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News Sales-Age Halo is Steam’s top-selling game as it finally launches on PC

CyberPanda

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We live in a strange time. One of the best pieces of evidence for that is on Steam, where the top-selling game is Halo.
Microsoft’s Halo: The Master Chief Collection launches (in part) today on PC. It’s $40 on Steam, but it’s also included in the $5-per-month Xbox Game Pass for PC service.

Halo topping a PC sales chart is bizarre for a handful of reasons. The Master Chief Collection is quite old at this point. It debuted for Xbox One in 2014. And it had a poor reputation due to a number of horrendous technical issues. But, of course, the strangest aspect is that Halo was famously not a PC game — and certainly not a PC game on Steam.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection includes Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo 4, and Halo: Reach. For now, only Reach is launching on PC. The rest are coming in later waves.

Microsoft has also spent years fixing those aforementioned technical problems. And it has largely succeeded at resuscitating the collection on console.

Now, Halo is finally on PC — although this isn’t completely new. Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 both eventually hit Windows years after their Xbox releases. But both of those games were part of the Games For Windows Live service, which is now long dead.

Halo is finally on Steam

But while Halo and Halo 2 were both previously on PC, they never launched on Steam. Both of those games launched on Windows before Steam was the behemoth that it is today.

And after all these years, if the demand for Halo on PC has waned, it’s not showing on the sales chart. Instead, the game is outselling the likes of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Monster Hunter: World despite both of those games having a 50% discount at the moment.

The game’s sales performance on Steam is especially impressive. It is topping the charts in anticipation of its unlock at 10 a.m. Pacific time (1 p.m. Eastern) today. But PC players don’t have to purchase the game outright to play it. They could, instead, get it as part of the Xbox Game Pass service. And while that is normally $10 per month, Microsoft is having a deal where it’s only $1 for three months. At the risk of sounding like a Microsoft hype man: that’s a good deal.

And Microsoft’s goal is absolutely to get people to subscribe to its Game Pass service. In a pre-E3 internal memo that a source passed along to GamesBeat, Xbox boss Phil Spencer — unsurprisingly — told his teams that the focus for Microsoft is all about the subscription service.

But the good news for the Xbox division is that it’s a win whether people subscribe to Game Pass or buy Halo on Steam. This is the subscription strategy playing out exactly as Spencer wants it to.

The idea is that launches like Halo on PC are going to have a network effect. A couple of people in a Discord are going to start playing it because they have a subscription to Game Pass. And then that may encourage other people in the Discord to pick the game up. At that point, these incoming players can either buy the game on Steam or hop into the Game Pass ecosystem.

When Microsoft says that Xbox Game Pass subscribers buy more games, that’s likely the network effect. Players are getting online and forming tighter bonds with their friends. So when that group moves on to a new game, Game Pass members are going along with them even if that means purchasing games outside of the service.

Now, Halo is on PC and playing its part to help Microsoft win over gaming fans wherever they are. Even if that’s Steam.


 

Stuart360

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It had 150k online on Steam earlier, the only games i have seen have more online are PUBG and Destiny 2, although Destiny 2 was free. Apparently over 300k online on PC Gamepass as well.
Dont really get why that article seems so surprised though, the MCC was the no.1 most wishlisted game on Steam until Cyberpunk knocked it down to 2nd place. Its also been in the top 5 sellers for weeks now as well.
 

Mattyp

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May 29, 2017
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Wish I could bring myself to upgrade from LTSC to get gamepass on pc. Will wait until we get 1-3 so some friends I know who have never played are waiting to play in order.
 

Coolwhhip

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Are any of those Halo games good single player? I remember playing the first one ages ago and being extremely bored when I had to do the same looking room for the 500th time.
 

Stuart360

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Are any of those Halo games good single player? I remember playing the first one ages ago and being extremely bored when I had to do the same looking room for the 500th time.
If you got bored of HALO CE, i'd say dont buy this for the single player. Halo CE was my favorite game of all time until Half Life 2 lol. We are all different though and thats a good thing lol.
 

Thaedolus

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Jun 9, 2004
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What's the trick to making Windows store apps not download so goddamn slow?

EDIT: pull up the download queue so it'll prioritize bandwidth to the game you're getting
 
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Stuart360

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The best one was one of the trolls on Steam who said that no one on PC wants Halo (and this was AFTER the MCC became the no.1 most wishlisted game on Steam), and that the game would flop hard if the MCC was more than $10, the whole collection by the way, not individual games lol.
 

Gargus

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Oct 1, 2018
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Why Microsoft even makes consoles is beyond me. The few good games they have are on pc also where you can use a xbox controller if you want.
 
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MiguelItUp

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I was never a huge Halo fan, but I did really enjoy 3 and Reach. This doesn't surprise me at all. So crazy to know an old game is hitting numbers like this on a different platform.
 

Stuart360

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Why Microsoft even makes consoles is beyond me. The few good games they have are on pc also where you can use a xbox controller if you want.
That works both ways though, why buy an expensive gaming PC when you can play the same games on the Xbox?.
What people dont seem to realize is that there will always be PC Only gamers, Console Only gamers, and PC and Console gamers.
 

SatansReverence

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Whats the time frame for Halo CE, 2 and 3?

While Reach is significantly more playable than OG 360 era with a smooth stable framerate and wider than a straw FOV gameplay elements in Reach are still mediocre such as bloom, AAs and slow movement.
 

grfunkulus

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Dec 23, 2016
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Whats the time frame for Halo CE, 2 and 3?

While Reach is significantly more playable than OG 360 era with a smooth stable framerate and wider than a straw FOV gameplay elements in Reach are still mediocre such as bloom, AAs and slow movement.

Bloom is integral to the feel of the guns in Reach. It is also present in both Destinys but just has a different visual representation. A lot of people online seem to reflexively hate on bloom (and some of it is justified--it can certainly go too far in making guns feel inaccurate if applied too liberally).

The issue with that is if you actually take bloom out of Reach (i.e. the one competitive playlist right now), it completely changes the game into something the majority don't actually prefer.

As good ol' Bungo used to say, there's a lot going on behind the scenes in making the sausage that they tweak continuously and obsessively. For the most part, I trust their judgement. Even if their sometimes heavy handed and 'we know better than you' attitude can get on one's nerves.
 

anthraticus

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Sep 11, 2018
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Are any of those Halo games good single player? I remember playing the first one ages ago and being extremely bored when I had to do the same looking room for the 500th time.
And when your friggin health would regenerate....lol

I only tried a bit of the first one at a friends house and I remember this making the game feel so trivial.
 

rofif

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Sep 13, 2019
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Wish I could bring myself to upgrade from LTSC to get gamepass on pc. Will wait until we get 1-3 so some friends I know who have never played are waiting to play in order.
what is so great about ltsc and wrong with normal release ?
I always see people bring this up and wonder why they keep making life harder for themselves.
Maybe I am in the moment of my life that I just dont care anymore. It's not windows 98 anymore or xp where You had to optimize the shit out of it and reinstall every month. Now we have 16+ gb of ram, terabyte of nvme storage and windows performance is not a problem. I never notice background updates or anything too
 

H4ze

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And when your friggin health would regenerate....lol

I only tried a bit of the first one at a friends house and I remember this making the game feel so trivial.

The health does not regenerate, it's only the shield, you still need medipacks to regain health, dunno what you are talking about, seems like you should have spent more than 10 minutes with the game.

There is a reason that Halo: CE is one of the best FPS ever made for many many people
 

FCKAFD

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never playeed halo. in which order should i play the game ? i thought reach isnt the first halo but its the first game they released on pc now?
 
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GnomeChimpsky

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No one knows for certain, only that they will all be released next year at some point. People are speculating that it will be one game every 1-2 months.
People said that back in april when the whole thing was supposed to be released by the end of the year. I wouldn't be surprised if we have to wait 2-3 years for all the games.

never playeed halo. in which order should i play the game ? i thought reach isnt the first halo but its the first game they released on pc now?
They're releasing them in the proper playing order so you're good.
 

The_Mike

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The only. Sad thing is that when or if halo 5 comes the games get split again.

I really want the player base to live for a long time on this. Is it even possible for anything not being counter strike?
 

Stuart360

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People said that back in april when the whole thing was supposed to be released by the end of the year. I wouldn't be surprised if we have to wait 2-3 years for all the games.
For the first time, the series that changed console gaming forever comes to PC with six blockbuster games in one epic experience. This bundle includes all titles in the collection that will be delivered over time, beginning now with Halo: Reach and ending with Halo 4 in 2020
 
Jan 21, 2019
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Honestly, with all the games using the same or similar engine, it shouldn't be all that hard to port the rest of them.
 

CuteFaceJay

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Yo I can't wait to see Halo 3 on PC. That's all I wanted tbh, The fact they putting them all on with MCC is jolly spiffing.

Reach feels good while playing it last night.
 
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VertigoOA

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Bungie having a good year. Both their old and new games being relevant industrywide.

Is Reach playable on the X yet or is this a situation where pc gets it first? I’m almost done with my Halo series playthru (minus 4 and 5).
 
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MadAnon

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Sep 11, 2018
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Whining about no split screen...

No split screen for the latest CoD or any game for that matter? How can I play with my friends when they come over? Unacceptable!!! :(
 
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