343 Industries has announced that Halo games on Xbox 360 will go offline in December 2021. This move will be affecting a total of seven games, including Halo 3, which was released back in 2007 for the Xbox 360.
In a blog post on Halo Waypoint, 343 Industries mentions that it “juggled future-facing work and priorities with continued upkeep of Halo’s Xbox 360 legacy service.” However, considering that maintaining these servers “requires significant time and resources which directly impacts the studio’s ability to support current and future projects,” 343 decided to discontinue online services for legacy Halo titles.
It further emphasizes that there is an imbalance between the effort put behind maintaining these servers and the number of players playing these games. While physical sales were discontinued back in 2018, digital sales continued to dwindle over time. As a result, digital distribution will also be halted after this announcement.
This means that players won’t be able to access online features, such as multiplayer in Halo: Reach, Halo 4, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Spartan Assault, and Halo Wars after December 2021. Players will also not be able to access these services if they are playing the game via backward compatibility on a newer console. However, it should be noted that Halo titles in the Halo: Master Chief Collection will not be affected by this as they use different services altogether.
Players who have yet to unlock achievements that requires online services should do so before the online services are halted. After December 2021, these achievements and legacy file share content will no longer be accessible.