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It’s the end of an era. Towards the back half of 2020, Halo developer 343 Industries announced its plans to shut down the servers for the vast majority of Xbox 360 Halo games, including Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4.
The original plan was to close down the servers in December 2021, but 343 has now announced that total closure won’t happen until early 2022. That gives us a little more time with the games we love… although most of the people interested in playing older Halo games are more than likely doing it via The Master Chief Collection at this point.
Over on the official Halo website, 343 said the time to say goodbye to various Halo Xbox 360 titles will come on January 13, 2022. Plan your remaining days accordingly.
"Every cycle spent maintaining and supporting Xbox 360 legacy services is time and energy not spent on the future of Halo,” the team explained. “To that end – today we are announcing our intention to sunset our Halo Xbox 360 legacy services to fully focus on the future of the franchise.
“On January 13, 2022, online services for legacy Halo Xbox 360 titles will be discontinued. Owners of these titles will still be able to play these games indefinitely, however, certain online features and experiences, particularly online matchmaking, will be limited or disabled."
It’s not all that hard to see why this is happening. 343 previously stated that the playerbase for Halo games on Xbox 360 continues to shrink, meaning it makes no sense to put time and effort into maintaining those servers. Plus, when you consider most of these games can still be played via The Master Chief Collection, as mentioned above, it’s a wonder the team didn’t do this sooner.
Of course Halo fans will have more to look forward to without feeling the need to stay in the past very soon. Halo Infinite is barreling towards its Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC release on December 8. And based on everything we’ve seen, heard, and played so far? It looks like a proper return to form for Master Chief. Bring it on.
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