Do Gears And Halo Still Matter?

It seems like not long ago, both the Halo and Gears series were top dogs in the world of gaming, but is that still true?
While the last entries in both series managed to move decent numbers, it does seem as though both critical and general interest is waning. ODST and Gears 2 seemed to have a good start out the gate, but within a week or two, they quickly faded from view as other titles took the spotlight.
When did the loss of interest start with these titles? I think it began with two games: Modern Warfare, and Halo Wars. Let’s start by taking a look at the latter first.
After riding high with the release of Halo 3, it seemed impossible for Microsoft and Bungie to falter with the franchise. And then, news started to surface of a Halo RTS title. It was almost hard to take seriously. If the project was real, surly it would be a smaller pc-only release, right? Well, no. Halo Wars was released for the 360, and marketed towards gamers as the next big Halo game. The hardcore may have realized Halo and RTS were two tastes that didn’t really go together, but I doubt the casual fan knew what they were in for. So, right there was a huge misstep. I think a lot of Halo fans felt burned after purchasing something they weren’t expecting.
Now let’s talk Modern Warfare. Despite being released almost a year after Call of Duty 4, Gears 2 could barely manage to de-throne the 500-pound gorilla for a few weeks tops, before being faced with dwindling interest and online visibility. Despite being a better game in many ways than Gears 1, Gears 2 just seemed not to click with people for some reason. Modern Warfare was offering something to online gamers that Gears 2 (and most titles to this day, honestly) just wasn’t.
So where does that leave the two titles today? Well, there’s Halo Reach coming soon, which seems hell bent on recapturing the series’ former glory. Fingers crossed it succeeds- the title looks like the most interesting installment since the first one, in my opinion. And then there’s Gears… 3? Maybe? It’s obviously going to happen, but Mr. B and Epic sure are keeping quiet about it.
I just hope by the time these next entries come around, the gaming world hasn’t moved too far away from them for people to care. While by no means the most original concepts in the history of gaming, they both (at their best), serve as great examples of what games do better than almost any other medium: keep people coming back.

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  • Bobby

    Not being number 1 doesn’t mean that you drop off the map. The Xbox live activity list from a week ago shows Halo 3 at number 2, gears 2 at number 9 and halo odst in the top 20. It may seem like these two franchises are dwindling but their fans are definitely still interested.

  • Link01

    I believe they both should fall off. Gears wasn’t a good game and wasn’t the technical marvel everyone spouted it to be. Halo, well it needs to die. Enough said. Gears was forgotten because Uncharted stole the spotlight in it’s department. Halo was dethroned by Call Of Duty.

    • jd

      Gears is the best game ever so shutup go post somewhere else

    • ron

      u prolly just suck at halo…i still enjoy it more than any other game…modern warfare is not a very fun game…it took me all of 1 day to bet good at it…halo takes time to develop skills

      • Jeff

        Really? Halo takes “skill” to be good at? Yes jumping in the air and shooting rocket launchers at each other LOADS of skill I agree. Gears takes skill to play. I play with lag people bridging host and I RARELY lose. That is skill halo is complete trash. Halo is a jamboree of 13 year old girls just jumping around. Keep up with your skill you need it so that they don’t hit you with that rocket first.

        • edgar

          hmmm well im pretty sure in halo you dont do much rockets and jumping. last time i checked it involved alot more than just pointing and shooting, which is as you know… the only thing you need to get to 10th prestige in call of duty. you obviously either havent played halo at all, suck at it and are mad about your lack of skill, or played only custom games. you fail sir.

  • jak d ripr

    Your not looking at these things in context, gears 2 didnt stay on top of xbl because people were upset at how buggy the online was and even with that being said it is still in the top 10 most played games on xbl over a year after its release and it pushed 5 million copies.
    ODST’s sales dipped because a lot of people considered it a rip off, which it was imo. Now if halo reach doesn’t sell to well then we can start talking about whether or not halo has lost steam.

  • I realize that online gaming (like everything else) is a game entitled “what have you done for me lately” but it seems disingenuous to suggest that the franchises on a 2-3 year release cycle are somehow no longer relevant simply because they are between releases.

    After Reach and Gears 3 come out, will it be fair to ask if CoD is still relevant?

  • I think Gears and Halo quit mattering once COD: MW came out. Sorry but that is how I feel.

  • Dan

    Almost everywhere I look, there are a bunch of people saying that Halo needs to die. I really don’t understand why people feel this way. That’s like saying Mario and Zelda need to die. Or Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy need to die for you Sony fans. I mean, come on, Final Fantasy XIV?!? Halo has 5 games technically, 4 by Bungie, with their 5th (Reach) on the way. All of those other franchises have way more than 5 or 6.

  • Dan

    Oh yeah, and then there are people comparing CoD and Halo. WTF?!? The only similarities they have are that they are FPS’. Other than that, they are completely different games. Both are fantastic games for whichever you prefer.


    Halo sucks I’m sorry. Compared to what’s out now, it has no chance. Hats off to halo introducing me to shoot em ups. But halo 2 was the last great halo game. Halo 3 and odst both look like regular Xbox games. Lousy high def. In my eyes gears 1 overshadowed halo both in graphics and game play. Don’t mind halo being cartoonish but it has been outdone by many different games. I think darkwatch was a better ip. Resistance not that great in my eyes but was better than halo. Call of duty is huge on both consoles so halo and gears are pretty much old news. I still think gears is a good series and xbox’s only good shooter exclusive. Is it worth keeping exclusive at this point? Probably not, peoples reaction seem to be love it or hate it. All the people in the middle seemed to have moved on to call of duty, uncharted 2, or mag. Xbox needs exclusives, that’s what makes or breaks consoles, they need those two ips, or do they need new ones? How many times can they make remake after remake of that overgrown power ranger chasing the flood and the covanent? Halo reach, halo wars, halo shitcorn, please retire this fucking series already and let that green gobot rot in space already. Would love to keep playing gears franchises providing people still do. Both Xbox and Sony forums seem to care less about Marcus and the gang. Microsoft put on your thinking caps and shit out some good NEW ideas…not Alan wake or natal or naval.


    No disrespect to anyone out there it’s just how I feel. I think Microsoft has potential and it frusterates me when the American powerhouse has brainfarts. They’ll b alright just give us more exclusives. Sony has infamous, uncharted, resistance, killzone, god of war, twisted metal, and more coming. Hook it up already. Give us free online you know you can. Everyone knows u use the income from the live memberships for exclusivity purposes…I got an idea make some fucking games you pinheads. Ps has all the same stuff we got call of duty final fantasy who cares if we get dlc a few months earlier. Trade gears to ps3 for resistance so both audiences could play both series. Cliff buttinski come out with a new ip already for all consoles.

  • strawberry

    can everybody stop comparing halo to call of duty? call of duty is a half-ass realistic shooter while halo is totally unrealistic… the two have completely different gameplay mechanics… cod mw2 was totally garbage so its safe to say halo reach will be able to take over as the number 1 online game considering this game comes to us from the godfathers of online console gaming ( see halo 2)

  • palaeomerus

    No disrespect Redhulk but your advice is worthless, myopic, and fanboyish and worse it’s irrelevant to the games market.

    inFamous was an okay game with some neat ideas but it was not a smash hit. Resistance 2 sold worse than the first one and borrowed a lot of concepts from Halo such as limited weapons and regenrating shields style health. Killzone was a good game but also not a huge seller. There is no new Twisted Metal yet and “more coming” is just blatant list padding. God of War III looks really good and way better than God of War II but God of War 2 sold WORSE than God of War 1 so who knows how it will do? And from an FPS/TPS standpoint who cares? Do you think that no one is going to buy Halo Reach or a new Gears of Wall this fall because God of War III came out this march?

    I want good games and I don’t care if they are exclusives. Maybe of the PS3 exclusives have been good but not great. And it may surprise you to learn that the really great ones like Uncharted 2 have not made me stop wanting more Halo games or Gears of War games. Why would they? Modern Warfare 2 didn’t stop me from wanting more sci-fi FPS games. Killzone 2 didn’t make me ashamed of the fun I had playing Halo3 or Halo3:ODST either. Frankly most of my favorite games this generation have been multi-platform.

    I’d like free online on the 360 as well but it isn’t going to happen and it looks like Sony is moving in MS direction on that front wanting to charge for new features like cross game chat.

    Anyway I just wanted to reminsd you that your opinion is of extremely limited value to Microsoft and it seems to be mostly a lot of FUD and whining based on nothing but idiotic brand loyalty to a company called Sony who cares nothing about you and is working on a Wii-controller rip off as we speak (as is MS) in the vain hope of attracting droves of gadget hungry casual gamers who will buy feeble shovelware mini-game collections by the ton.

    Also, if you want to talk about something that sucks, the Red Hulk sucks. It’s just another dumb Marvel stunt from a comic book company that forgot how to write its characters believably (read simply and straight forwardly)and so has to crap out slow moving hyper-crossover “shock” events like the Dissassembled, House of M, the Civil War, the skrull invasion, killing Captain America and whatever muddled psudeo-trendy bilge they are cooking up now (age of heroes?). Sorry, lol, that’s just how I feel.

  • James

    Games are games, there is always going to be puriest MW’rs, Gearists, Halo’ites and that’s OK. Weather your on a PS3, a 360, a WII or any of the portables.

    Everybody’s attracted to the new shiny thing, game or system. We play for awhile and then go back to our tried and true the games that make us feel something.

    The important thing is that we are ALL GAMERS!!!

    So go home slap in your favorite game and play it for as long as YOU want.


  • Yehyehyeh

    does no one realize bungie had nothing to do with halo wars?
    that shouldnt even count towards them, that was microsoft try to make more money. yeah, odst was a bit shorter than most people wanted, but it was still a great game. its not like halo just doesnt exist anymore, everyone still talks about it, and plenty of people still play halo 3, a three year old game.

  • Yehyehyeh

    and graphics shouldnt have an impact on how fun a game is. yeah aesthetically its a nice thing, but if you say you dont like a game just because of how pretty it may or not be, then youre an idiot. and i mean every bit of disrespect possible in that. halo 3 may not have been pretty, but it was fun as hell online. the character models shouldnt have an impact on that

    • edgar


      kirby64 > MW2

  • TruMan

    what do you mean by “decent numbers” . check the numbers oh halo and Gears.. then come back and try something to write !! dumb article !!

  • I was disappointed in Gears 2. The single player was pretty lame. ODST was disappointing also, mainly for the single player as well. I think Gears 3 will be a huge seller, and I’m hoping Epic doesn’t have to deliver it until holiday 2011. The extra year will do wonders. Reach will totally dominate MW2. I think people are looking for something to new and less buggy, which is why BFBC2 is getting so much traction.

  • Kelly miester

    Halo and gears of war did not fade after two weeks!!! Halo 3, A 3 year old game is number 2 if not back at the top of the most played list and gears of war 1 was in the top 10 until gears of war 2, now its gears 2 thats in the top ten.

    ODST was DLC, Microsoft made Bunige sell it, (Props to them for giving us that Halo 3 multiplayer free because of that)

    Halo wars was clearly stated an RTS, loads of videos and articles said so, Any halo fan who doesnt like RTS games has no right to complain, they dont need to buy the game.

    As for link01

    Gears was forgotten because Uncharted stole the spotlight in it’s department – NO Uncharted was forgotten despite being a good game because of lack of good online.

    Halo was dethroned by Call Of Duty – Two different types of games and Modern warfare 2 didnt get any profit, while halo 3 got shit loads

  • halo don’t even go near to gears of war.if you think halo is better than gears of war you guys must be crazy or have a mental disorder.

  • aaron

    lol gears? that campaign was fail way to easy even on hardest difficulty and online….. no comment mwf2 yeah its alright loved campaing and spec ops online i dunno bout it halo 3 campaing was trash comapred to halo 2 but online multiplayer havnt payed a better game since halo 3 on the 360

  • TokyozvV3NOMZz

    To me Gears of War 1 and 2 still function very well if you have online. Halo is very baby like taking not as much effort to play. Yet these games have been there for a while but no one has lost intrest. Everyone takes it for grantide and forgets and moves on to the newer games. And of course if you suck at the online play your searching for something your good at, as for me. My games Gears simply because it demands more precision and thinking against running around shooting wildly without punishment if you die or on shot kills to the foot (Call of Duty)

  • TokyozvV3NOMZz

    I played Halo, Gears of War, Call of Duty online and I have to say.

    Halo— Childs play, can just run around shoot and get lucky. The only reason people play it is because its easy and compatable to the average gamer.

    Call of Duty— Campaign is bad ass but online play to me is all about who camps best or plays most to upgrade their weapon which in return is an online game not played with skill but who had the most time to get all the upgrades. No talent there. And ya it might take skill to get them but think twice.

    Gears of War— Now heres a game. Campaign is good, if you like fiction get this now it will blow you away with the realistic twist of fire power and the sweetness of bashing brains or slitting your opponents throat with the torque bow. Online play is very satisfieng if your desent. May be laggy which was the huge downfall. Without lag I would claim this game the best. Nothing like feeling at war and thats what this game will bring to you

    • edgar

      i have high doubts you played either halo or cod. as you seem to have them kinda mixed up with each other. call of duty is the easy compatible no skill needed to be good game. halo is the one that requires skill.

  • I “know” Gears and Halo still matter. The sales number of each series show that gamers are willing to purchase them. Whether the hardcore realizes it or not these titles bring out the $$ in the casual market as well. Now the reason these games may fall off easy (As far is play time), is because as gamers we constantly move on to the next “It” thing because we do not want to be left behind. I’m generalizing the gaming community as a whole, and after many years of watching trends I know this to be true. With the frequency of pretty solid titles coming out at this point in the console cycle its not hard for many gamers to move away from a AAA title after two weeks. Halo 3 sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. Lets say after two weeks 80% of players move onto something else, that’s a large drop off, but that still leaves 2 million players active. I think gamers playing habits cause this perception.

  • STeve,why are you commenting on a post, I commented on from March?