2005: The year of Michael Jackson’s trial, Hurricane Katrina and the Xbox 360. 17 years later, Halo developer 343 Industries has announced it will be shutting down some of its oldest servers. Come January 13, 2022, Xbox 360 gamers will face limited or disabled options for online play.
What games are affected? — Xbox 360 versions of Halo: Reach, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo 4, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Spartan Assault and Halo Wars will no longer offer all online services. Anyone playing on an Xbox 360 version of these games, regardless of the console being used, will see features lost with the coming shutdown.
What services are limited? — The online servers will be turned off, but the games themselves are still playable. Halo Reach is seeing the most features disabled, as the game will soon lose its matchmaking, fileshare, service record, challenges, player customization and moto options. Halo 4 will also lose a substantial number of these features, too. Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST will still offer player customization and service record, but will lose their matchmaking and fileshare features.
Why is this happening? — It’s unclear why Halo’s team is choosing to sunset its old servers now, but it may be due, at least in part, to the launch of Halo: Infinite last month. For fans of older titles, there’s never a good time for studios to retire games (we see you, Titanfall) but developers may be looking to narrow their focus on new releases and wish to limit bandwidth accordingly.
On the bright side — Those with Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo Wars: Definitive Edition can thank their lucky stars, as these two collections will not see any changes. These game versions are newer by comparison, released in 2014 and 2016 respectively.