Seven Halo titles on Xbox 360 delisted, online features sunset in December 2021

Seven Halo titles on Xbox 360 delisted, online features sunset in December 2021

“Every cycle spent maintaining and supporting Xbox 360 legacy services is time and energy not spent on the future of Halo”. This sentence alone, posted by 343 Industries on the future of Halo titles for Xbox 360, really sums up the struggle behind a lot of delistings. If the entirety of Microsoft’s game development division can’t justify maintaining legacy titles, how can any publisher or developer operating on a fraction of Microsoft’s budget? I wanted to open with this thought because it’s a great primer on delistings in general. Now onto the Halo-specific news.

343 Industries announced on December 18th that all seven Halo titles on Xbox 360 had been delisted and that online services for those games would be shut down no sooner than one year later on December 18th, 2021. “To date, we’ve juggled future-facing work and priorities with continued upkeep of Halo’s Xbox 360 legacy services,” the post adds. “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”.

The post continues by laying out a timeline of events which promises frequent reminders throughout 2021 leading up to the service shutdown. It even advises achievement hunters to prioritize the matchmaking and challenge-based Achievements in each game before the deadline. There’s also an exhaustive chart of affected modes and features for each game but here is a quick list of the titles that have already been delisted:

  • 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 currently included in Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One and Steam with online features and multiplayer separate from the legacy Xbox 360 versions. Although the multiplayer in the MCC suffered from extensive problems when it launched in 2014 things seem to have improved over the years and 343 continues to add titles and features to the package. The delisted Xbox 360 titles are also available on physical media while Halo Wars and Spartan Assault remain on sale digitally for Xbox One and PC.

343 Industries’ full post contains more information, explanation, and an FAQ to address a few specific concerns owners might have. I’ve added the 2021 date to the Watch List calendar and will have pages up on the site for all seven titles in time. Thanks to Robbie Boerner for the heads-up on this news.