75% of Halo 3 Players Don't Shoot Each Other

Two years since release, Halo 3 still regularly tops the Xbox Live charts for the most number of players online. But just how many people are playing it competitively?

Only around 25% of those eight million people who bought the game, according to Bungie's Curtis Creamer, are playing Halo 3's competitive multiplayer.

Creamer, who is serving as producer on Halo 3: ODST, says this was a big factor in the type of content they've produced for the "expandalone" game. ODST's new cooperative multiplayer mode Firefight is really geared towards the other 75% of the Halo 3 audience.

"You know, a lot of people find that kind of competitive experience intimidating," says Creamer. "Where you're playing against strangers who could be way better than you... you could get matched up with a 12-year-old who is screaming obscenities into your ear all night. That's kind of an intimidating experience."

In Firefight you and up to three friends battle wave after wave of Covenant forces in areas taken from the campaign mode. Bungie hopes this will expand the appeal of the series' multiplayer experience.

"In a lot of ways Firefight is set up to be similar to the competitive games but in a more friendly, cooperative environment," says Creamer. "We wanted to have that same feel and a lot of the rewards you get out of playing the competitive game... so you can get medals for multi-kills and kill chains, all the same sorts of thing you can do in the competitive game. You're still playing for points and all those things get uploaded to the leaderboard so you can see how you're doing against other teams. It's got a lot of those cool things going for it, it's just a lot less intimidating."

I'm in the 75% camp. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm not interested in playing with strangers. Sometimes I think we lose sight of just how hardcore and niche competitive multiplayer gaming really is.


    More excuses for not having firefight matchmaking.
    It's like a propaganda smear campaign against anyone who wanted matchmaking or thinks there should be matchmaking.

      That's what I thought. It was a technical limitation as they explained, but now they really are trying to make it seem that they intentionally did this because of this 25% stuff.

      I'd say it's to help soothe the pain of "No matchmaking". Trying to make it as positive as possible.

    I believe I am one of those 75%. When playing GOW2, I get intimidated by the hardcore 12-year-olds in the multiplayer types and stick to Horde mode where I can actually make a decent contribution.

    A horde mode for Halo 3, I would find that very interesting...

    That said, one-quarter of all Halo3 players playing competitively is pretty impressive, i think...

    Come on. Call a spade a spade. This is just more spin on why they couldnt add matchmaking.

    First pretending like adding it would be the end of the world technically.

    Now, trying to tell gamers that the feature they are asking for is, well, actually something they dont want.

    lol Last time I was on Halo, there was around 200,000 people connected. That seems like a lot of people to just assume wont want a feature.

    ps. I'm not about to top myself over this. Just dislike the marketing bullshit these guys sometimes sprout. Be a f-ing man and just say 'no. even though a lot of people have asked for it, the cost would cut into profits.'

      "First pretending like adding it would be the end of the world technically."

      Do you seriously know what would be involved in adding it, technically?

      Or business wise? (Do you know how much matchmaking costs in terms of testing, support and maintenance?)

      Describing this is as a "smear campaign" or "propaganda" is quite silly.

      And yes, I've played my share of Halo 3 multiplayer, but I've recently given up on it. As an aussie, I'm sick to death of bad connections to the host. When you're 400ms behind the host, or simply getting stalled, it's just no fun.

      Same thing for Gears. Same thing for Killzone (when I bother getting around to it). I'm spending much more of my time playing solo games, for their stories.

      (And yes, I loved the Halo 3 campaign for the most part. It's far from a waste of time.)

        Bungie's excuses have rarely sounded full of truth to me. Even if it is a lot of work to basically add bots to the multiplayer framework, or add the matchmaking to the co-op, the fact is this isn't just a small patch. It's a full game that they're charging full price for, with a full multiplayer system already developed. They've already got a lot of time saved there that they can move resources to something new like this.

    An obscene 12 year old is intimidating? No, he's ANNOYING. Big difference.

    Would love to see lots more coop online games though.

    Obviously Bungie don't understand their own creation.

    "...matched up with a 12-year-old who is screaming obscenities into your ear all night. That’s kind of an intimidating experience.”

    Ahh you can easily quit or find another match, avoid that player etc... or mute the player! LOL

    But yeah they're obviously going on overall sales numbers with the 75% & 25% numbers.
    I doubt they're referring to registered users online. EG: of the 100% Halo 3 players connected online, 75% are playing Campaign whilst connected and the rest are Matchmaking. Yeah right.

    I love me some Halo, but the campaign in Halo 3 is really forgettable. Nothing beats the Halo 1 Campaign, even Halo 2 beats it. It's just not that challenging or one i have repeated many times unless it was for the achievements.

    I got invited to play a campaign level the other day with a couple of Americans that i got matched with in matchmaking. We started the level and everything is in slow-mo because of my crappy internet connection. So if firefight is based on the same code as multiplayer campaign then whenever you get into a game with a crappy connection or have a crappy connection, the game would be slowed down too much and it would become unplayable.

    Holy entitlement, Batman! I can't believe all these people screaming because their lofty expectations apparently aren't being met by ODST (despite the fact they haven't, y'know, PLAYED it yet).
    I love seeing how easy it is for people who likely have no experience in software development (or indeed any type of design/development) to trivialize the cost and effort of adding features without breaking existing functionality.
    FWIW, Bungie originally stated quite plainly that there were technical barriers, and that was the root of why they did not add matchmaking for Firefight. All this additional stuff about why it's not a big deal is secondary. Agree with them or disagree. But in their cost/benefit analysis, they clearly determined that the benefits were not enough to justify the costs.
    No, I don't work for Bungie, nor worship them. But I do get rankled when I see uninformed laypeople go off on how much smarter they are than the professionals who are close to the situation.

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