343 Industries, current developer of the Halo series, has announced that the Halo Xbox 360 legacy servers are being shut down in a process otherwise known as sunsetting.
Between now and the end of 2021 the legacy Halo titles will slowly dwindle down over four phases. This has begun with a one-time migration of impacted legacy Halo 360 titles data being transferred to Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
The decision to sunset the Halo legacy titles is due to the fact that it takes time and money to keep those old servers running and 343 Industries needs to focus on the likes of Halo Infinite and Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
The news was announced on Twitter via the official Halo Twitter page with detailed explanations on the Halo Waypoint blog.
“Halo Xbox 360 services are going offline in December 2021. Games remain playable indefinitely, but some experiences will be impacted,” said the tweet.
Phase two, which is taking place right now, will halt all digital sales of Halo legacy titles from the Xbox 360, although all Halo 360 DLC can be purchased at no cost.
Phase three, which will take place at some point in 2021, will focus on reminding Halo players through the official Halo channels (Halo: TMCC, Halo Waypoint and Halo social media) that the end is coming.
Then finally Phase four, which initiates December 2021, will shut down all servers for Halo games for the Xbox 360.
The games impacted in the legacy Halo series are Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo 4, Halo: Reach, Spartan Assault and Halo Wars.
You will be able to play the multiplayer and co-op of each of these games, but they’ll have to be played locally.
It is worth keeping in mind that the servers being shut down are for the standalone games for the Xbox 360 and this will not impact those games that are included in Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
In relation to legacy titles included in Halo: TMCC, the Halo blog states: “The Halo titles within MCC have been rebuilt and remastered to leverage totally different, modernized services and will not be affected by this sunsetting.”
On the plus side for those that are disappointed by this news at least we’ve been given a whole year to get as much Xbox 360 game-time in as possible. And to be fair, I think it’s amazing that the online servers for 360 games will still be running up until December 2021.
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Featured Image Credit: 343 Industries