Gears 5 attracted three million players in first week

Gears 5 attracted three million players in first week

Microsoft's latest first-party title Gears 5 has been played by three million players since its launch on September 6th.

That's according to the Big M, which claims that this is the single biggest release for any Xbox Game Studios title since Halo 4 back in 2012. Not only that - the firm says that three million figure is double the week one player base that 2016's Gears of War 4 managed to bring in.

Furthermore, Gears 5 is apparently the biggest-ever Xbox Game Pass launch on PC - hardly surprising given that the service only rolled out a few months ago and hasn't seen many new releases - as well as Microsoft's best launch on Steam. Again, that last fact isn't really surprising given that the Big M hasn't really been big on Valve's platform, instead trying to do its own thing with initiatives like Games for Windows and United Windows Platform (UWP).

As has pointed out before, companies reporting player figures for releases means far less when it is part of a subscription service like Xbox Game Pass given that the user base will be a mix of folks who have played full whack, subscribers to the platform and people who are just doing a trial.

"Thanks to the incredible support from our fans, Gears 5 kicked off the Holiday season strong – attracting over three million players in its opening weekend and setting new records for Xbox Game Pass with the biggest launch week of any Xbox Game Studios title this generation," Xbox marketing GM Aaron Greenberg said.

"The performance easily doubled the first week’s debut of Gears of War 4 and made Gears 5 the most-played Xbox Game Studios title in its first week since 2012’s Halo 4. First week performance includes the four-day early access period beginning Friday, September 6, which was exclusive to Gears 5 Ultimate Edition and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. On the PC, Gears 5 has nearly tripled the performance of its predecessor, becoming the biggest-ever launch for Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Xbox Game Studios’ best-ever debut on Steam."

The head of developer The Coalition Rod Fergusson said that Xbox boss Phil Spencer and first-party chief Matt Booty did little to interfere with Gears 5. That might be why the project was allowed to ditch UWP in favour of Win 32.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.