Halo Infinite is enjoying a modest resurgence following the release of Season 5: Reckoning.
Developer 343 Industries’ first-person shooter had hovered around the 7,000 concurrent player mark on Valve’s platform in the run-up to this week’s launch of the Flood-fuelled Season 5. According to SteamDB, Halo Infinite then spiked on October 18, with 18,000 concurrents. That’s the game’s highest peak since the launch of Season 2 some 17 months ago, and enough players for Halo Infinite to crack Steam’s top 50 most-played games based on concurrents.
It’s worth remembering that the only concrete player data we have comes from Steam. Microsoft does not publish official Halo Infinite stats across platforms. But we do know Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is in the top 50 most-popular Xbox games right now, as confirmed by the Microsoft Store. Meanwhile, Halo Infinite has re-entered Steam’s top 100 selling games by revenue in 24th place, which suggests people are spending money on the new battle pass inside the free-to-download multiplayer FPS.
It’s a modest bump that may grow further as the weekend nears, but Halo Infinite is still well off its all-time peak on Steam of 272,586 concurrent players, set nearly two years ago when the game first came out.
Halo Infinite dropped off hard following launch as disgruntled players ditched the game for its poor progression systems, monetisation, and missing modes. 343 also made a number of controversial decisions, including scrapping split-screen multiplayer. Forge mode itself only arrived a year after launch, alongside online campaign co-op. 343 appears to have left Halo Infinite’s campaign behind, too. In June, 343 announced it had scrapped Halo Infinite’s story-driven seasonal cutscenes, news that came after significant lay-offs at the studio.
“As we’ve refined our top priorities and shifted resources internally this year, we had to make the decision to forego seasonal narrative cutscenes to make room for the team to continue focusing on highly requested features, content, and improvements for Halo Infinite,” 343 said at the time.
The mention of “shifted resources” might have referred to the lay-offs that affected it earlier this year and saw Halo Infinite director Joseph Staten leave the developer. 343 was forced to clarify that “Halo and Master Chief are here to stay” following the lay-offs, saying it “will continue to develop Halo now and in the future, including epic stories, multiplayer, and more of what makes Halo great”.
The developer is reportedly working on a new Halo project, codenamed Tatanka, built on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine rather than the in-house Slipspace engine.
As the Halo community waits to learn what’s next for the franchise, sentiment on Infinite has slowly turned around, with players saying it’s in a decent place. Fans have reacted positively to Season 5 in particular.
User-generated mode Forge enjoyed a big update as part of the season that adds a new AI toolkit to help players make more content, including PvPvE content. With Forge, players can now spawn specific AI from the campaign to fill out their custom game creation, and the community is already having its fun pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at firstname.lastname@example.org or confidentially at email@example.com.
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Author: Wesley Yin-Poole