2023 STEAM Concurrent Players (CCU) Official Watch Thread

(Week ending September 3)
(sample size of over 2.4 million active Xbox accounts)

Despite only being available in early access, Starfield has managed to top our weekly Xbox Gameplay Chart, beating the likes of Fortnite and Call of Duty:

 
With Starfield officially releasing on Sept 5, 5:00 PM PST, one of the key metrics many people will be closely monitoring is Starfield's peak CCU on Steam. If anyone has been following my posts closely, I've been documenting the global preorder sales rankings for Starfield on Steam and comparing them against Elden Ring and Hogwarts Legacy. The reason I've been using these 2 games is that they are two of the biggest and best selling games in the last 1.5 years and thus, would serve as a good barometer to measure Starfield's potential sales performance.

Now that the 13 weeks preorder duration for Starfield is coming to a close, we now have some interesting data points and the complete 13 weeks preorder sales rankings that we can use to help us guesstimate where peak CCU for Starfield may land at. Some key data points:

- Early access (which started Aug 31) peak CCU was 248,632, which was achieved on Sept 4.
- During its 13 weeks preorder duration, Starfield was able to crack the top 10 a total of 7 times (#6, #8, #10, #7, #3, #4, #1). It remained in the global top 100 for 13 consecutive weeks.
- During Hogwarts Legacy's 24 weeks preorder duration, it was able to crack the top 10 a total of 5 times (#8, #4, #4, #3, #1). It remained in the global top 100 for 15 weeks.
- During Elden Ring's 16+ weeks preorder duration, it was able to crack the top 10 a total of 4 times (#5, #7, #6, #1). It remained in the global top 100 for 16+ consecutive weeks.

Let's see where peak CCU for Starfield lands at among the below paid titles. Peak CCU will most likely be reached on the 1st weekend (9/9-9/10) or possibly even the 2nd weekend (9/16-9/17).

#NameAll-Time Peak
5. Cyberpunk 20771,054,388
6. ELDEN RING953,426
7. New World913,634
8. Hogwarts Legacy879,308
9. Baldur's Gate 3875,343
16. Fallout 4472,962


StarfieldSteam global top seller rankings (based on revenue)Elden RingSteam global top seller rankings (based on revenue)Hogwarts LegacySteam global top seller rankings (based on revenue)
Tue, June 6, 2023 - Tue, June 13, 2023 (1.5 days of sales) (week 1)6Tue, November 2, 2021 - Tue, November 9, 2021 (week 1)5Tue, August 23, 2022 - Tue, August 30, 2022 (week 1)17
Tue, June 13, 2023 - Tue, June 20, 2023 (week 2)8Tue, November 9, 2021 - Tue, November 16, 2021 (week 2)13Tue, August 30, 2022 - Tue, September 6, 2022 (week 2)27
Tue, June 20, 2023 - Tue, June 27, 2023 (week 3)17Tue, November 16, 2021 - Tue, November 23, 2021 (week 3)27Tue, September 6, 2022 - Tue, September 13, 2022 (week 3)63
Tue, June 27, 2023 - Tue, July 4, 2023 (week 4)57Tue, November 23, 2021 - Tue, November 30, 2021 (week 4)100Tue, September 13, 2022 - Tue, September 20, 2022 (week 4)dropped out of top 100
Tue, July 4, 2023 - Tue, July 11, 2023 (week 5)65Tue, November 30, 2021 - Tue, December 7, 2021 (week 5)54Tue, September 20, 2022 - Tue, September 27, 2022 (week 5)dropped out of top 100
Tue, July 11, 2023 - Tue, July 18, 2023 (week 6)39Tue, December 7, 2021 - Tue, December 14, 2021 (week 6)41Tue, September 27, 2022 - Tue, October 4, 2022 (week 6)dropped out of top 100
Tue, July 18, 2023 - Tue, July 25, 2023 (week 7)27Tue, December 14, 2021 - Tue, December 21, 2021 (week 7)38Tue, October 4, 2022 - Tue, October 11, 2022 (week 7)dropped out of top 100
Tue, July 25, 2023 - Tue, August 1, 2023 (week 8)17Tue, December 21, 2021 - Tue, December 28, 2021 (week 8)35Tue, October 11, 2022 - Tue, October 18, 2022 (week 8)dropped out of top 100
Tue, August 1, 2023 - Tue, August 8, 2023 (week 9)10Tue, December 28, 2021 - Tue, January 4, 2022 (week 9)47Tue, October 18, 2022 - Tue, October 25, 2022 (week 9)dropped out of top 100
Tue, August 8, 2023 - Tue, August 15, 2023 (week 10)7Tue, January 4, 2022 - Tue, January 11, 2022 (week 10)16Tue, October 25, 2022 - Tue, November 1, 2022 (week 10)dropped out of top 100
Tue, August 15, 2023 - Tue, August 22, 2023 (week 11)3Tue, January 11, 2022 - Tue, January 18, 2022 (week 11)11Tue, November 1, 2022 - Tue, November 8, 2022 (week 11)dropped out of top 100
Tue, August 22, 2023 - Tue, August 29, 2023 (week 12)4Tue, January 18, 2022 - Tue, January 25, 2022 (week 12)14Tue, November 8, 2022 - Tue, November 15, 2022 (week 12)79
Tue, August 29, 2023 - Tue, September 5, 2023 (week 13)1Tue, January 25, 2022 - Tue, February 1, 2022 (week 13)11Tue, November 15, 2022 - Tue, November 22, 2022 (week 13)88
Aug 31, 2023 - Early access starts
Sept 6, 2023 - Starfield releases
Tue, February 1, 2022 - Tue, February 8, 2022 (week 14)7Tue, November 22, 2022 - Tue, November 29, 2022 (week 14)dropped out of top 100
Preorder duration - 13 weeksTue, February 8, 2022 - Tue, February 15, 2022 (week 15)6Tue, November 29, 2022 - Tue, December 6, 2022 (week 15)87
Title has charted 12 consecutive preorder weeks in global top 100 so farTue, February 15, 2022 - Tue, February 22, 2022 (week 16)1Tue, December 6, 2022 - Tue, December 13, 2022 (week 16)85
Feb 25, 2022 - Elden Ring releasedTue, December 13, 2022 - Tue, December 20, 2022 (week 17)28
Preorder duration - 16 weeks, 2 daysTue, December 20, 2022 - Tue, December 27, 2022 (week 18)36
Title charted 16+ consecutive preorder weeks in global top 100Tue, December 27, 2022 - Tue, January 3, 2023 (week 19)23
Tue, January 3, 2023 - Tue, January 10, 2023 (week 20)8
Tue, January 10, 2023 - Tue, January 17, 2023 (week 21)4
Tue, January 17, 2023 - Tue, January 24, 2023 (week 22)4
Tue, January 24, 2023 - Tue, January 31, 2023 (week 23)3
Tue, January 31, 2023 - Tue, February 7, 2023 (week 24)1
Feb 7, 2023 - Hogwarts Legacy released
Preorder duration - 24 weeks
Title charted 15 preorder weeks in global top 100
 
Last edited:
Some comparisons between the number of players reached and Steam-only data for some high-profile Game Pass releases:

High On Life (PC/Xbox):
7.5M players in 4-5 months (released December 13, 2022)
11k reviews on Steam
11k CCU peak
Current estimates go from 271k to 436k bought on Steam
Followers: 81k

Forza Horizon 5 (PC/Xbox):
32M players in 23 months (released November 9, 2021)
10M players in a week
138k reviews on Steam
81k CCU peak
Current estimates go from 1.6M to 3.8M bought on Steam
Followers: 349k

Hi-Fi Rush (PC/Xbox):
3M players in 7 months (released January 25, 2023)
2M players in a month
18k reviews on Steam
6k CCU peak
Current estimates go from 260k to 540k bought on Steam
Followers: 64k

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Game (also released on PS):
1M players in 24 hours (released August 18, 2023)
8k reviews on Steam
17k CCU peak
Current estimates go from 132 to 254k bought on Steam
Followers: 43k

Atomic Heart (also released on PS):
5M players in 3 weeks (released February 20, 2023)
24k reviews on Steam
38k CCU peak
Current estimates go from 369k to 990k bought on Steam
Followers: 216k

Starfield's $100 Early Access (as of now):
236k CCU peak
Followers: 411k

I think a lot of people on PC (if not the majority) are going to play Starfield through Game Pass PC (not that it's an issue for Bethesda since it's what they want anyway). Additional factors:
- MS also added Game Pass PC in 40 new countries last April (I think 86 countries overall)
- Early access being $35 with the Game Pass Premium upgrade VS $100 on Steam is a big incentive
- and some may play through the Cloud if their PC can't run the game.

i think the majority will buy it on Steam. This is a game that will have mods, expansions and will be played for months / years . A PC player with Steam will prefer buy it on their favorite store, instead of subscribing Gamepass PC for it. Some will subscribe Gamepass PC for playing the game, but I think that the majority will be console players without a Xbox.
 
Starfield down to 86 on Meta, probably will end at 85 as more reviews come. It will be interesting to see legs/CCU over the next months. Space isn't as popular as medieval fantasy setting.
 
A hour and a half after Starfield's full release at 7:30 pm Mountain Standard Time, Starfield sits at 241,706 CCU

This beats Starfield's early access release peak of 234,502 CCU

Not too surprised at the relatively low CCU. It's a weekday (Tuesday specifically), university and high school is starting up, it's only one half of the world (North and South America), the game launched relatively late in the day in the day in the East Coast and South America. Still, I'd arguing, it's under performing a little in comparison to expectations. It's quite likely gamepass is driving significant traffic for Starfield on PC at least. Regardless, it's a bit too early to conclusively state what CCU performance is going to be. Best to wait until the weekend imo

Edit: Interesting to note as well, is that current the game stands at a 89% positive review rate on Steam at 3,000 reviews. While not to the same level of the overwhelemingly positive steam reviews of Baldur's Gate 3, it is better then I think most (or at least those who were very down on the game) expected. It also reflects, and is one point higher, then the Opencritic score
 
The user score I what I'm most interested in. In a weird way, launching early allowed for many important mods like dlss to be up and running before the wider release
 
A hour and a half after Starfield's full release at 7:30 pm Mountain Standard Time, Starfield sits at 241,706 CCU

This beats Starfield's early access release peak of 234,502 CCU

Not too surprised at the relatively low CCU. It's a weekday (Tuesday specifically), university and high school is starting up, it's only one half of the world (North and South America), the game launched relatively late in the day in the day in the East Coast and South America. Still, I'd arguing, it's under performing a little in comparison to expectations. It's quite likely gamepass is driving significant traffic for Starfield on PC at least. Regardless, it's a bit too early to conclusively state what CCU performance is going to be. Best to wait until the weekend imo

Edit: Interesting to note as well, is that current the game stands at a 89% positive review rate on Steam at 3,000 reviews. While not to the same level of the overwhelemingly positive steam reviews of Baldur's Gate 3, it is better then I think most (or at least those who were very down on the game) expected. It also reflects, and is one point higher, then the Opencritic score

While CCU does appear to be on the low side for now, I agree that we need to wait until the weekend to properly evaluate Starfield's performance, as it relates to CCU. There are also a couple other noteworthy things to bring up here, as well. When I checked very early in the morning today, Starfield was the #1 top seller on Steam in 15 of the 29 countries tracked by Steam. When I checked again about 10 min ago, Starfield was the #1 seller in 22 of the 29 countries tracked by Steam. Also, I don't know how big the PC games market is in Russia, but it's worth pointing out that Starfield isn't being sold in Russia.
 
i think it's clear now it will do solid on steam but gamepass is going to suck up the numbers. as we should have expected more in hindsight.

they probably will make a fair chunk of non-GP revenue between early access and people outright buying the game on steam, pc and xbox. that should be all gravy to them.

heck i predicted 500k and i think people thought i was predicting low.

I guess the flip side of early access killing some hype, is it also lengthens the hype cycle a bit. As today is kind of like a second launch. Still #1 right now or games on Twitch which seems pretty good for a SP game staying there mostly for a week. Just chatting is ahead overall.

Also looking through my sub feed on YT still seeing a ton of Starfield vids from both Destiny creators and general gaming channels.
 
Last edited:
Starfield down to 86 on Meta, probably will end at 85 as more reviews come. It will be interesting to see legs/CCU over the next months. Space isn't as popular as medieval fantasy setting.
It's still 88 on PC, but I don't think MC really matters for a game like this. The Bethesda brand carries it far more than a score.
 
250K peak at the moment is far far below what most were predicting. We'll see how it fares over the weekend but this is a disappointing launch.

It's still 88 on PC, but I don't think MC really matters for a game like this. The Bethesda brand carries it far more than a score.

MC might not matter but the big review sites and influencers definitely will.
IGN and Gamespot who take a lion share of traffic giving it a 7 will effect it, as will some recent big youtube/twitch channels posting their thoughts and being disappointed.
 
A hour and a half after Starfield's full release at 7:30 pm Mountain Standard Time, Starfield sits at 241,706 CCU

This beats Starfield's early access release peak of 234,502 CCU

Not too surprised at the relatively low CCU. It's a weekday (Tuesday specifically), university and high school is starting up, it's only one half of the world (North and South America), the game launched relatively late in the day in the day in the East Coast and South America. Still, I'd arguing, it's under performing a little in comparison to expectations. It's quite likely gamepass is driving significant traffic for Starfield on PC at least. Regardless, it's a bit too early to conclusively state what CCU performance is going to be. Best to wait until the weekend imo

Edit: Interesting to note as well, is that current the game stands at a 89% positive review rate on Steam at 3,000 reviews. While not to the same level of the overwhelemingly positive steam reviews of Baldur's Gate 3, it is better then I think most (or at least those who were very down on the game) expected. It also reflects, and is one point higher, then the Opencritic score

Positive review rate is down to 82% with 17k reviews. Its only going down with more reviews.
 
Launching with 5 days of early access with its actual launch day being on a weekday means that launch playtime will be spread across many days rather than centered around a single weekend peak.
 
250K peak at the moment is far far below what most were predicting. We'll see how it fares over the weekend but this is a disappointing launch.



MC might not matter but the big review sites and influencers definitely will.
IGN and Gamespot who take a lion share of traffic giving it a 7 will effect it, as will some recent big youtube/twitch channels posting their thoughts and being disappointed.


Lets say it reach 400k peak CCU. Thats around 2 million sales first week. GP is mostly on consoles so XB will at must sell half million.

2.5 million first week between XB/PC. FO4 shipped 12 million day 1, sold through 7 million first week. SF is going to sell less then half of FO4 on retail.

I'm not sure if GP can justify this considering USA subs revenue have seen bit of decline from 2021.
 
I know its not a competition but its wild to see there are currently more people still playing BG3 right now (almost 300k) compared to the peak of Starfield which is 250k
 
250K peak at the moment is far far below what most were predicting. We'll see how it fares over the weekend but this is a disappointing launch.



MC might not matter but the big review sites and influencers definitely will.
IGN and Gamespot who take a lion share of traffic giving it a 7 will effect it, as will some recent big youtube/twitch channels posting their thoughts and being disappointed.

It's premature to call Starfield's launch disappointing when Bethesda didn't release numbers yet. So far, on Steam, it's tracking well ahead over High on Life (biggest SP-only launch on GP, biggest 3rd party launch on GP) and Forza Horizon 5 (biggest XGS launch).

High on Life:
Steam peak: 11k CCU
Total: 7.5M+ players in ~4 months

Forza Horizon 5:
Steam peak: 80k CCU
4.5M+ players on launch day
10M+ players on launch week

Starfield:
Steam peak: 250k CCU

Lower Steam numbers than expected could also be good news for Game Pass.

Lets say it reach 400k peak CCU. Thats around 2 million sales first week. GP is mostly on consoles so XB will at must sell half million.

2.5 million first week between XB/PC. FO4 shipped 12 million day 1, sold through 7 million first week. SF is going to sell less then half of FO4 on retail.

I'm not sure if GP can justify this considering USA subs revenue have seen bit of decline from 2021.

Bethesda's goal since their acquisition is to push Game Pass subscriptions and for Starfield to get as many players as possible. Todd Howard was told by MS for the launch they're expecting Starfield to get more players than Skyrim and Fallout 4. I think they're very happy with the revenue that the Premium Edition has generated but now they're probably going to look at the impact on Game Pass subs.

Not sure the decline of USA subs revenue was related to Game Pass. From what we know on a worldwide basis from the quarterly reports, Game Pass has shown continuous growth and hit new highs earlier this year.
 
The way I see it starfield has 4 main goals in this order of importance:

  • Be a great game released by Xbox first party studios
  • Drive Game pass subs
  • Drive Xbox hardware sales
  • Have a good amount of players/copies sold (Steam/Early access)

    I think 1 and 4 are already achieved.
    2 and 3 are the next goals
I say 4 has been achieved this early because of that report of 1M+ on early access. Not sure about the #s of copies sold as we will have to wait some time for that info.
 
The way I see it starfield has 4 main goals in this order of importance:

  • Be a great game released by Xbox first party studios
  • Drive Game pass subs
  • Drive Xbox hardware sales
  • Have a good amount of players/copies sold (Steam/Early access)

    I think 1 and 4 are already achieved.
    2 and 3 are the next goals
I say 4 has been achieved this early because of that report of 1M+ on early access. Not sure about the #s of copies sold as we will have to wait some time for that info.

We’ll see how effective it will be with hardware sales. I don’t expect to see a huge bump after this week.
 
The way I see it starfield has 4 main goals in this order of importance:

  • Be a great game released by Xbox first party studios
  • Drive Game pass subs
  • Drive Xbox hardware sales
  • Have a good amount of players/copies sold (Steam/Early access)

    I think 1 and 4 are already achieved.
    2 and 3 are the next goals
I say 4 has been achieved this early because of that report of 1M+ on early access. Not sure about the #s of copies sold as we will have to wait some time for that info.

Regarding Game Pass subs and consoles, while we don't have much to go by in the way of measuring Starfield's impact on them, we do have Amazon US video game sales rankings we can use. Obviously, this is just Amazon US only and it doesn't give us the complete/full picture. But at least it's something and better than nothing.

Notes:

- Game Pass Ultimate codes (both the 1 & 3 month) are currently sold out on Amazon US right now. The 3 month GPU codes ranked as high as #3 on the daily rankings before selling out.
- As Vault-Tec pointed out above, Game Pass has shown continuous growth and this matches up with the yearly rankings below.
- Series X consoles have moved up monthly in the rankings since June (June was also their "not E3" showcase). Let's see if they can maintain/grow that in Oct, Nov, Dec.

Month1 month gpu amazon sales rankings3 month gpu amazon sales rankingsSeries X
Jan 2023154874
Feb 2023155048 (forza bundle) / 89 (standard sku)
Mar 2023194476
Apr 2023235295
May 2023339350
June 2023103590
July 2023143153
Aug 2023122725
Sept 2023 (so far)9516


Year 1 month gpu amazon sales rankings3 month gpu amazon sales rankings
202097didn't chart in top 100
20214544
20223437
2023 (so far)1029
 
Last edited:
Starfield w/o GP would have been a lock for 1M+ CCU, I think this is a great example of why day 1 release of the top end AAA games isn’t viable outside of the scenario in which the game is owned by the owner of the service which thankfully for Starfield is the case.
 
The number of players is pointless metric IMO. One exemple

"Mortal Shell has sold 1 million units worldwide and reached 10 million players" Thats in 3 years.


Doubt MS will even bother to break down so called players. Like how many unique GP accounts played SF first week etc

Steam CCU tells us much more about game performance then random player count drop by companies.
 
Starfield w/o GP would have been a lock for 1M+ CCU, I think this is a great example of why day 1 release of the top end AAA games isn’t viable outside of the scenario in which the game is owned by the owner of the service which thankfully for Starfield is the case.
Doubt that.
Other metrics are not really supporting that claim.

There is / was no Cyberpunk 2077 level of hype around the game. Especially if you talk about being a lock.
 
Steam CCU tells us much more about game performance then random player count drop by companies.


Except again all that doesnt really Apply to starfield because it's available on gamepass. both on pc and xbox. as much as player counts suck, theyre actually kind of the only way to measure big gamepass titles. just like netflix doesn't measure a movie by box office $ that dont exist, but by watch time or how many people watched. now the fact ms is going to give us some fluffy stat rather than something concrete we can compare across titles is another thing. they dont want to give us info. other than nonsense to make something seem successful. but that doesnt mean it isn't.

Yes if you could only play via a purchase like non-gp titles, then normal game metrics would apply.

not that it isn't great fun to disect steam ccu anyway, but limitations need to be kept in mind.

any sale of the game is gravy to ms as their lynchpin is gamepass and people paying $15/month (I dont like GP as a strategy and have doubts about it's viability personally but setting that aside).

honestly again, if i was a pc player and broke, i would use gp as a rental service. a month or two of gp and i'd get my fill of starfield for 15-30 instead of 70, then cancel it. i used to do that with ea access when it was a thing. a game disc rental back in the day was easily $5-$7 for a few days (and this was years ago when money was worth double), ea access was like $5 for 30 days if there was a game you wanted on there. no contest. so i think a lot of people will do that if nothing else. or another way, it'd be ~$5-6 for a ten day rental of any gp title (just breaking it down another arbitrary pro-rated time frame to show the value vs renting). and you dont even have to go to the store or return anything.

There is / was no Cyberpunk 2077 level of hype around the game. Especially if you talk about being a lock.

I disagree, it was very hyped. I dont know if it was quite CP 2077 levels, or what is, but it was the most hyped game I've seen in a while. part of it seemed to be there wasn't much else going on for a few months before or after, of comparable hype. there was nothing else to focus on. sure there was diablo iv, bg3, remnant 2, but they werent really comparable imo (maybe diablo is in sales idk, but it wasn't in hype). it was understandable, starfield was the next big rpg from bethesda, and everybody knows iconic games like skyrim and fallout.

and hype doesnt mean sales, cyberpunk might have been more hyped imo than red dead or even gta, certainly the witcher, but sold a lot less (cp was a great succes imo, but it still sold much less than those all timers)
 
Last edited:
Lets say it reach 400k peak CCU. Thats around 2 million sales first week. GP is mostly on consoles so XB will at must sell half million.

2.5 million first week between XB/PC. FO4 shipped 12 million day 1, sold through 7 million first week. SF is going to sell less then half of FO4 on retail.

I'm not sure if GP can justify this considering USA subs revenue have seen bit of decline from 2021.

We have F4 numbers?
Yeah, I mean its not going to get anywhere close to the sales of Fallout 4 due to no Playstation and GP on Xbox but the PC sales will be interesting to compare.

As you said, PC GP is relatively small and so Steam sales should still be a good indicator.

Just from social media impressions/views, I don't see Starfield having near the pull Fallout does as an IP atm, regardless of reception.

It's premature to call Starfield's launch disappointing when Bethesda didn't release numbers yet.

Not really, a lot of people predicted numbers as high as 700-800K, even 1M+ Steam CCU.
BG3 did 870K and is still doing 400K+ 24hr peaks.

The number of players is pointless metric IMO. One exemple

"Mortal Shell has sold 1 million units worldwide and reached 10 million players" Thats in 3 years.


Doubt MS will even bother to break down so called players. Like how many unique GP accounts played SF first week etc

Steam CCU tells us much more about game performance then random player count drop by companies.

Definitely. Total player count only shows who has downloaded but does not show retention.

Total player count could be useful when given in regular intervals or milestones (the big GaaS games did this when they launched).

We might get sales insight with UK/EU and US NPD. After that, revenue from this quarter and GP sub numbers if disclosed will be the next possible metrics.
 
Except again all that doesnt really Apply to starfield because it's available on gamepass. both on pc and xbox. as much as player counts suck, theyre actually kind of the only way to measure big gamepass titles. just like netflix doesn't measure a movie by box office $ that dont exist, but by watch time or how many people watched. now the fact ms is going to give us some fluffy stat rather than something concrete we can compare across titles is another thing. they dont want to give us info. other than nonsense to make something seem successful. but that doesnt mean it isn't.

Yes if you could only play via a purchase like non-gp titles, then normal game metrics would apply.

not that it isn't great fun to disect steam ccu anyway, but limitations need to be kept in mind.

any sale of the game is gravy to ms as their lynchpin is gamepass and people paying $15/month (I dont like GP as a strategy and have doubts about it's viability personally but setting that aside).

honestly again, if i was a pc player and broke, i would use gp as a rental service. a month or two of gp and i'd get my fill of starfield for 15-30 instead of 70, then cancel it. i used to do that with ea access when it was a thing. a game disc rental back in the day was easily $5-$7 for a few days (and this was years ago when money was worth double), ea access was like $5 for 30 days if there was a game you wanted on there. no contest. so i think a lot of people will do that if nothing else. or another way, it'd be ~$5-6 for a ten day rental of any gp title (just breaking it down another arbitrary pro-rated time frame to show the value vs renting). and you dont even have to go to the store or return anything.



I disagree, it was very hyped. I dont know if it was quite CP 2077 levels, or what is, but it was the most hyped game I've seen in a while.

and hype doesnt mean sales, cyberpunk might have been more hyped imo than red dead or even gta, certainly the witcher, but sold a lot less (cp was a great succes imo, but it still sold much less than those all timers)

Hopefully MS provide some more numbers this time. About CP 2077 hype, it did great selling 13.4 million first month. Around 7 million on Steam alone. Thats way better then Witcher 3 launch.

Witcher 3 toke 2 years to sell 14 million.

Though because of word of mouth CP2077 was found in bargain bins few months later but thats different story.
Starfield w/o GP would have been a lock for 1M+ CCU, I think this is a great example of why day 1 release of the top end AAA games isn’t viable outside of the scenario in which the game is owned by the owner of the service which thankfully for Starfield is the case.

Starfield is victim of unrealistic expectations, its not because of GP which have little bearing on Steam. Fallout 4 did 472k CCU back in 2015 but that was established IP.

With realistic expectation now that game have released.

500k CCU peak will be great result. 400k will be good and 300k or under will be poor result IMO.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
I think fretting about Starfield CCU on a weekday isn't exactly what one would call, good analysis. I don't think it's entirely wrong, but I really do think it's important to wait for the weekend to make a declarative and absolutist statement. Otherwise it's simply too early. It's fine to make observations early on, but without weekend numbers I do think it's silly to declare where Starfield will or will not land CCU wise. Thinking it'll be low is fine, it's reasonable, I just think it's too early to make a declarative call

Speaking of which, Starfield peaked at 269,177 CCU today which is a 8300 or so increase from Yesterday's peak
 
Starfield is victim of unrealistic expectations, its not because of GP which have little bearing on Steam. Fallout 4 did 472k CCU back in 2015 but that was established IP.

With realistic expectation now that game have released.

500k CCU peak will be great result. 400k will be good and 300k or under will be poor result IMO.

We can't know currently if it's something Microsoft is happy with just from external signs, but the game does have to be more successful than Fallout 4. Saying that FO was an established IP doesn't mean much to me, because the studio chose this path and sacrificed years of development and hundreds of millions of dollars to make this instead of making Fallout 5 or ES6, presumably with the expectation that it would be a new IP worthy of standing alongside those others. It's not necessarily that it needs more copies sold, because those metrics are a little blurry due to GP and console benefits that come with the release, but it does need to be "better" than FO4 in order to not be a decline over that game because of the massively increasing costs associated with it's development.

There were 400-500 full time equivalents working on this game for about the last 4 years (with prepro since 2016 and a staffing ramp over 2018/2019). It had a longer development cycle and ~2-2.5x the staffing of Fallout 4. Salaries are higher in 2023 than 2015. It probably closer to 3x as much to make this game.

As I said, what counts as "profitability" is only known to Microsoft because they'll be calculating the profits on consoles they moved because of the game, subs they moved, etc in addition to consoles sold. Reputational benefits. That kind of thing. But whatever number they come up with being significantly behind FO4's profitability would be making people concerned, I think.
 
its not because of GP which have little bearing on Steam.
Flat wrong IMO. It has a huge bearing, just like it does on MS first party retail sales since GP existed. There is another avenue that is quite popular to get the game "free". Steam is not a console, it exists as one of many easily available options on Windows. This has been said as a point for ROG Ally vs steam deck in many tech reviews "you can play your Gamepass library or Steam library on Ally but you're limited to steam on Deck"

Witcher 3 toke 2 years to sell 14 million.


Hype vs sales. Cyberpunk had more hype IMO, but less sales.

More damning for me for Starfield is checking just now it's only 5th on Xbox most played. At least if the titles are ordered left to right and not random as I assume. Then it would be #1 fortnight, #2 COD, #3 Rainbow 6 Siege (this one seems odd unless theres some reason for a bump I'm unaware?) #4 Roblox and #5 Starfield. I presumed Starfield would be #1.
 
Last edited:
#3 Rainbow 6 Siege (this one seems odd unless theres some reason for a bump I'm unaware?)
Siege has always been popular for awhile now and its on of the most popular games on gamepass as well so im sure that helps a lot.
 
More damning for me for Starfield is checking just now it's only 5th on Xbox most played. At least if the titles are ordered left to right and not random as I assume. Then it would be #1 fortnight, #2 COD, #3 Rainbow 6 Siege (this one seems odd unless theres some reason for a bump I'm unaware?) #4 Roblox and #5 Starfield. I presumed Starfield would be #1.

Two of these titles are free to play and all of them are multiplayer titles, if I'm not mistaken. These games will always be firmly affixed at the top and would be hard for any game to topple them. But if we look strictly at the most played Game Pass titles, Starfield is #1 in US, UK, and Japan.
 
More damning for me for Starfield is checking just now it's only 5th on Xbox most played. At least if the titles are ordered left to right and not random as I assume. Then it would be #1 fortnight, #2 COD, #3 Rainbow 6 Siege (this one seems odd unless theres some reason for a bump I'm unaware?) #4 Roblox and #5 Starfield. I presumed Starfield would be #1.
Xbox most played are always delayed

What you are seeing is the early access numbers at the moment and it being at #5 means Starfield will have a huge launch once game pass subscribers are added on. I expect it to be at number 1 by the end of the week
 
Last edited:
It looks like Starfield topped out at ~264k today, just under it's all time 269k peak.

I assume this means it will set a new modest CCU high this weekend, maybe 300k can be broken.

It's odd to me that Starfield peaks early in the afternoon, dont games with many USA users typically peak 7-10PM on steam? Or am I incorrect? Does it suggest a lot of China purchases or something?
 
I swear even last month the expectations that this would easily clear BG3 on steam was a thing. even heard people say it would end up reaching CP2077 numbers.


yep, i tried to tamp that down but even i predicted 500k which seemed way low compared to everybody else lol

the gamepass effect was a lot bigger than we expected. should be kept in mind for next time.
 
I swear even last month the expectations that this would easily clear BG3 on steam was a thing. even heard people say it would end up reaching CP2077 numbers.

It turned out that Game Pass PC is now a lot bigger than expected. Which is in line with Phil Spencer saying they were seeing "incredible growth".
 
Flat wrong IMO. It has a huge bearing, just like it does on MS first party retail sales since GP existed. There is another avenue that is quite popular to get the game "free". Steam is not a console, it exists as one of many easily available options on Windows. This has been said as a point for ROG Ally vs steam deck in many tech reviews "you can play your Gamepass library or Steam library on Ally but you're limited to steam on Deck"




Hype vs sales. Cyberpunk had more hype IMO, but less sales.

More damning for me for Starfield is checking just now it's only 5th on Xbox most played. At least if the titles are ordered left to right and not random as I assume. Then it would be #1 fortnight, #2 COD, #3 Rainbow 6 Siege (this one seems odd unless theres some reason for a bump I'm unaware?) #4 Roblox and #5 Starfield. I presumed Starfield would be #1.

You were right, GP on XB/PC seem to have huge affect on Steam sales. Starfield will likely not even reach Skyrim peak let alone FO4. It probably make sense, much cheaper to even try it on PC through GP for a month. And 25m GP subs already had substantial Bethesta RPG fans looking at CCU of over 1m.

Its also why Steam peak isn't going much higher compared to EA, majority who wanted to buy it on Steam payed $100 for EA.

I do think without GP Steam peak CCU likely would have crossed 500k even with current metrics.
 
I swear even last month the expectations that this would easily clear BG3 on steam was a thing. even heard people say it would end up reaching CP2077 numbers.

Most people expected 700K-1M from what I see. Big miss. Could be due to a bigger GP effect, could also be due to not as much excitement for Starfield and a lower than expected critical reception.

This weekend will be the final test. Could we see a 50% peak increase, maybe to 500K?

BG3 had a 30% by the end of the weekdays whereas Starfield was barely up.

Word of mouth is certainly not at a point where its going to give sizeable boosts. 75% on Steam now, 3.6 on Xbox and late reviews are coming in lower.
 
I swear even last month the expectations that this would easily clear BG3 on steam was a thing. even heard people say it would end up reaching CP2077 numbers.
I expected it to narrowly make the top 10 all time CCU, so slightly more than 700k. I expected that PC bros still hate Gamepass. Apparently not.
 
Word of mouth is certainly not at a point where its going to give sizeable boosts. 75% on Steam now, 3.6 on Xbox and late reviews are coming in lower.
I don't think the review scores in Xbox store means much, all games in top 5 most played have score lower than 4.
 
While Game Pass looks to have had a meaningful impact on CCU for Starfield, I would argue the review scores and social media's impact have just been as detrimental, if not more. The percentage of people on Steam who has given the game a positive rating has dropped all the way down to 79% now. At one point, I believe it was as high as 89%. I also see a lot of negativity surrounding this game on social media, too. Certain huge influencers who have gigantic following have been trashing this game left and right. So, while Game Pass is mostly definitely a big factor, there are other factors at play here as well.

CCU right now is at 265,698 and it does look like it'll topple 300k today. But even 300k+ is far below the CCU that some/many of us predicted.
 
For sure, what's intriguing is how little the standard launch added to the Early access peak.

Yeah, this in particular is something I can't wrap my head around. CCU hardly budged when this game went on sale the next day after early access ended. I think it only went up around 2k or so the day this game exited early access.
 
Not reaching HL EA peak CCU after the regular launch is a big surprise when a lot of us expected us to perform better than HL EA before realizing difference in pricing.
 
Back
Top Bottom