343 Industries revealed the date of the Halo 3 servers being shut down. The online multiplayer servers for Halo games on Xbox 360 will close on January 13, 2022. Meanwhile, the studio spoke on the shutdown:
To date, we’ve juggled future-facing work and priorities with continued upkeep of Halo’s Xbox 360 legacy services. 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,”
As the player base of these games on Xbox 360, maintaining these legacy services today requires significant time and resources, which impacts upcoming new projects. Additionally, the digital sales of the Xbox 360 Halo games have slowed down, and physical sales halted back in 2018. Alongside Halo 3, the following titles will also be affected: Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, Halo 4, Halo Wars, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and Spartan Assault. While the multiplayer functions of these games will be limited following the server ends in January, the games will remain playable offline. This also applies to previous compatible versions of the games. But, it won’t impact games as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
Why Are the Halo Servers Shutting Down?
Previously, 343 Industries posted various posts on shutting down the servers of Halo on December 2020. Explaining the decision to sunset the servers, 343 Industries said:
The month over month usage of these legacy Xbox 360 game services continues to dwindle, creating an even greater imbalance between the time and work required to maintain vs. the net impact to the overall Halo community.
That’s not to say we don’t value and care about everyone who plays Halo – we absolutely do. But, as with any business, our teams must continually weigh needs against available resources (time, people, expertise, etc.) and prioritise on areas and opportunities that yield the greatest impact.”
Aside from the Halo 3 servers shutting down, not all Halo news today is bad. Microsoft released brand-new campaign footage for Halo Infinite. It shows new environments, enemies, vehicles, and more. The game finally releases on December 8 for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.