Unlike previous Halo installments, where players can view their multiplayer data through the Halo Waypoint website,343 Industries Halo: Infinite lacks an official way to view that information. The fan-made website Halo Data Hive aimed to fill that data void, but now it and other Halo stat-tracking websites are in danger of shutting down as the API powering them readies to go offline.
Detailed information on match performance and play can be important for those who play competitive multiplayer games like Infinite and, without a stat tracker of some kind, the game risks alienating a heavily engaged part of its audience.
The shutdown also comes after the creators of the API powering sites like Halo Data Hive say they were unable to “meaningfully engage” with 343 Industries to find a long-term solution
Those who play multiplayer shooters use their stats to chart their progress and skill throughout a game’s lifecycle. Typically, Halo’s stat-tracking keeps track of a player’s kill/death ratio, the number of multiplayer medals they’ve earned, and even areas in a multiplayer map where they die.
The closest thing that Infinite currently offers to chart progression is via its seasonal challenge-based battle pass, and 343 has not spoken on offering a way to track stats as it provides updates to the live-service shooter.
Halo Data Hive, the fan-made and maintained solution to that problem, keeps track of public Infinite stats via an API dubbed “HaloDotAPI.” It was founded last year by Alexis “Zeny” Bize, who told Kotaku that it’s “the only Halo Infinite API on the market. A ton of services rely on us…and we may say goodbye to the community.” Along with the Data Hive, HaloDotAPI is responsible for Halo data on stat-tracking sites Leaf and Spartan Record, and True Achievements, a popular site that tracks Xbox Achievements.
HaloDotAPI was bought by San Francisco tech company Autocode, and in June, CEO Keith Horwood wrote in a blog that the API would shut down on July 31. “It is expensive–in time, effort, and money–for our small team to keep the Halo API and Developer Community running, and without official support from Microsoft, it’s not tenable to keep it operational,” wrote Horwood.
Horwood stressed that other options had been pursued for months, and tried to find an option with 343’s community team, but was unable to find a viable solution. “343i has not been able to engage with us in a meaningful way due to resource, policy, and compliance issues…at Microsoft around how Halo player data is used.”
Currently, there’s a #SaveHaloDotAPI hashtag on Twitter to draw attention to the cause, along with an ongoing monthly fundraiser to keep the API going. At time of writing, it has made $601, and needs $10,000 a month to keep HaloDotAPI online indefinitely. Still, Horwood remained hopeful for some kind of intervention on 343’s behalf. “We’d love to see a positive outcome here,” he told Kotaku, “and the community would too.”
Microsoft see the value in @halodotapi and have agreed to assist with legal compliance; but, as it stands 343i won’t step up to fund the very reasonable cost of the project. If 343i are serious about reviving #HaloInfinite then this is a terrible business decision.
— HaloHub #SaveHaloDotAPI (@HaloHubGG) July 20, 2022
Infinite’s esports lead Tahir “Tashi” Hasandjekic told Twitch streamer LouisVTitan in a recent interview about the importance of this sort of API for Infinite, acknowledging that one exists for both Halo 5 and Halo Wars 2. However, he didn’t offer a time frame as to when it would roll out, if ever. “Long term, our own API is the solution here,” admitted Hasandjekic. “For the esports side, we truly believe in all of that…We definitely feel for the community and the developers, if this goes away. But that’s just the reality of the situation.”
Not a good track record for stat-tracking
The lack of an official stat-tracker for Halo Infinite has become increasingly common in other recent triple-A shooters. Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 2042 launched in 2021 without a scoreboard, a key feature of the franchise. The scoreboard was added to the game earlier this year via update.
Activision’s 2019 reboot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare went one step further in regards to stat-tracking. Previously a staple of the series at launch, the 2019 game allowed players to view their kill/death ratio in-game, but only if they paid $20. What was once a standard feature for shooters is now becoming needlessly complicated, but hopefully this doesn’t become a trend.