We are about to reach the end of a very important era for Xbox–well, in about a year. Microsoft has announced that in December 2021, it will be taking Xbox 360 services offline for the Halo series. This move will affect seven different games, including two games in the original trilogy, limiting or completely disabling online matchmaking.
In a post on Halo Waypoint, 343 Industries said that it takes a great deal of resources in order to maintain the services for these games. Total player-count has been dwindling as more players choose to play the Xbox One or PC versions through the Master Chief Collection, and the Xbox 360 versions haven’t even been available to purchase physically for about two years.
The games affected are listed below:
It’s worth noting that all of these games are playable on Xbox One, either through the Master Chief Collection or their own native release. Halo Reach was added relatively recently after previously being available via backwards compatibility, so Microsoft may have been planning to sunset the Xbox 360 services for a while.
The services will end right around the release of Halo Infinite on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC. The game was previously scheduled to launch alongside the new consoles back in November, but it was later delayed an entire year in order to give the development team more time to polish it and address concerns. Original writer Joseph Staten has also returned to the project for its final year, and it appears he’s now serving in a creative director role.