As part of the Xbox 20th Anniversary Celebration for consoles, gamers got a treat when it was announced that the Halo Infinite multiplayer would be getting released early as Beta. Originally thought to be releasing alongside the single-player campaign, the free-to-play component was released across Xbox and PC that day.
Although figures for players have yet to be confirmed across the Xbox consoles and PC App, the Steam version hit some impressive numbers within the mode’s first 8 hours of being live. According to SteamDB, concurrent player counts through the steam store peaked at 272, 586 just 8 hours after launch.
This made Halo Infinite the fourth largest among concurrent player numbers, behind usual mainstays Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and PUBG Battlegrounds. It did however peak higher than games such as Apex Legends, Grand Theft Auto V, as well as Xbox’s other recently released title Forza Horizon 5.
While the multiplayer is techinally called a beta, players have access to all maps and content that is planned for the game at launch. The first season of the battle pass, Heroes of Reach, was also launched alongside the beta and will be available to buy until May of 2022, having been extended. Progression earned during this beta will also carry over to the full game release on December 8th.
In discussing the season 1 extension, Halo Infinite head of creative Joseph Staten stated:
We made the decision to extend Season 1 to give ourselves more time to ensure Season 2 meets our high quality bar and so we can finish development for Season 2 in a healthy and sustainable way for our team. Importantly, with the Season 1 extension, we aren’t just stretching-out our original Season 1 plan. Indeed, we took this opportunity to add additional events, customization items and other content to Season 1 to make it an even richer experience from start to finish.
With this comes the question of when single player Co-Op and Forge mode will be arriving to the game. In orginial estimates they were planned to release alongside Season 2 and Season 3 respectively however now we will have to see if that is still their plan. Halo Infinite officially releases on December 8.