Halo Infinite is losing steam. According to Forbes, the popular shooter from 343 Industries, known as the signature Xbox game of this generation, has fallen out of the top five most-played titles on Xbox, having previously held the top spot for an extended period of time.
The multiplayer component of Halo Infinite was released completely unexpectedly on Xbox One and PC in November. It’s the first core Halo shooter in six years, and it’s also the first to have a free-to-play multiplayer mode—a combination of circumstances that contributed to the game’s meteoric rise to prominence. There were around 300,000 concurrent gamers on Steam when it first launched in 2013. Halo Infinite has been played by 20 million people to date, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, making it the “largest” launch in the series’ history to that point.
However, although these figures are unquestionably amazing, it is the trend that has followed them that is possibly troubling, at least according to the online commentators. After all, Halo is Xbox’s flagship franchise, with Infinite serving as the kind of definitive take that only comes along once or twice a generation, if you’re fortunate. What first-party game could possible compete with a game that isn’t even on the top ten list of the most played games on Xbox? At the moment, Infinite is trailing behind—in reverse order—Roblox, Apex Legends, Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty: Warzone, and the ever-present Fortnite. (With the exception of GTA V, all of those industry behemoths, with the exception of Halo Infinite’s multiplayer component, are free-to-play.)
Halo Infinite, on the other hand, has less than 10,000 continuous gamers on Steam (as of this writing), although still ranking among the top 100 games. Barely. Having said that, the Steam measure should be treated with caution, as it is not always indicative of Infinite’s overall health. Halo has traditionally had a fan base that is mostly centred on consoles. Additionally, people using a PC might be playing on Microsoft’s PC marketplace if they have a Game Pass membership. Anyone who plays Halo Infinite through the Game Pass subscription service, which just reached 25 million members, will receive a discount on the battle pass and other micro transactions, as well as the opportunity to win free cosmetic goodies.