In its most recent earnings call, Microsoft revealed that Halo Infinite (opens in new tab) had the biggest launch of any Halo game to date.
It later publicly confirmed this via Twitter, adding that more than 20 million people have begun playing Halo Infinite since it launched last month.
As transcribed by VGC (opens in new tab), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also mentioned that Game Pass has attracted at least 25 million subscribers across Xbox and PC.
It's no doubt thanks to Game Pass that Halo Infinite enjoyed such a successful launch since it was made available on the service on the same day as release, meaning anyone with a Game Pass subscription could download it at no extra cost.
With over 20 million Spartans joining us so far, we’re thrilled to announce that #HaloInfinite is the biggest launch in Halo franchise history! Thank you, everyone, for joining us on the next step in this great journey. pic.twitter.com/d4EIsvWYVrJanuary 25, 2022
Overcoming the odds
What makes this especially impressive is that Halo Infinite didn't have the smoothest development cycle.
The game was initially slated to launch alongside the Xbox Series X|S in 2020. But after a rather maligned July preview that was immediately mocked for its less than impressive visuals, Microsoft opted to delay it to 2021 (opens in new tab); a bold move considering it cost the new Xbox console its killer app.
The free-to-play multiplayer mode wound up being released about a month earlier than the planned December 8 release date and although it garnered a mixed response, it was already proving popular back then.
343 Industries has since been making improvements, adding additional modes and tweaking battle pass progression (opens in new tab), and there is still plenty left to come.
The single-player campaign is currently lacking co-op and, unlike previous games, Halo Infinite launched without Forge mode, which lets players create and customize their own maps. These are currently slated to coincide with season 2 and season 3 of the multiplayer respectively.