Personally, I like ADS.Well, that isn't exactly true. Halo: CE and Halo 2 arguably didn't have any competition because they defined the genre (FPS's and online matchmaking). On the other hand Halo 3 put up with just as much competition as Halo 5 is facing yet remained the top played game on XBL for 3 years. Here is an in-depth video on the subject.
But I don't think there's any dominant bias on here. The debate seems to be pretty even on both sides.
I would equate the sales performance to a much broader range of high-quality competition to what Halo 1 through 3 had. Which isn't to say Halo isn't good enough to totally dominate anymore, just that there's more variation to suit more consumers personal likes.
I'm reposting this from another thread because I don't feel like going back through all my data points, but the argument that video uses is a fallacy, because it misrepresents market trends at the time. Halo 3 had no competition; many of the franchises that exist now existed back then yes, but those franchises were not any where close to as dominant as they are now in sales, either compared to Halo or even to themselves.
Modern Warfare sold a million copies less than Halo 3 by January across three platforms than Halo 3 sold across just the one. WaW is even less popular, sitting at 7.49 million copies sold on the 360 right now
, which is a million and a half less than what Halo 3 sold in its first 4 months (and less than MW). Modern Warfare 2 is the first time CoD beat Halo, and it beat it badly. If you track the sales numbers of the franchise, Halo never had the numbers it had since Halo 3; every consecutive game has had fewer and fewer sales, with opening weekend sales increasing on face value, but not proportionately, selling only a few more hundred thousand copies. Modern Warfare 2 and subsequent games, however, skyrocketed, with 20million sales by that June, and beating Halo 3 handily even on just the 360 at its current 13.51 million copies (Halo 3 sits at 12.13million). No Halo game, ever, has sold that well in its opening weeks and months, not even Halo 3.
That's the moment the fight was out of Halo's hands; the market had shifted entirely, and now the franchise had genuine competition. Up until that point, CoD was a secondary game to Halo; the CoD craze hadn't begun, so simply saying that CoD was releasing games during Halo 3's life cycle is a fallacy because it misrepresents where the market was at the time. When MW2 came out, the entire market shifted away from Halo and Halo-type games, and Reach didn't cause this shift. Reach wouldn't come out for another year, and when it did, people just didn't buy into it. Many purchased it on the hype of it being Bungie's last Halo game, but they never were going to stick with it because CoD--the new in-game--was releasing more games. Black Ops 1 beat even MW2, sitting at 14.74 million copies on the 360 alone, eclipsing Reach's sales numbers by 5 million copies. When the holiday season came around, people didn't buy the new Halo. They bought the new CoD. Is that Reach's fault, or is it MW2's crazy success? It may well be a little of both, but simple analytics would suggest the greater culprit is MW2.
So not only was Halo no longer at its prime sales wise, new
people weren't buying it. MW2 introduced millions of new people to gaming, and as they were playing CoD, so were all of their friends and families--something I experienced myself. For as much as I prefer Halo, when MW2 came out, I spent more time there than I did Halo 3 because that's what all my family and friends were playing as well. And that momentum is what carried the crown of console gaming away from Halo onto CoD and CoD-like games for the next several years. Halo wasn't capturing the attention of all the new gamers that CoD brought in, and the momentum all of these new gamers brought with them carried many long time Halo vets away from Halo as well. Halo was being purchased by the old crowd, yes, but the gaming youngsters weren't into it, and the old crowd wasn't sticking with it. Not to defend Reach mind you--I personally feel it's the worst game in the franchise, because it's the only game to fundamentally change the way the gunplay works in a Halo game with reticule bloom. But if people really were just looking for a more traditional Halo experience, they'd have been playing Halo 3. They weren't. They were playing Call of Duty, and Halo hasn't done anything drastic enough to bring people back since. Halo 3 had fallen behind Reach and CoD by this time; not exactly unexpected for such an older game, but it does prove my point that gamers will follow the next big thing, regardless of the quality of that thing, and not the minutiae of the mechanics. And again, not to discount the missteps made along the way, but Halo has more or less delivered the same experience again and again with the same kind of matchmaking structure built around the same fundamental core playlists and concepts without adding anything new to spice it up. That's
what's dragging this franchise down, and it's a sentiment echo'd by many outside of Halo's core sphere of fans, such as Ben "Yahztee" Croshaw.