The Halo Infinite multiplayer has been a smash hit for Xbox since its surprise release on Monday, November 15th. The Steam numbers on the day of release were massive, making it the first Xbox Game Studios game to cross 200,000 concurrent players. The previous record had been held by fellow Halo game, The Master Chief Collection.
However, with the release of Battlefield 2042 on the horizon, some people wondered if Halo Infinite would maintain its success on Steam. That question seems to have been emphatically answered over the last two days, as Halo Infinite player numbers have almost doubled the EA-published shooters. On Battlefield’s launch day, November 19th, Halo had 140,536 players on Steam compared to its competitor’s 90,136 at one point. The domination has only continued as we have moved into the second day of release, November 20th, where Infinite had a peak of almost 200,000 to Battlefield’s 100,000.
It is also important to mention that the Halo Infinite multiplayer is 100% free-to-play. With that being said, the barrier to entry is much lower than Battlefield’s, and Infinite’s player numbers would probably be fewer if it had been a full-priced game. Now, Battlefield’s just over 100,000 players is no small number, it’s actually a high point for the series. However, when compared to another full-priced game launched this year, Square Enix’s new IP Outriders, which managed to hit over 125,000, it’s hardly impressive.
Therefore, it’s hard to say that price-point is the only reason why the game has failed to come close to Halo Infinite. Another possibility could be related to the Mostly Negative review score the game currently has on Steam. It also could be related to the lack of a single-player offering. Only time will tell if fixing the game and its many bugs will bring in more players or if the full-priced multiplayer offering will be further outclassed when the Halo Infinite campaign releases on December 8th, 2021.