Xbox Live and Halo 2 by the Numbers
Microsoft's Xbox Live service beats at the heart of the Halo 2 multiplayer experience, and we thought you'd be interested to see some of the statistics we've achieved together since the game launched. We got these rather startling figures on the 2nd of January, 2005, and they'll give you some idea how popular the game is online.
Unique Users to Date:
Average Min / Session:
Min Concurrent Users:
Max Concurrent Users:
Roger Wolfson helped us put those numbers into perspective with some more numbers:
Total Live-aware Games Logged to Date:
Total "Player-Games" (the number of times a player has played a game):
336,555,601 (that's over a third of a billion, as of January 2nd!)
Total Number of Clans:
387,793 (now you know why we only let folks be in a single Clan per Live account.)
Just to explain some of the figures above: unique users are individual Gamertagsthey do NOT include guests. That figure does contain a number of two-month trial subscriptions, however. A "session," we should explain, is basically a continuous connection to Xbox Live through Halo 2.
The system linking Xbox Live with Bungie.net has not been without its hurdles, and teething troubles are to be expected. As Zach Russell, Bungie's Engineering Lead for Bungie.net puts it, "The really high numbers had us purging detailed data a little quicker than we expected to, but we've been able to keep at least Halo 1's level of postgame stats available for all games."
The problem with Halo's postgame stats, of course, was that if you didn't take a Polaroid, they were gone forever. Now players at least have the option to view and save stats on Bungie.net. The database required to maintain these statistics is enormous, dwarfing anything Bungie has done online in the past, and that means that from time to time, the older stats will be killed to make room for fresher data.
Bungie has worked on implementing solutions for these (required and essential) data purges. As Russell explains, "I think that Bungie.net was an unexpected surprise for the Halo 2 online community. All of the interesting uses of the RSS feeds has also been really cool to watch. Aaron Lieberman (Software Design Engineer in Test) came up with that idea, and the game map viewer, and they have worked out really well."
Aaron's Stat Viewer is also useful for tracking the unfortunate incidents of modem-suspend cheating. The viewer shows impossible melee attacks, flag captures and assault moves—and, sad as it is, we've used those to ban the Xbox Live accounts of cheaters and are using the info to investigate ways of reducing or eliminating that exploit. But there's more good news than bad, for the most part.
The numbers above are cool, not only because it means Halo 2 is doing well, but because it means the advent of mainstream broadband gaming is upon us. We'll look back at these numbers in a couple of years and say, "Wow, is that ALL?" But right now, that's a lot of players.
Xbox Live's Director of Programming,Larry Hryb (also known as the inimitable Major Nelson to the community) summarizes it neatly, saying, "Halo 2 is far and away the biggest game on Xbox Live. Looking at the numbers for the last week, Halo 2 is currently the number one Live title by a factor of 10. It’s interesting to note that we are seeing the most Halo 2 users on at around 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT. Guess nobody watches primetime TV on the East coast!"