch week of any Xbox Game Studios title this generation. The performance easily doubled the first week's debut of Gears of War 4 and made Gears 5 the most-played Xbox Game Studios title in its first week since 2012's Halo 4. First-week performance includes the four-day early access period... which was exclusive to Gears 5 Ultimate Edition and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. On the PC, Gears 5 has nearly tripled the performance of its predecessor, becoming the biggest-ever launch for Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Xbox Game Studios' best-ever debut on Steam.

This breakdown would've been even more interesting had the company provided a breakdown of how players accessed the title. Alas, that information may never be revealed as Microsoft moves towards a subscription model.

Related: Gears 5 known bugs and launch issues

In Windows Central's review, Jez Corden wrote, "as a benchmark for visual excellence balanced against stellar performance, Gears 5 is technical wizardry. It also bridges platforms and storefronts... complete with... cross-play. The fact that Gears 5 manages to jam a... 12 to 18-hour campaign, several multiplayer modes, a map editor, and the promise of post-launch support represents one of the best deals in gaming right now. It's an even better value when you factor in Xbox Game Pass."

Excellent and affordable Xbox accessories

Up your Xbox experience with one (or all) of these budget accessories, all of which are approved by the gamers of Windows Central.

PowerA Play & Charge Kit for Xbox One (opens in new tab) ($15 at Amazon)

This charging kit keeps your Xbox One wireless controllers juiced up, and it offers batteries for two controllers. At just $15, this is hands-down our favorite budget charging companion.

ElecGear 4 Port USB Xbox One S Hub (opens in new tab) ($19 at Amazon)

This brilliant little USB splitter hub attaches perfectly to the side of your Xbox One S console. It's ideal for use with chargers, controllers, headsets, and more.

Controller Gear stand (opens in new tab) ($13 at Amazon)

Proudly display your Xbox gamepads with this stylish and functional stand. The licensed design is minimalist and black, and it has a hidden storage compartment, making the price of $13 a real steal.

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

17 Comments
  • You would hope so at $2 for two months.
  • I have gotten a lot of my PC gaming mates on Game Pass for Gears 5, they will ditch the service after the two months is up though.
  • As an aside, 3 million seems low to be honest.
  • Supposedly they only expected 1 million at launch, so that's what over loaded the servers.
  • It's the highest launch numbers of any exclusive on Xbox this Gen. Beating even Forza Horizon 4 which went on to do over 12 million. So it's actually very very good. Legs should take this way over that lifetime no problem.
  • Halo 5 managed 5-6 million in it's first week ($400 million dollars at $60-80 a unit depending on edition). Or all the news outlets got the Halo 5 sales figures wrong. I mean 3 million is no slouch, but less than 10% of the console base is really surprising, I was expecting over 5 million.
  • No. That includes Microtransactions. Same as Activision releasing millions made in first week. $500 million for Black Ops 4 includes Microtransactions. We weren't given any Halo 5 figures. But considering Gears 5 is in the news as new record for Xbox One exclusives Halo 5 was definately less than 3 million. No exclusive has ever achieved anywhere near 5 million first week. Only a select few multiplatform games reach those numbers first week. Like Red Dead 2, GTA 5. But Gears 5 beats any Sony exclusive this Gen. So yeah its a huge amount of players first week. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/gears-5-sets-xbox-studios-record-for-t...
  • 1) It's ridiculous to compared played numbers when one only sells while another can be rented for almost nothing. They had an offer to play the games 2 months for just $2. This is almost like free2play.
    2) With game pass and that offer of $2 for 2 months, clearly MS and you guys will not communicate on that. You only present numbers and "achievements" that arranges you.
    3) Why not talk of actually more relevant metric? Profit or loss?
    4) Like the topic said 3m is mostly because of Game pass. And how many of these were just thanks to the $2 offer? How many sales they may have lost because of that?
    5) Gears 5 is not a XB1 exclusive.
  • About point 5, just not to be confused, Gears 5 is exclusive to Xbox on consoles and also helps with console sales, but I understand when you say that you put together the numbers of the PC users.
  • Ah, that makes sense, I still feel it seems unlikely for a game to have made 100 million in microtransactions in its first week, but if that is the case, no wonder developers are including them, because that's a really significant number.
  • "But Gears 5 beats any Sony exclusive this Gen. " Wrong. Both God of War and Spiderman sold over 3m units in their first three days.
  • @Richard
    Well, it's their biggest game that launches with Game pass. And not just, there was that but with that $2 offer. It was obviously going to be played more than all MS games this gen. ofc in terms of sales and revenue, I doubt it's even close to some other MS game that didn't launch with game pass.
  • Forza Horizon 4 is exactly the same. Launched on PC and Xbox Gamepass at launch. Has reached over 12 million players. Everyone is used to the new metric for gaming. It doesn't matter how people play. It's that they are playing. And just like Netflix, more developers in house, more AAA content, more subscriptions and repeat subs. The Outer Worlds is just round the corner as well for Ganepass. Another big one lots of people want to play. I know it doesn't fit the old agenda because it's taken gaming longer to catch up to he other industries. But now it's becoming really important. And the best bit is going Ultimate Gamepass even if you don't own a PC is still cheaper for Console