That's normal for any video game. Halo 3's population decreased at the end of it's life cycle and that's normal for any game. Once there are no more updates to a game, a lot of people are going to play something else. Saying the population eventually dipped towards the end of the life cycle years later means nothing. Halo 3 was over and reach was coming out. Halo 3 still had the highest population of any halo game.
The simplest answer is usually correct. Halo 3 had the highest population of any halo. It was the last classic halo game. It's safe to say sprint and abilities caused the declining population. 343 won't give the population numbers of their games because they don't want people to know how low they are.Occam's Razor cuts both ways.
Since Halo 3, Call of Duty has become a global powerhouse. The loss in Halo players lines up nicely with an uptick in Call of Duty players. So its fair for me to say they all went to Call of Duty.
Of course, I dont actually believe that without context. But Occams razor isn't some foolproof ideal. Its a theory best suited for scientific hypothesis, and the closest that we have to that is Tsassi's population charts.
Also somehow manages to skip over the fact that the population chart we are speaking of shows retention STARTED to dip with Halo 3, not with Reach. It was already on a downward trend when Reach released. I guess we should blame it on equipment then?
People left halo to play newer games like call of duty because halo reach didn't appeal to them. Starting with Reach, Halo wasn't as unique or different compared to other shooters.
Halo 3 also had a lot of competition back when it was out and still was on top against call of duty, battlefield, and gears of war. Call of duty released 3 games in the time halo 3 was out, before reach. I think the Act Man has a video on it.
Here is a quote, from Monitor Tsassi's population database.
"Whereas Halo 2 kept growing for the first three months of its life, Halo 3 starts off high, at 1,492,078 unique players in 24 hours on 27th of September, but then begins a steep decrease, until by November 12th the 24 hour uu counts have fallen two thirds of what they were at launch"
"When we consider its population retention ability, one cannot deny that relative to its highs, it (Halo 3) lost players at a faster rate than Halo 2"
You cant say why people left Halo 3. Unfortunately, I wish we had all the answers, but you aren't in the mind of the average gamer. Like I mentioned earlier, maybe the modernized Call of Duty appealed more to people. Maybe someone who loved Sci-Fi decided to give Mass Effect 2 a shot, since the first game had high praise. Maybe they hated Halo 3's equipment and left. We dont knoww. Halo is still very unique compared to other shooters, namely with the following: TTK, equal starts, map pick ups, health/shield system, etc.
Act Mans video is why I'm trying to make this point. Depending on what side of the argument you fall on, you use certain things to make your point. If you dislike new Halo, then the reason for its drop in popularity is "People didnt like Reach and 4 and they left, and 343 games are copies so until they make a classic one no one will come back". If you like the new games, then the argument is "Bungie wouldve turned this game into Destiny if there wasnt a 343, and the classic Halo games would be DOA if they launched today, didnt have a lot of competition". Both camps are partly wrong, and partly right. I reason its a bit of both, the non-hardcore Halo fans leaving to go play something more accessible and understandable in Call of Duty or Battlefield, and then some of the core audience being turned off completely by Halo Reach, Halo 4, and Halo 5. I cant say definitively
which one is more likely, but I have my theories.
Also, just to point out, the competition you refer to is Battlefield 2: Modern Combat and Call of Duty 3. Halo 2 largely outshines both of those. Once Call of Duty 4 releases, people start to take notice, and the series gets its big break. This is while
Halo 3 is being the biggest thing in gaming. Its not really competition if one guy is playing college ball and the other is in the NBA. Once they get to the same playing field, thats when it gets interesting. The timeline is that CoD was not as popular (Call of Duty 3) as Halo before Halo 3, and then equaled (Call of Duty 4) and surpassed
(Modern Warfare 2) Halo's popularity all within Halo 3s lifetime. Of course, 3 separate games were released before Reach hit shelves, but those are the numbers.