Every game has its day in the sun, and ultimately any game that relies on online servers will face a sunset. Halo games for the Xbox 360 are reaching this stage, and Microsoft has announced plans to stop online services for December 2021 games. The good news is that if you are playing through the Master chef Collection, you escape the chopping block – for now.
In a blog post posted online, Microsoft and 343 Industries explained the situation. Maintain technologies that enable online services in games such as Halo Reach, Halo 4, and others designed for Xbox 360 take more and more time each year, which takes resources away from building and maintaining newer games.
At the same time, due to the age of the games, fewer and fewer players are joining online matches in older games. So it’s a double whammy: more and more resources are needed for fewer and fewer benefits. Something had to give, and these are the old games.
You receive many warnings, however. Microsoft has said it won’t shut down online servers “until” on December 18, 2021. And that affects 360 versions of the game, regardless of what platform you use to play the games. Halo 3, loaded on an Xbox One or Xbox Series X, still uses an emulated Xbox 360, and therefore, the same underlying technologies. The exception is when you play the games through the Master Chief Collection. Microsoft and 343 Industries have updated the built-in games to use new technologies supported on Xbox One and beyond.
The last game of the group, Halo 4, was released in 2014, which means Microsoft will support this game for seven years (including the year ahead), and other games for even longer. To avoid any unwanted surprises, the company has removed the option to purchase games digitally from its storefront.
And you will still be able to play the games locally, through campaigns or local matchmaking servers. It’s just the online gambling on Microsoft’s servers that is disappearing. The full list of affected games is as follows:
Halo 3: ODST
Halo anniversary: Combat Evolved
Make the most of your time online while you still can. The countdown to shutdown has already started.