It's a challenge to keep players interested in a game's online multiplayer as the months roll by after release. New games and general boredom all help to tear players away from a title they may have played religiously a few months back.
With that in mind, news that Halo 5's multiplayer is not only doing well in the more than eight months since the game's October 2015 launch, but is actually thriving, is a little surprising. On a Reddit thread — discussing Halo 5's rise to the No. 6 most-played spot on Xbox One thanks to the game's recent free play days promotion — 343 Industries chimed in to reveal more information regarding Halo's current online health.
"I do believe you'd be very pleasantly surprised with not only the number of players who jumped on during the free play period (holy moly lots! by golly it worked!), but also the amount of Halo 5 players each day and month — this isn't something we've talked about yet, but I am rather happy to share that even before the free play period, Halo 5 has had the highest monthly active players for a Halo title since Halo 3," writes 343 Industries member bravo343.
That means more players are regularly playing Halo 5 than those who regularly played Halo: Reach or Halo 4, which is certainly a promising sign. It's not only that the game is enjoying a high number of monthly users, but that those numbers have also been steadily going up in recent months, rather than decreasing, as is usually the case.
"Also exciting (and not yet discussed, either) is the increase that H5 has seen in players each month over the past few months (we just got done looking at June numbers, which are once again higher than the previous month)," bravo343 adds. "As you can imagine this is pretty darn exciting to see, and this thread seemed like an appropriate place to share this news for the first time :)"
No doubt, 343's steady stream of free DLC has something to do with Halo 5's performance. Every month, the game receives new maps, game modes, weapons and other items for players to check out at no additional charge, with the most recent addition being a new spin on Halo 3: ODST's popular Firefight mode. The free DLC is all made possible thanks to Halo 5's REQ pack system, which gives players the option of buying what are essentially booster packs of new items and equipment with real-world money.
There were some, prior to Halo 5's release, who felt like the franchise might not ever be as popular as it once was, but it looks like 343 Industries is proving the doubters wrong.