The highly anticipated Starfield, touted as Bethesda’s biggest game launch to date, has experienced a surprising decline in popularity just two months after its release. Recently, Skyrim’s Special Edition managed to surpass Starfield’s concurrent player count on Steam, with 12,705 players venturing into the world of Tamriel compared to 12,334 players exploring the galaxy in Starfield, according to SteamDB. This shift in rankings comes after a week of closely contested player counts, with only a small margin separating the two games. Despite the setback, it is essential to consider that Starfield is not exclusive to Steam, as it is also available on PC Game Pass, further expanding its player base.

While the comparison between Skyrim and Starfield may seem disheartening for the sci-fi exploration epic, it is crucial to note that Steam is not the sole platform hosting Starfield. PC Game Pass has also contributed significantly to its player count, with Xbox’s Phil Spencer revealing that over a million players tried out the game through Game Pass shortly after its release. In contrast, Steam had approximately 300,000 concurrent players during the same period. Bethesda themselves claimed that six million individuals played Starfield within a day of its release, solidifying its position as “the biggest Bethesda game launch of all time.”

Unfortunately, the lack of accessible data for Game Pass makes it challenging to gauge how the player counts on that platform compare to those on Steam. Skyrim’s Special Edition, however, is available on PC Game Pass, potentially giving it an advantage over Starfield on that platform. Moreover, Skyrim boasts not only its Special Edition but also its regular release and Skyrim VR, adding additional player options. Although these versions do not attract the same number of players as the Special Edition, they contribute to bolstering Skyrim’s overall player count.

One significant observation from this decline is how swiftly Starfield has faltered after its initial release. In just two months, it has slipped below Skyrim in terms of concurrent players, whereas Skyrim’s original release in 2011 took seven years to drop below 20,000 players on Steam. Even two months post-release, Skyrim managed to maintain around 90,000 concurrent players on the platform. The rapid decline of Starfield raises questions about the long-term engagement and sustainability of the game, despite its initial hype.

Following a brief period where Starfield fell behind Skyrim, it has since reclaimed its position on the Steam charts but still faces close competition from its fantasy predecessor. The two games continue to vie for players’ attention, with only a slight difference in player counts between them. In the coming days, it will be interesting to see if Starfield can regain its initial popularity or if Skyrim will maintain its dominance.

The decline of Starfield’s player count on Steam compared to Skyrim’s resurgence is a surprising turn of events for Bethesda’s highly anticipated sci-fi title. However, it is essential to consider the wider player base that Starfield enjoys through platforms like PC Game Pass. While the decline raises concerns about the game’s long-term success, it is still too early to make definitive judgments. Only time will tell if Starfield can reclaim its initial glory and secure a lasting place in the hearts and gaming libraries of players worldwide.


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