Microsoft shut down ‘Halo’ xbox online gaming services
Microsoft announced plans to shut down its ‘Halo’ online gaming services in December 2021.
Microsoft and 343 Industries explained the situation. Maintaining the technologies that enable online services in games like Halo Reach, Halo 4, and others built for Xbox 360 takes more and more time every year, which takes resources away from creating and maintaining newer games.
At the same time, due to the games’ age, fewer and fewer players are joining online matches in the elder games. So it’s a double whammy: more and more required resources needed for fewer and fewer benefits. Something had to give, and it’s the old games.
Microsoft said that it wouldn’t shut down the online servers “sooner than” December 18, 2021. And this affects the 360 versions of the game, regardless of the platform you use to play the games. Halo 3, loaded up on an Xbox One or an Xbox Series X, still uses an emulated Xbox 360, and thus, the same underlying technologies.
The newest game of the bunch, Halo 4, was released in 2014, which means that Microsoft will support that game for seven years (counting the year to come), and the other games even longer. To prevent any unwelcome surprises, the company removed the option to digitally purchase the games from its storefront.
And you’ll still be able to play the games locally, either through campaigns or local matchmaking servers. It’s just online play using Microsoft’s servers that’s going away.
The full list of affected games is as follows:
- Halo: Reach
- Halo 4
- Halo 3
- Halo 3: ODST
- Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
- Spartan Assault
- Halo Wars