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Starfield Is Being Played by Less Players Than Skyrim

A 92% drop in player count isn't a good sign, but there's hope.

‘game of the year’ starfield is being played by less players than skyrim

SUMMARY

  • The Steam player count for the game is struggling to gain new players.
  • This number isn't reflective of Game Pass players.
  • Starfield will take its time to appeal to larger audiences.

Starfield arrived with a big bang and saw millions of downloads across Game Pass subscriptions and pre-orders. However, despite the game’s massive hype, it currently has fewer active players than Skyrim. And that says a lot.

After just two months of its release, Starfield has fewer concurrent players on Steam as compared to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The now 12-year-old game still receives a lot of love, especially due to its undying legacy thanks to mods, community love, and a massive open world for its time. Despite being a game from the same developers, Starfield is failing to keep up with Skyrim’s reputation.

Playing Starfield on Steam Is Down 92% Since Its Peak

Starfield struggles to see a silver lining in its player count.
Starfield struggles to see a silver lining in its player count.

At the time of writing, Starfield has 26,705 players. Meanwhile, Skyrim beats it by 26,793. It’s not a big difference in number, but the 12-year gap between releases says a lot more about the quality of both of these games. However, at launch, Starfield had the attention of 330,723 players on Steam.

It’s been just two months since, and the game has observed a massive dip in players. Then again, that’s a prophecy for most single-player games, as players eventually either complete the game or move on once their interest has faded away. It’s also important to note that these are Steam numbers and not reflective of Game Pass users. After all, the game was available to subscribers on the day of launch.

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Starfield also received its share of love by being nominated for a Best RPG award at The Game Awards 2023. It competes against the likes of Baldur’s Gate 3 and Final Fantasy 16. Talk about tough competition, huh?

Steam Player Count Doesn’t Reflect on Starfield’s Ultimate Success

Starfield will take time to earn the kind of reputation Skyrim holds.
Starfield will take time to earn the kind of reputation Skyrim holds.

25 years in the making, Starfield is undoubtedly an ambitious project. Plenty of players are still exploring the game’s galaxies, planetary systems, characters, narratives, and endless other things. After all, it is a Bethesda game through and through. However, Starfield’s lack of enthusiasm can be linked to the major comparison that’s made between previous games like Skyrim and the Fallout series.

From time immemorial, Bethesda games have had a way of doing things. How opening sequences introduce players to the world, how players interact with different objects and characters within the world, and so on. Unfortunately, the ‘magic’ of it could only surprise audiences so many times. And this was a common point of criticism from a lot of reviewers.

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You see, it’s understandably hard to stay in love with Bethesda’s newest title; it’s only fair to feel its infatuation strongly. That kind of philosophy is reflected in its player count, too. On the other hand, Skyrim managed to not only attract a large player base, but it also kept the game’s phenomenal replayability strong throughout the years.

On a positive note, the game does have a strong future because it is envisioned to serve as a foundation for big mods and creative experiences from the community. Imagine a full-fledged Star Wars journey made in Starfield’s universe. It’s tough to imagine so much when players are still exploring the game’s vanilla state and all that Bethesda has put in place for us to discover.

The game needs time to truly find a home in the Bethesda community. It’s been just two months, and there are many players across Xbox and PC who are eagerly uncovering the many mysteries it has to offer.

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Written by Tanay

Tanay wears more hats than Red Dead Redemption 2 characters. He's a musician, writer, voice-over artist and adores interactive media. His favourite games are the ones with memorable stories and characters. He's pursuing a master's degree in Behavioural Sciences. No, he won't read your mind.