It's an end of an era for older generation Halo games.
343 Industries has announced that it will be shutting down multiplayer servers for Xbox 360 Halo games at the end of 2021.
Halo will always be one of the franchises that normalised online play. While online multiplayer existed before the arrival of Master Chief, the franchise was certainly one of the cornerstones of bringing it to a mainstream audience.
While it started on the Xbox with Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, it was solidified on the Xbox 360 where it was even more accessible.
Well, unfortunately, it truly is nearly time to say goodbye to that era. In a post on Halo Waypoint, 343 Industries announced that online support would be impacted for Halo 4, Halo: Reach, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Spartan Assault, and Halo Wars.
Explaining the decision to sunset the servers, 343 Industries said: "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 prioritise on areas and opportunities that yield the greatest impact."
The post went on to say that sunsetting these servers are for the benefit of the future of Halo. "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 endeavours. "
It's important to note that just because servers are being shut down does not mean you won't be able to play the games. You can still play through the campaigns of the game. Instead, online services like matchmaking are what will not be available.
Hell, you could even get some friends with Xbox 360s lying around and get a LAN party going like the good old days if you still want to experience the thrill of multiplayer.
It's also worth noting that their online experiences will, of course, live on in the Master Chief Collection.
Still, it's always sad to see an important chapter in gaming wind down, especially one with so many emotional attachments for a lot of players. So, if you want to get your fill of some Xbox 360 Halo multiplayer action, make sure you log in sometime over the next year.