Microsoft to Retire Halo Game Services for Xbox 360

Posted on December 19, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Xbox, Xbox 360 with 6 Comments

Microsoft’s 343 Industries announced that it will be retiring the Halo game services for Xbox 360 in about one year, in December 2021.

“Here at 343 Industries, our teams are wholly focused on the future of Halo,” a new post from the game studio explains. “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.”

For this reason, 343 now plans to retire its Halo game services for Xbox 360 sometime in December 2021, about one year from now. But it will do so over time in phases. According to the studio, phase one happened over a year ago, when it migrated over 6 million pieces of Halo Xbox 360 legacy user-generated data to Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Today, we’re in phase two, which includes alerting gamers about the rest of the schedule and halting digital sales of Halo games on Xbox 360 (though digital sales of downloadable content, or DLC, will continue on that platform).

Phase three involves continued messaging about the pending retirement throughout 2021. And in phase four, it all comes to a close when Halo legacy services for Xbox 360 will be shut down.

The shutdown will impact all major Halo titles that were released on the Xbox 360, including Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo 4, Halo: Reach, and Halo Wars, plus Halo Spartan Assault. And Microsoft notes that anyone who owns these titles will still be able to access and play them after the services have been turned off, with the understanding that some experiences and functionality will be reduced or removed.

The shutdown does not impact any of the games in the Halo: The Master Chief Collection series, or Halo Wars: Definitive Edition.

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