Starfield had impossible expectations to meet ahead of its release. As the first major game from Bethesda in many years and Microsoft’s biggest first-party release in 2023, the RPG was subject to a lot of pressure.
However, the game quickly lost its momentum amid the busy release schedule of 2023. While the game averaged around 30K players not too long ago, these numbers have dropped further, with Starfield player counts now below Skyrim’s on Steam.
Why it matters: This is a massive blow to the RPG. Bethesda games are inherently expected to last a long while, but Starfield appears to be losing its appeal much faster than iconic titles like Skyrim.
At the time of writing, Skyrim has just over 12K players on Steam. On the other hand, Starfield is down to 11K players, a difference of 1K players.
While Starfield had a higher concurrent peak by around 3K players in the last 24 hours, this result is quite disappointing when considering the fact that Bethesda’s latest game is now falling behind a 12-year-old title.
It can be argued that this direct comparison does not matter much due to the influence of Game Pass, but a report from Circana has confirmed that Starfield has sold most of its copies on the PC platform in the US.
This disappointment is amplified by the fact that Starfield can feel outdated as a 2023 release. Compared to modern RPGs like Cyberpunk 2077, even dedicated fans have noted that Bethesda’s formula has not evolved much.
A common criticism of the game has been the excessive use of loading screens in an era where games are pushing for more immersive and seamless experiences.
Bethesda’s ambition of creating a world with over 1000 planets may have also been detrimental to the game, leading to a large but somewhat lifeless open world.
Meanwhile, Skyrim has matured as a game over the years. With a fanbase that has existed for many years, this RPG has much more extensive mod support, leading to a more complete experience.
On the brighter side, Bethesda is working on adding missing features to its RPG, showing its commitment to a better experience.
Previously promised features like DLSS support are now available in a beta update, and additional content is also on the way. All of these changes could eventually bring players back to the game.
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Avinash is currently pursuing a Business degree in Australia. For more than three years, he has been working as a gaming journalist, utilizing his writing skills and love for gaming to report on the latest updates in the industry. Avinash loves to play action games like Devil May Cry and has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as IGN, GamesRadar, GameRant, Dualshockers, CBR, and Gamespot.