Seriously nearly every playlist has under 10,000 people playing on it, most are wayy under 10,000. In halo 3's hayday there were always at least like 200,000 people online, now on Halo 4 there's about 40k at any given time
Halo 3 was the perfect storm. It was the sequel to (arguably) the most popular game on the Xbox, and it had little competition until Modern Warfare hit. That kept the ball rolling for quite some time. Plus, Bungie really gave it their all with 3. Reach... not so much. And 4 is (mostly) a different studio altogether.
I'll be in my bunk... One does not simply walk into Skuldafn.
I really don't understand how this game is bad. So it's not "Halo" and doesn't take plenty of shots and then a melee attack to kill someone. Headshots now actually seem to matter, and there's plenty of game types. Personally I'm enjoying it and haven't really enjoyed a Halo game this much since Halo 2. Just my opinion but I'm just not really sure where the hate comes in. I will say I hate the spartan ops mode though.