Bethesda’s highly anticipated game, Starfield, was launched with expectations to match or even surpass the success of their legendary title, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. However, the reality post-launch paints a starkly different picture. Within five months of its release, Starfield has witnessed a dramatic plunge in its player base, losing over 97% of its Steam gamers, signaling a significant setback for Bethesda and its parent company, Microsoft.
Initially, Starfield captivated a vast audience, peaking at 330,273 concurrent players on Steam shortly after its release. This enthusiasm was short-lived, as recent data from SteamDB indicates a steep decline to just under 9,000 active players. This stark contrast is even more pronounced when compared to the over 25,000 players still engaged with Skyrim on Steam, a game that’s over a decade old.
The reception of Starfield has been lukewarm, with current reviews on Steam showing a “mixed” sentiment, an improvement from the initially “mostly negative” feedback. However, it’s important to note that these figures don’t include players who purchased the game through the Xbox store or accessed it via Game Pass. Nevertheless, the significant drop in the player base is concerning for Bethesda, especially considering the financial investment made by players.
Bethesda has not been passive in its approach to improve Starfield. The company has committed to a rigorous update schedule, releasing a new update every six weeks. The latest update brought with it over 100 fixes, although it fell short of adding substantial new content. Future updates promise “all-new ways of traveling,” among other enhancements. Still, for now, the community has taken it upon itself to enrich the game, with mods playing a significant role in maintaining player interest.
Starfield offers an expansive universe with over a thousand planets to explore, featuring diverse locations like New Atlantis and Neon City. Despite these vast exploratory options, the presence of “dead planets” and criticism over the game’s lack of engaging content have been significant hurdles. Addressing these criticisms is crucial for Bethesda to achieve the long-term success and player retention that Skyrim enjoys.
As Bethesda forges ahead with its plans to revitalize Starfield, the game’s community remains hopeful yet cautious. For those committed to exploring the vastness of Starfield’s universe, advice on building the best outposts is readily available. Meanwhile, others looking for alternatives have a plethora of games similar to Starfield, indicating the gaming community’s diverse preferences in the face of Bethesda’s latest endeavor.
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