Halo Infinite Release Update, Minecraft Dominates YouTube

Today: Minecraft is still the biggest game on YouTube by a mile — November doubled engagement for the Xbox platform — An update on the Halo Infinite Release Date

Finally some news about Halo Infinite

Microsoft is talking about Halo Infinite again after the game's slightly disastrous unveiling earlier this year, and the latest Inside Infinite update focuses on art and graphics.

Community feedback “humbling” and pushed improvement

Art Director Nicolas Bouvier and Development Manager Ani Shastry admits that the Halo Infinite gameplay footage shown in July “weren’t at the bar we hold for Halo – even in a work-in-progress state.”, before explaining how the team is going to improve the game's visuals over the next year.

Humble Craig: The “humbling” (though some might say mocking) feedback from fans apparently “aligned with our own views and work we were already committed to doing”, according to Bouvier. For example, facial animations were “not fully implemented” in the demo, leading to the now infamous Craig the Halo Infinite Brute meme.

Insider testing: “…poor old Craig was never intended to be seen in that condition which is not something that was evident during the gameplay,” explained Bouvier. The update rounds off by confirming that Halo Infinite is now due for autumn 2021 and that there will be “Insider flighting” tests before launch.

What was World of Warcraft’s first expansion?

a) Cataclysm
b) Wrath of the Lich King
c) The Burning Crusade
d) Legion

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today's issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

”Hurtful stereotypes” and changed Skin Tones

Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley avoided a lot of potential controversy by changing the skin tone of a single character. Gol Dodo is dark-skinned in the Japanese version, but fair-skinned in the Western releases.

Gol Dodo became the lighter-skinned Zann

Considering Gol Doro wore a skull as a hat and spoke broken English, it’s safe to say he evoked some “outdated stereotypes of native African people”, but since it was not feasible to completely change the character the team decided to make him a bit paler instead.

Join our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today's fact.

Minecraft dominated YouTube in 2020

Minecraft remains a force to be reckoned with, and was the most watched game on YouTube with over 201 billion views in 2020.

Minecraft remains insanely popular with young gamers

Roblox was less than half as popular, but still managed to attract a staggering 75 billion views. Garena Free Fire had 72 billion views, Grand Theft Auto V had 70 billion and Fortnite had 67 billion. Minecraft could see another uptick now that Mojang has launched ray-tracing support, making the game look considerably more modern.

Top 5 live games in 2020

  1. Minecraft
  2. Garena Free Fire
  3. Fortnite
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. PUBG Mobile

Spacing out: The official YouTube Gaming annual review also features some infographics that puts the astronomical figures in context. For example, a space ship could travel to Neptune and back 475,000 times in the time the denizens of Earth spent watching other people play videogames.

Xbox enjoys record engagement

Microsoft may not want to talk about console sales, but they are very happy to discuss so-called player engagement, particularly when it makes cloud streaming look good.

Microsoft is focused on ecosystem and not just platform

Xbox Series X has enjoyed an “overwhelming response” and Xbox Game Pass is driving a lot of engagement. Player engagement doubled since last year, and cloud gaming is expected to accelerate growth.

  • Smart delivery upgraded 1.6 million games for Xbox Series X / S
  • Over 40% of new Xbox owners choose an Xbox Series S
  • Stock sold out in a matter of hours in the UK, France and Germany

Clouds ahead: The beta version of Microsoft's cloud gaming service launches for iOS and PC next year, giving Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers the option of streaming games rather than running them locally.

Brave new markets: According to Microsoft, this provides “an easy path to the world’s 3 billion gamers” and may expand the Xbox ecosystem to another billion devices as Xbox Game Pass Ultimate launches in new territories including Australia, Brazil, Japan and Mexico.

As we head into the end of the year, we're going to be giving away a PlayStation 5 to one lucky reader. The winner will be revealed in the Christmas eve issue of DailyBits.

Here’s the code for Week 50, which will allow you to gain more points: 5444

What was World of Warcraft’s first expansion?

ANSWER: The Burning Crusade!

Woah Level 70

Wanna feel old? World of WarCraft is old enough to drive a car in several US states. The first expansion, Burning Crusade, came out in late 2007 and added a whole new planet’s worth of content, and increased the level cap from 60 to 70.

The Draenei and Blood Elf races were also introduced, a bunch of new PvP modes were added and the game as we know it today started to take shape. Sure, that may not sound like much considering how much has happened with World of WarCraft in the 13 years since, but Burning Crusade helped cement World of WarCraft as the leading MMO, and raised the bar for the whole genre.

Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey.