Halo Infinite was the darling of the three-way first-person shooter war that took place in late 2021. Whereas Battlefield 2042 and Call of Duty: Vanguard were met with lukewarm receptions at launch, at best, Halo Infinite was well praised by both critics and audiences alike.
Unfortunately, after attracting millions of players in its first month or two, it appears that Halo Infinite has struggled to retain said players.
Halo Infinite has seen a significant decline in the number of active players on the PC. After seeing a daily concurrent player count of more than 250,000 players in November, Halo Infinite's latest player count on Steam is right around 30,000. This means that Halo Infinite barely kept 10% of the number of players that tried it out at launch. Not to mention, the same thing is happening with the Xbox release, with Halo Infinite already falling out of the top five most-played games on Xbox consoles.
343 Industries can only blame itself for Halo Infinite's downward trend. After the multiplayer launched in November, players have encountered a slew of bugs after another, affecting everything from matchmaking to graphics and gameplay, among others. Although 343 found a way to fix most issues as soon as possible, it appears that fans have grown tired of the recurring problems and have instead opted for greener pastures.
Case in point, it took 343 several months to fix Big Team Battle and the verdict is still out if it's working 100% right already. Truth be told, Halo Infinite has a laundry list of issues that prove that 343 still has a long way to go.
The good news here is that 343 probably shouldn't worry too much about the steep drop-off of Halo Infinite players. This problem isn't unique to Halo Infinite as it is a common trait of live service games. By their very nature, live service games follow a wave-like popularity where players leave for a while only to come back when the developers drop a new content update or expansion or if there's a new ongoing event. These games aren't designed to keep players engaged all the time - the goal is to give players something to come back to now and then.
This isn't to say that 343 has handled Halo Infinite's launch perfectly. It doesn't take an industry expert to tell that 343 is still getting its sea legs in the treacherous live-service waters. 343 was bound to make mistakes and that's exactly what has happened. The good news is that Halo Infinite is in a good position to reel in a huge chunk of the player base that it "lost" by the time the game's first major update is released.
Ultimately, what we're saying is that 90% is a big number but 343 shouldn't worry too much if it sticks to what it's already doing. 343 has already done a mighty fine job listening to feedback and keeping its community in the loop. It would be premature to declare that Halo Infinite has already lost its luster just months after it was launched.
In other news, there are reports that 343 is working on bringing back Invasion mode for Halo Infinite. Meanwhile, Halo fans can also look forward to streaming the live-action Halo TV series on Paramount+ on March 24.