Halo Infinite's lack of updates is severely impacting its multiplayer base, according to streamers, with some of the biggest Halo Twitch channels abandoning it in favour of other games.
A report published by Rock Paper Shotgun details how, in the four months since Halo Infinite's launch, peak Twitch viewing for Halo Infinite has dropped from 200k to 10k, with streamers calling it an abnormally low level of engagement for a live-service game with a big name attached to it.
The problem, say the streamers RPS spoke with, is that the game launched with many missing features that are typically staples in a Halo game. Moreover, 343's reintroduction of these features is both too slow and not exciting enough to get people coming back. This includes major features such as campaign co-op and Forge, alongside popular multiplayer modes like Team Doubles and Shotty Snipers. And this is merely stuff players expect from a Halo game, let alone actual new content, of which there hasn't been any since the game launched late last year.
Consequently, the long-term viability of Halo: Infinite as a live service game is increasingly under threat. "Unless we start to see bigger features added the seasons will just be small upticks that fade away in a month or so" Halo content creator Arrash told RPS, while another Halo content creator, KevinKoolx, summed up the problem with "We have long periods of nothing." Some larger Halo content creators, such as Hrebinka, the host of LateNightGaming, have moved away from their main game, instead making videos about Call of Duty, or streaming Elden Ring.
343 is at least aware of community frustrations. Answering questions on Reddit over the weekend, community director Brian Jarrad stated the Halo Infinite team is "not happy to be unable to meet player and community expectations" and said that the studio will have "more to share" on Infinite's upcoming Season Two "in the coming weeks."
Halo Infinite's struggles encapsulate the challenge of maintaining an audience for modern multiplayer and live-service games, which create ever-escalating demands that can cause studios to enter a never-ending period of crunch. It also highlights the pitfalls of Infinite's attempt to be many different things to many different players, simultaneously an open world singleplayer game, a classic Halo experience, a modern-feeling shooter, and a live-service. Infinite does many of these things well, and the actual core of the multiplayer is fantastic. But Infinite was in development for so long that the ground has shifted beneath 343's feet, and the studio clearly wasn't prepared to deliver the kind of long-term multiplayer experience that modern audiences expect.
Hopefully the studio can revert course soon, but it seems that, at least from the perspective of the game's major content creators, the clock is very much ticking.