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Halo Infinite surpasses 20 million players despite early mishap, Microsoft reports

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343 Industries, the developers behind ‘Halo’ has just announced the biggest launch of the franchise following the release of its new installment, Halo Infinite.

The milestone was confirmed publicly and posted on the developers’ official Halo Twitter account earlier this week on January 26.

While it was released exclusively for the XBOX series and Microsoft Windows, success was not impossible for Halo Infinite with currently over 20 million players in only two months after its release date on December 8, 2021.

Microsoft’s outstanding achievement

According to Video Game Chronicle (VGC), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed the achievement through Microsoft’s second-quarter earnings call on Tuesday earlier this week.

During the second-quarter earnings call, Halo Infinite was not the only AAA title with a high record count. One of the fan-favorite titles under the same publishing studio, Forza Horizon 5, reached 18 million players following its release date on November 5, 2021. Just a week after the release date, Forza Horizon 5 achieved the biggest launch in XBOX history, having over 10 million players.

While each game was developed by different game studios, both were published by XBOX Game Studios and part of the Microsoft Gaming Division, which led to another success story for Microsoft through its subscription service.

Microsoft’s subscription service, Game Pass, has catapulted Halo Infinite by attracting 25 million subscribers onto the platform. Halo Infinite was made available on the Game Pass right after the release date, and subscriptions through the platform would allow download with no extra cost. Hence, Halo Infinite’s success story must take into account Game Pass’ involvement by attracting more players into the game.

Early setback

Halo Infinite’s success story was not to be taken for granted. Upon release date, the game had received criticism from its strong fan base and game critics, including aim lag, the game feels choppy due to Microsoft’s decision in making it borderless fullscreen, a battle pass requires more effort, flat and unworthy graphics to be called as ‘next-gen game console’. This criticism was drawn from the game being delayed for an entire year.

The state of the game as of today, however, is much more acceptable to its loyal fan base due to the reputation the entire franchise has back when the first installment was released on November 15, 2001. Within the span of 20 years, there is so much to say about the franchise.

It is worth noting that Halo Infinite is the spiritual reboot of the franchise and a direct sequel of its protagonist, Master Chief, from Halo 4 to Halo 5. By the looks of it, the studio is planning to go back to its roots on Halo Infinite.

On Tuesday earlier this week, Niko Partners analyst, Daniel Ahmad suggested that the XBOX division generated its highest annual revenue of $16.28 billion for the 2021 calendar, beating the previous record by 17.07%.

Additionally, according to the CEO of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer, XBOX Series X/S sells faster than all of the previous Microsoft console generations.