343 Industries will officially sunset online services for Xbox 360 Halo games in January

The plan remains the same, but the date has changed.

Image via Microsoft

Halo fans have had a pretty exciting day with 343 Industries showcasing the first look at campaign gameplay for Halo: Infinite since the original gameplay reveal back in July 2020. It was all good news, as the studio also confirmed that servers for all Xbox 360 Halo titles would be shutting down in the coming months. 

This isn’t entirely new information, as 343 originally announced this online service shutdown on Halo Waypoint last December, but there has been a slight change in dates as we approach the launch of Infinite

In that initial post, 343 noted that month-over-month usage of legacy Xbox 360 games were continuously decreasing, leading to a “greater imbalance between the time and work required to maintain vs. the net impact to the overall Halo community.” As a result, the team announced its plan to sunset legacy online services for 360 titles in December 2021, although that date has now been pushed to Jan. 13, 2022. 

Image via 343 Industries

Phase one and two of this multi-phase approach to sunsetting older servers have already been completed, as 343 moved a lot of data from the 360 games over to supporting The Master Chief Collection in Fall 2019 and a notification of this plan, along with halting digital sales for Halo 360 titles took place last December. 

The following games will still be entirely playable, but will have online services limited or entirely disabled on Jan. 13, 2022:

Image via 343 Industries
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 3: ODST
  • Halo Reach
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  • Halo Wars
  • Halo: Spartan Assault. 

This applies to the original 360 Halo titles only, which also means backward compatible titles on Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S will have online limited or disabled, too. It will not affect MCC versions or update versions of these titles. 

“To date, we’ve juggled future-facing work and priorities with continued upkeep of Halo’s Xbox 360 legacy services,” 343 said. “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. Every cycle spent maintaining and supporting Xbox 360 legacy services is time and energy not spent on the future of Halo.”

You can read a full list of details, comments, and frequently asked questions regarding the Halo 360 service sunsetting on Halo Waypoint, and 343 will continue updating fans as we get closer to the end of legacy support for the franchise.