Despite some solid figures at launch, Halo Infinite does not appear to be doing great stats in terms of engagement and performance.
In the years leading up to the release of Halo Infinite, there had been much talk about how the future of Halo is in becoming a “platform” for a whole universe of content and gameplay for the Xbox Series generation. And while the game has been well received as a confident and competent expansion of the Halo formula, its current performance isn’t great relative to its importance in Microsoft’s portfolio and relative to some of the top games currently being played.
Right now, Halo Infinite performs poorly on Twitch. While a game’s presence on the livestreaming platform isn’t a make or break factor, it can speak to current engagement. Outside of some major events and promotional streams run by Xbox and 343 Industries, Halo Infinite doesn’t have as much of a footing on the platform as other games like Grand Theft Auto V, Apex Legends and Dead by Daylight. Last month it placed near the bottom of the top 100 categories of streams, including “Just Chatting” and “Variety.”
As I write this Halo Infinite has an average daily peak of 12, 778 players on Steam which is a far cry from its peak of 256,000 players. That puts it far outside of the top 100 games played on Valve’s platform and out of striking distance of games like CSGO and PUBG. For reference, Halo: The Master Chief Collection draws about a quarter of those players (3,900) despite being an old ass game that isn’t free-to-play.
Lastly, Halo Infinite hovers around the bottom of the top 10 most-played games on Xbox. Even on its home base, the game is fighting to maintain interest against games like Fortnite, Call of Duty Warzone, Roblox and Rainbow Six Siege. Those are wild stats when you consider that Halo Infinite is a much newer game with free-to-play multiplayer. Consider also that its single-player campaign is available to Game Pass subscribers, a 25 million strong user base according to Microsoft. That’s right a flagship franchise like Halo isn’t even king on Microsoft’s own turf.
This is to say nothing of the extent to which the Halo community has demonstrated dissatisfaction with the game. While the crushing expectations of a passionate fanbase can sometimes feel unfair, the fact remains that Halo Infinite launched without many of the things that were hoped for: a fully functional Forge, co-op mode for the game’s campaign. There’s also the matter of its loot progression, which can feel extremely grindy relative to games like Destiny 2, Apex Legends and even Xbox Game Studios’ own Gears 5.
There have been many blog posts from developer 343 Industries about the game’s future and the kinds of steps that it is taking to address its issues. While the next season — ‘Lone Wolves’ — will bring two new maps and a few new game modes, there’s still no guarantee of campaign co-op outside of a current but vague promise that it gets released mid-season (and even that might change).
343 Industries appears to be struggling with the commitment and responsibilities of making Halo a “live” experience. Most players I personally know seem generally satisfied with the studio’s third go at capturing the essence of Halo, but right now it still has a lot to do to begin rivaling other “live” games. Halo Infinite may have answered what a new era in the saga of Master Chief looks like, but it’s still trying to catch up with the competition.
Halo Infinite is currently available on the Microsoft Store for PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles. The multiplayer component of the game is free-to-play for everyone, even people who don’t have Xbox Game Pass or PC Game Pass. Halo Infinite is also available on Steam.