March 15, 2011 (AU, EU, NA)
February 21, 2012 (JP)
|December 18, 2020
|Digital (in Halo: The Master Chief Collection)
Xbox Series X|S
|Halo Waypoint homepage
343 Industries outlined their plan on December 18th, 2020 to retire online services for seven Xbox 360 Halo releases no sooner than one year later, December 18th, 2021. On the same day as the announcement all seven titles were removed from sale in addition to the digital version of the original Xbox release of Halo: Combat Evolved. The affected titles include:
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
- Halo 3
- Halo Wars
- Halo 3: ODST
- Halo: Reach
- Halo 4
- Halo: Spartan Assault
All of the titles aside from Halo Wars and Spartan Assault are included in Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Steam with online features and multiplayer separate from the legacy Xbox 360 versions. 343’s full announcement follows:
Here at 343 Industries, our teams are wholly focused on the future of Halo. From significant updates and improvements to MCC and the move to PC, to the future of the franchise with Halo Infinite – we’re working to deliver great experiences for years to come. The future looks very bright for Halo fans and we’re incredibly excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.
To date, we’ve juggled future-facing work and priorities with continued upkeep of Halo’s Xbox 360 legacy services. Maintaining these legacy services today requires significant time and resources which directly impacts the studio’s ability to support current and future projects like Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo Infinite.
Meanwhile, the month over month usage of these legacy Xbox 360 game services continues to dwindle, creating an even greater imbalance between the time and work required to maintain vs. the net impact to the overall Halo community. That’s not to say we don’t value and care about everyone who plays Halo – we absolutely do. But, as with any business, our teams must continually weigh needs against available resources (time, people, expertise, etc.) and prioritize on areas and opportunities that yield the greatest impact. As these games continue to age, and as improved modern replacements for many of these experiences have moved to the forefront, less and less people are investing time in the original legacy titles. Digital sales have greatly slowed and physical sales of these legacy Xbox 360 titles were halted back in 2018.
Every cycle spent maintaining and supporting Xbox 360 legacy services is time and energy not spent on the future of Halo. 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. In approximately ONE YEAR, December 2021, 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.
We are intentionally moving slowly and deliberately with a multi-phase approach to provide our players with plenty of advance notice:
Phase One – Fall 2019
One-time migration of over 6M pieces of Halo Xbox 360 Legacy UGC data to Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Phase Two – December 2020 (WE ARE HERE)
Initial notification to players
Digital sales of Halo Xbox 360 titles are halted
*Halo Xbox 360 DLC can still be acquired at no cost
Phase Three – 2021
Continued messaging and reminders throughout the year across Halo channels
Phase Four – December 2021 *(TBD, no sooner than 1 year from the date of today’s blog)
Halo Xbox 360 legacy services are turned off
Continuing to evolve and expand MCC while bringing our ambitious vision for Halo Infinite to life is our top priority and stepping away from the day to day upkeep and hurdles of these aging services will empower the team to stay laser focused on our most critical future-facing endeavors.
As noted above, this is just the beginning – and we’ll continue to message and remind our community of next year’s sunsetting in the coming months. For now, no action is required other than taking note. We would like to also flag that as these services continue to age and back-end work transpires, players may encounter intermittent disruptions. If we anticipate any work items will result in specific service interruptions along the way, we’ll be sure to get the word out.
Please see below for more specific details and answers to some frequently asked questions. We truly appreciate the longstanding support from our community across these Xbox 360 experiences and look forward to embarking on a new chapter together as we continue to evolve MCC and jump into Halo Infinite together in 2021. Stay tuned to Halo Waypoint and Halo social channels for ongoing updates.343 Industries Announcement
In addition to a short FAQ, 343 Industries also provided the chart below outlining the modes and online features impacted in each title. Click to view the full size image.
About the Game
In 2552, the Covenant discovered the planet Reach. The UNSC mounted an unparalleled defense against the alien war machine. At the heart of this conflict was Noble Team, an experienced group of accomplished soldiers prepared to meet the enemy head-on. Now, with the addition of the team’s newest member—Noble Six—this squad will face its most challenging mission yet: the defense of Reach.
Developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios, Halo: Reach includes a pulse-pounding campaign, addictive multiplayer, riveting four-player Co-operative Firefight mode, and the massive Forge map-editing experience… and a Theater mode to capture it all. With more modes, maps, missions, and features than ever before, Halo: Reach is a masterpiece of stunning visuals, powerful story, epic encounters, and endless replayability.