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Call of Duty Steam player base down sharply

Infinite Warfare's opening weekend sees peak player counts one-quarter of those posted last year by Black Ops III

The Call of Duty franchise may be showing signs of fatigue. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare launched last Friday, and as previously reported, unit sales of the game at UK retailers were down 48.4% compared to last year's Call of Duty: Black Ops III. The game's downloadable prospects might not shape up much better, as tracking site GitHyp has pointed out that Infinite Warfare showed a similarly dramatic drop in the number of Steam users playing the game on opening weekend.

According to the site, Infinite Warfare peaked with around 15,280 players per hour on Steam during its launch weekend, less than 24% of the 63,681 players per hour Black Ops III managed in the same post-launch time frame. Infinite Warfare is also proving to be a less popular option for Twitch users, as it peaked with about 101,000 viewers, compared to Black Ops III's 190,000.

Those numbers may be negatively impacted by a handful of factors beyond simple demand for the game. First, the PC version of Infinite Warfare may be a less popular option due to a split playerbase, as customers who purchase the game through the Windows Store are unable to play against those who purchase the game through Steam. Second, the Legacy Edition and Deluxe Edition of Infinite Warfare come with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, a stand-alone remake of the original Modern Warfare, and it's unclear if GitHyp's numbers take into account people playing that version of the game instead of Infinite Warfare.

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.