This means Halo 3’s online multiplayer game ends 14 years after it first appeared in September 2007.
The company said: Our teams are completely focused on the future of Halo, and so far we have successfully reconciled future work and priorities with the ongoing maintenance of online services for Halo games via Xbox 360.
“Maintaining these ancient services today requires a lot of time and resources out of proportion to the number of people playing online,” she added.
This directly affects the company’s ability to support current and future projects, such as: Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo Infinite.
Because of this, 343 Industries now plans to stop online services for Halo games via the Xbox 360 at some point in December 2021, about one year from now.
The company intends to do so in phases, with the first phase occurring over a year ago, when it transferred over 6 million pieces of old user-generated Halo Xbox 360 data to Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
The second phase is now beginning, which includes alerting players about the rest of the schedule, and halting digital sales of Halo games via Xbox 360, although digital sales of downloadable content, or DLC, will continue across the platform.
The third phase includes continuous messages about the shutdown in 2021, and everything ends in the fourth phase when online services for Halo games via Xbox 360 are closed.
The shutdown affects all major Halo games released on Xbox 360, including Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo 4, Halo: Reach, Halo Wars, as well as Halo Spartan Assault.
Microsoft indicates that anyone who owns these games will still be able to access and play them after turning off online services, knowing that some functions will be reduced or removed.
The shutdown does not affect any of the games in the Halo: The Master Chief Collection or Halo Wars: Definitive Edition.