Halo 2: By the Numbers
Posted by Frankie at 10/17/2005 5:49 PM PDT
Halo 2 By the Numbers: One Year Later

Numbers are just numbers. They can't tell you a joke, or write a poem, or make out with you at a bus stop. But they can tell stories. And our numbers over the last year or so, tell some pretty scary stories. They tell tales of long nights in front of a flickering blue screen, of enormous challenges overcome, and of brand new swear words learned and repeated.

Some of these numbers are getting a little dusty now, but some of them take so long to collate, that we thought you'd be interested anyway. There are also some differences in the way we calculate numbers, versus say, Xbox Live's methodology. We don't count time in the lobby, time spent arranging Gametypes, that kind of thing. Our numbers are, if anything, way lower than they should be.

"We're like McDonalds! Billions and billions served."

Guess how many games of Halo 2 have been played since November 9th 2004. Go on. I dare you. If you said 324,362,454 then congratulations. You win a slightly baffled expression.

Now, remember that that's the number of games played. But a game can (and usually does) include more than one player, and you could absolutely argue that each player has a different experience. Can you guess how many “experiences” that amounts to? 2,189,713,986 when we last collected that data. Well over two billion . We're like McDonalds! Billions and billions served. Or owned, depending on your perspective.

How many unique players is that? Well, it's impossible to say – and I wish we could tell you how many Gamertags (and their guests) played it. Now that number is skewed a little, because it includes folks who renewed their Live account but chose a different name, it includes guests and it of course includes the two-month accounts. But it's still a lot of folks. And sadly, it's not our data to share. Its Xbox Live proprietary stuff. But it's a LOT! Probably more than you think.

Man-hours played in Matchmade games: 184,137,245 . That means (in plain English) that the total number of hours spent playing Halo 2 by individual players is over 180 million . Naturally this time could have been spent say, cleaning, mowing the lawn, or building enormous stone monuments to my fantastic-ness. But it wasn't, it was spent playing Matchmade games. And just in case you're wondering, that is roughly 21,006 years . Way longer than human civilization has existed.

Personally speaking though, this is the most horrifying statistic: The Halo player who has played the most games to date (his identity will remain secret in order to protect his job) has played a staggering, mind-boggling 14,919 games, spending an average of six hours per day, and playing around 71 games. Per day. Now that guy is a freak. Seriously.

"If everyone had worked a $6/hr job instead of playing Matchmade games, they would have earned $1.1B."

If everyone had worked a $6/hr job instead of playing Matchmade games, they would have earned $1.1B . Of course, that's minimum wage. If we went with say, the median wage of Minnesota, then it would be more like 3.2 billion smackeroos . To be fair however, if all you had to do was play Halo 2, then maybe minimum wage would actually be fair, regardless of your skillz. I'm all for a fair wage, but not if you just camp the Sniper ammo the whole time.

Everyone's heard the expression, "If I had a nickel...." If we had a nickel for every game ever played, we'd have about $100 million. That's actually a fact. Although it would get pretty old being charged a nickel every time you played our game. Talk about microtransactions. But, please feel free to remit your nickels to Frankie's PayPal account….

Matchmaking is still the most popular way to play Halo 2. The ability to simply press “A” frantically until you're knee-deep in your favorite type of game is a real boon to players. I myself play matchmaking far more regularly than anything else. Like about half the people reading this, I get annoyed listening to my clan or friends yammering on about Weezer or whatever in the lobby, and dart out for a quick blast of Rumble Training.

It's like Cheetos. You think you'll just have a handful and then BAM! You ate the whole bag. Two hours later you emerge from matchmaking and go back to the relative calm of a custom game.

"Can you guess which is the single most popular map in arranged games?"

Now, what about the maps? Can you guess which is the single most popular map in arranged games? If we had a way to measure the volume of groans in the matchmaking lobby we could tell you which was most popular there, but we can't, so arranged games it is.

And the winner? Lockout. By a significant margin. In fact, in percentage terms, it's not just the only one in double digits, but beats the next closest by more than double. Now most folk get that guess right, either through experience or instinct. But number two is kind of a surprise. Ascension. I guess folks just like being up in the clouds. Below are two sets of figures - the pie-chart indicates which of the original maps were most popular and the table shows the break-up after you factor in the new Multiplayer Pack levels. The first set of figures was taken after the maps were made available for free.

Most Popular Maps : Arranged Games

Ivory Tower
Burial Mound
Beaver Creek

Most Popular Original Maps

Do you have any idea which matchmaking playlists are the most popular? It's not terribly surprising that Team Slayer comes in at the top, but Rumble Pit's chaos isn't nearly as popular as I'd have guessed. In fact, put on the spot, I'd have guessed Rumble Pit was the most popular. In reality, it comes in third to last. Unsurprisingly, Major Clanmatch makes up less than 1% of the total games played, since it's hard to arrange, organize and run a big Clanmatch. That's something we're looking at fixing in the future with a simple matchmaking fix. But here's how it breaks down:

Rumble Pit
Team Skirmish
Head to Head
Big Team Battle
Minor Clanmatch
Major Clanmatch
Team Training
Rumble Training
Team Slayer
Double Team
Multi Team
Team Snipers
Game Types by Matchmaking Playlist

If that's too complicated for you, here's the same information in edible, snack form:

It is a well-known fact that 83% of all statistics are made up on the spot. With that in mind, here's a few other numbers that will help you get a feel for a day in Halo 2:

  • Number of jerks in average Matchmaking game: 1.1
  • Number of jerks in average Custom game: 0.2
  • Number of teabag incidents to date: 53, 345,117
  • Gallons of soda spilled during gameplay: 23,004, 656
  • Number of players impressed when you scream or play tunes into the mic: Zero
  • Number of friends and hotties you will attract with that behavior: Zero
  • Number of other players who mute you immediately: All of them.

Arranged Games, the gentle, genteel aspect of Halo 2's online play, throws up some interesting numbers too. There are some oddities in the type of custom games folks pick, but it's less strange, and more predictable than other aspects of the game. Naturally Slayer ranks highest, since most custom variants, no matter how bizarre, are built using Slayer as the basis. So that means your dumb, plasma pistol only, no grenades, one-on-one Backwash variation, is part of that. Territories comes in low, but that's to be expected from the most strategic, and in some ways, most complicated variant. The fact that Juggernaut finishes higher than CTF is less surprising for those folks who've enjoyed Juggernaut's blend of stealth and frantic action.

Arranged Game Variants

As I said at the start. Numbers don't tell the stories. Numbers can't tell you about the time you just knew your buddy was going to take the elevator, so you threw the plasma blind, and stuck his face. Numbers can't recall the game in whichyou met the four best guys on your Friends list, or got your ass handed to you by an all-girl squad, who didn't talk trash, but did teabag you. You after all, are not a number.

Top 10: Online Multiplayer Console Games 

Posted by urk at 11/3/2010 9:21 AM PDT

ScrewAttack shows us some love.

If you're not familiar with what ScrewAttack does, it's about time you got acclimated. And what better way to introduce yourself than with a video where they sing our praises? Bam!

Cover your ears if you aren't into naughty language. Thanks to HBO for pointing us in the right direction.

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)


Backwards From Dawn, Part 1 

Posted by urk at 4/20/2010 9:17 AM PDT

I Hardly Knew Thee...

Forward Unto Dawn is taking a look back at Halo 2 with a fresh perspective. Get your own eyes on at the jump below. Thanks to HBO for the heads up (and the bandwidth).

I Hardly Knew Thee...

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)


One Final Effort 

Posted by urk at 4/16/2010 1:51 PM PDT

There are those who said this day would never come...

Read Full Top Story

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)



Posted by urk at 4/15/2010 10:10 AM PDT

Halo 2 is still going strong!

Looks like the Xbox LIVE team has yet to flip the switch. Halo 2 is still online and operational. If you're looking to get some last minute games in, now's the time - there's no telling when it's going down!

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)


Walshy's 2nd - Halo 2 Montage 

Posted by urk at 4/15/2010 9:19 AM PDT

Goodbye to you.


"This is the amazing Walshy's second montage on youtube. No description needed, but I'll give one anyway. Walshy is an amazing Halo 2 player, and is on one of the best teams, Final Boss, with players like him, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, and Strongside. This montage is a very honest montage with great editing and gameplay. Many snipes, sticks, multikills, and no scopes etc. I hope you enjoy it and leave a comment for me to read!?"

YouTube - Walshy - 2nd Halo 2 Montage

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)



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