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Gears 5 has set a record as Microsoft’s biggest launch week for a first-party game this generation. The company announced that Gears 5 hit 3 million players on opening week. That gave it the highest first-week player count of any game since Halo 4 launched in 2012. Notably, that first-week figure included the four-day early access period that began on Friday, September 6, which only included Ultimate Edition purchasers and Game Pass Ultimate subscribers.
The player count than doubled the prior game in the series, Gears of War 4. On PC the game was an even bigger improvement over its predecessor, tripling Gears 4’s PC debut. It also marks Xbox Game Studios’ biggest launch on Steam ever.
That early access happened to coincide with a brief Xbox Live outage and some launch hiccups for the Coalition’s latest game. The game has also been praised for its accessibility options, following Microsoft’s push for increased accessibility with its adaptive controller.
“Gears 5 is very much a return of those best elements of Gears of War, but with a focus on making the game feel somewhat more adaptive to your particular ways of playing,” Phil Hornshaw wrote in GameSpot’s Gears 5 review. “Whether you want campaign or co-op, Competitive or Quickplay, there’s an option for you in Gears 5, and plenty of stuff to reward you for time spent and skill gained. Gears 5 might suffer from some of the same storytelling missteps as its predecessors, and it might not venture far out of the past, but the new ideas it brings to the series are all good reasons for fans to return.”