Halo Infinite’s Season 4 launch fails to restore interest in Microsoft’s floundering FPS
Halo Infinite’s once bustling servers now echo with emptiness, as the game’s player count has nose-dived 98% since its initial launch.
Despite 343 Industries’ considerable efforts with the recent Season 4 update, the Halo Infinite player base has remained largely unmoved, continuing to highlight the ongoing struggle Microsoft faces with its flagship first-person shooter.
Halo Infinite’s player count soared at launch, reaching a remarkable 256,619 concurrent players on Steam, per Steam Charts. Fast forward a year and a half, and these formerly bustling servers tell a vastly different story. Before the Season 4 update in June, the game barely scraped together an average of 2,716 players a day.
Hopes were high that Season 4: Infection would breathe new life into the game and stir a revival. The update dropped on June 21 and piqued some interest, boosting the peak player count to 8,329 that day. However, this resurgence was short-lived, as the peak player count now remains at around 6,000 each day.
As fans would recall, Halo Infinite was originally intended to be a launch title for the Xbox Series X|S in 2020. However, more development time was needed, leading to a delayed multiplayer open beta in November 2021 and a full release in December of the same year.
Despite a positive initial reception, persistent issues tarnished Halo Infinite’s reputation. Players bemoaned the lack of new features and maps, pointing fingers at 343 Industries’ approach to live-service gaming. Aggressive monetization strategies and perceived neglect of the campaign mode led to increasing disenchantment among the community.
As such, the game’s popularity has seen a precipitous decline, as evidenced by a recent Steam subreddit discussion where little sympathy was expressed for 343 Industries.
Many fans feel that Halo Infinite is struggling to regain its footing in the competitive landscape of first-person shooters.
Despite its waning player base, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is still free to play, and discounted rates for the campaign may attract some curious gamers. However, these strategies seem to barely slow the exodus of players.
While Xbox’s fortunes are no longer reliant on Halo, thanks to upcoming releases like Starfield, there’s no denying the impact this decline could have on 343 Industries’ reputation.
The next Halo entry presents an opportunity to correct the course. But until then, it’s hard not to view Halo Infinite as a cautionary tale of a game’s rise and fall in the volatile gaming industry.