Starfield is a complete success for Bethesda and Microsoft. Sales figures dominate the charts, despite millions of players getting Starfield for free thanks to Xbox Game Pass.
Like Netflix and Prime Video for movies and series, Xbox Games Pass is for video games. Millions of customers around the world pay for their subscription every month and get access to hundreds of different games for Xbox and/or PC. For years, Microsoft has pushed Game Pass and made it socially acceptable with extremely cheap offers. According to its own data, the service has now been in the black for a long time.
And this is despite the fact that older games have been available on Game Pass for a long time. Breakout hits or new blockbuster titles remained the exception. The developers were very afraid that early availability in Games Pass would have a negative impact on sales numbers.
With Starfield (Buy now €69.99 ) Bethesda has now released the ultimate triple-A title directly for release on Xbox Game Pass. Surprisingly, this probably didn’t have much impact on sales numbers. Although Microsoft has assumed so in an official report in the past.
Starfield with different sales records – despite Game Pass
Although millions of players around the world had access to Starfield “for free,” Bethesda’s new IP broke one record after another when it was released. Starfield is Bethesda’s best launch ever and the best-selling new IP of the year.
This means that fears that Game Pass will cause sales numbers to decline are unfounded. But it’s also because Microsoft has monetized it relatively smartly. Because even Game Pass subscribers are putting a lot of money on the table.
Many people have resorted to so-called “extra spending,” which primarily consists of premium upgrades with which Game Pass users can upgrade the base version included with the subscription service. Early access has also been linked to this.
It remains to be seen what effect this realization will have on officials. The ban threshold may now be lowered to put Triple A titles directly into Game Pass at launch. However, publishers will likely remain cautious until it becomes clear whether Starfield is an exception here.
“Prone to fits of apathy. Zombie ninja. Entrepreneur. Organizer. Evil travel aficionado. Coffee practitioner. Beer lover.”