The shocking news came yesterday that Halo Reach is now played online more than Halo 4. What’s really going on underneath the surface? There are a number of factors leading to this.
The first factor is that Halo Reach sold better than Halo 4. Halo Reach raked in less money in first day sales although Halo 4′s first day sales included global sales. This means that Halo Reach potentially sold more copies, which would lead to a bigger community. The game is also in bargain bins so people would rather spend less money on Reach than Halo 4.
Another factor is the gameplay style. Halo 4 strayed far from Halo:CE’s roots. While the loadouts might make gameplay fun, its not Halo. Halo was everyone starting out with a pistol and running around the map trying to find the sniper. The gameplay tries so hard to mimic Call of Duty with killstreaks and all, although Call of Duty does it better. Why would gamers want to play Call of Duty: Halo Edition when they can just play Call of Duty: Black Ops II? The latter has perfected the CoD formula whereas the former has an identity crisis.
The third option is simply that Bungie makes better games. No offense 343, but Bungie is a damn good studio. Everything that comes out of there is perfect. Perhaps they just create a better multiplayer experience? I’m curious how Destiny does because that will show whether people bought Halo all these years because of the Halo or the Bungie name on the box. Which has a better following?
It’s always sad news when an online community dies, but Halo 4 is not even a year old and smaller than Reach. It’s not dead, but perhaps this is a warning for 343. Pick it up and return to our Halo’s roots.