Starfield’s Stellar Debut: How Bethesda’s Newest Release is Dominating Live-Streaming Charts

The long-awaited Bethesda game, Starfield, was finally released on early access last Thursday, August 31st 5pm PDT. Despite not being released in some time zones until Friday, the game managed to gather almost 4M hours watched and viewership hit a peak of 607K across live-streaming platforms (Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Kick, and Facebook Gaming) on Thursday alone. In fact, the peak viewership was reached even before the game was playable, as fans gathered in their favorite creator communities to wait for the launch.

The action-roleplaying game has been building suspense since it was announced by the Fallout 4 developers back in 2018, and is the first new creative property from Bethesda in almost 30 years. Referred to as “Skyrim in space,” the role-playing game is set in 2330 AD and allows players to explore different planets, galaxies, and ecosystems to unravel mysteries in the stars. 

Creators Help Boost Starfield to 20M Hours Watched

In the first weekend (from Thursday to Sunday), the game generated just under 20M hours watched and had an average viewership of 205K viewers. 

90% of that viewership came from Twitch channels. 9.2% from YouTube Gaming, 0.9% from Kick, and 0.1% from Facebook Gaming.

The top creators of the game all streamed live on Twitch. Shroud and CohhCarnage generated over a million hours watched each during the first weekend, with 1.6 and 1.4M hours watched respectively. CohhCarnage had the higher peak with 71K, while shroud was close behind with 68K.

Illojuan and Rubius, two popular Spanish-speaking creators on Twitch, generated 701K and 588K hours watched each. OTK creator Asmongold’s second channel, zackrawrr, was the fifth most-watched with 460K hours watched.

How Chat Messages Forecasted Starfield’s Success: A Look at Twitch in August

The accumulating hype has been evident across Twitch in August, with chat messages mentioning the game totaling 345K. Conversations surrounding the game first spiked on August 22nd, where over 19K messages were sent regarding the game. 

This was a day-on-day increase of 116%, and is also the same day the game was presented at GamesCom in Cologne. The hype increased even faster towards the end of the month, and on the 31st, the day of early access, 83.5K messages mentioned the game.

Taking a look at the top channels by chat mentions of the game over August and the top channels by hours watched for the game yesterday, there is some overlap with 2 of the top 5 of each appearing in both. 

In particular, CohhCarnage topped both leaderboards with 6.8K messages sent talking about the game in his channel’s chat for August and a total of 1.4M hours watched for the game over the weekend. 

Early Access and Beyond: What’s Next for Starfield?

The recent surge of hype and high viewership on the first few hours of early access confirms the much-anticipated game’s destiny for success. Starfield ranked #3 on StreamHatchet’s live-streaming leaderboard on Thursday behind only Just Chatting and GTA V, despite not being released in the UTC timezone as well as others. On Friday, the game was the second-most watched category, just 250K hours watched behind Just Chatting.

According to SteamDB, the game hit its peak player count on Sunday with 245K players, placing it at #41 on the site’s all-time top charts. Currently, February’s release of Hogwarts Legacy sits at #8 with an all-time peak of 879K players. Baldur’s Gate 3 is just behind at #9 with 875K players. 

With the full release of Starfield coming on Wednesday, can Bethesda launch into the top live-streaming and Steam charts and be in contention for Game of the Year?

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