Starfield sales were always going to be a question mark, given how many players would be able to play the game from day one on Xbox or PC Game Pass instead of buying it. But Starfield has performed strongly on Steam, and we have new data from the NPD (now Circana) that yes, it did sell well despite the Game Pass “giveaway.”
The full list (NPD via Windows Central) shows what its competition was in the top 10:
- Mortal Kombat 1
- EA Sports FC 24
- Madden NFL 24
- Payday 3
- NBA 2K24
- The Crew: Motorfest
- Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon
- Hogwarts Legacy
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)
So, a few things to note here. This is more impressive because this is an Xbox and PC exclusive, unlike these other games, cutting out the entire PlayStation playerbase. Plus, with around 30 million Game Pass subs at this point, that is a ton of people in the Xbox ecosystem who do not need to buy the game at all. So this entire figure is made up of people who bought it on Xbox outside of Game Pass or people who bought it on Steam, which was a sizable amount, given how high the concurrent player values have been there.
However, sure, you can go the other direction as well. This is a mainline Bethesda game, which is something we only get every five years or so, even though this is a new, untested IP. Also, this is the NPD where there are more Xbox sales in the US that across the rest of the planet, proportionally, so that could skew things here. Also, there was no hugely blockbuster competition in this month outside of mostly sports games and Mortal Kombat. The end of the list shows Hogwarts Legacy continuing its sleeper run as one of the most popular games of the year, despite being mostly forgotten about by many in the wake of so many other huge, high-scoring releases.
Starfield too was far from the highest scoring game of the year. There are dozens higher, and it’s on the low end of mainline Bethesda games. But it’s selling, and its playercount is high, that much is clear from this data, and others we can extract from places like Steam.