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'Halo 5's player count is the highest in the series since 'Halo 3'

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Halo 5: Guardians released in October to a fairly positive reception, though common criticisms were aimed at the shooter’s lackluster narrative and lack of local split-screen cooperative and competitive modes. However, the multiplayer was a massive return to form for a series that seemed to be suffering from a bit of an identity crisis, and 343’s work seems to have paid off. Halo 5 has more active players than any Halo installment released this decade.

In a Reddit thread initially spotted by IGN, 343 Industries community manager Andy Dudynsky told fans they would be “pleasantly surprised” by the current player count in Halo 5. While he didn’t give a specific figure, Dudynsky says that this is not limited to the “free play” days that Microsoft recently offered for the game. In fact, the game has actually seen a rise in player count over the past few months, with June standing as the best one in recent memory.

“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,” Dudynsky adds.

Given the legendary drop in users that Halo 4 faced just a month after it released, this is especially good news. Halo 5 is the only Xbox One-exclusive game in the series, and the woeful launch of The Master Chief Collection almost certainly kept some players from picking up the latest installment.

But Halo 5 won’t be the only Halo game on the Xbox One for much longer. Halo Wars 2 releases early next year as the long-awaited follow-up to Ensemble Studio’s real-time strategy game. During the beta period, which began during E3 and ran until June 22, players logged 1.2 million hours and vanquished more than 80,000,000 enemies.

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