343 Industries has announced that it will be shutting down all online functionality for Halo games on the Xbox 360. This will not be an immediate action. Players on Xbox 360 have until December 2021 to play games such as Halo Anniversary, Halo 3, ODST, Halo 4, Halo Reach, Spartan Assault and Halo Wars with online functionality. In a statement 343 Industries wrote:
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.
The company has stated that the number of players using the Xbox 360 to play Halo games is dwindling year on year. While the developer says it cares about all Halo players, from a business perspective the amount of resources required to keep these legacy titles maintained is outweighing the benefit. In light of today’s announcement all the Xbox 360 versions of these games will be removed from digital storefronts.
343 Industries will be trying to shift as many resources as possible to the maintenance of Halo: Master Chief Collection, and Halo Infinite. 343 Industries recently opened up about Halo Infinite and its delayed launch, revealing that the game now has a launch window of Fall 2021. That’s effectively a year-long delay from the original intended launch alongside the Xbox Series X|S on 10th November. The campaign side of the game is complete, but work is needed on the multiplayer side which will be a free to play experience.