End of an era: Microsoft is sunsetting Halo’s Xbox 360 services

It’ll be turned off in December 2021

It feels like just yesterday that myself and my duos partner won Halo 2 in a local tournament, but here we are.

Halo is on its umpteenth game, and legacy titles are being sunset. Halo, as a series, started its life around two decades ago in 2001. That same year, the Mario Bros. series was 16 years old. The Master Chief has endured longer than many other gaming icons, and continues to live on. But not on Xbox 360.

According to a post from Halo steward 343 Industries, Microsoft will sunset legacy Halo games on Xbox 360 in December of 2021. That lengthy list includes:

  • Halo: Reach
  • Halo 4
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 3: ODST
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  • Spartan Assault
  • Halo Wars

Yeah, it’s probably more than you thought! 343 even clarifies that it will impact backward compatible play, as it’s naturally the same online servers you’re accessing. However, it also will not impact the Master Chief Collection. The big things that are going away are matchmaking, filesharing, online service records/challenges/player customization for Halo Reach and Halo 4.

You can find the full timeline below, which is very clear on how things will work. The main thing? Accept the change and get all of the matchmaking or challenge-linked achievements before December 2021.

Sunsetting Halo Xbox 360 Game Services in 2021 [Halo Waypoint]

Phase One – Fall 2019

  • One-time migration of over 6M pieces of Halo Xbox 360 Legacy UGC data to Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Phase Two – December 2020 (WE ARE HERE)

  • Initial notification to players
  • Digital sales of Halo Xbox 360 titles are halted
  • *Halo Xbox 360 DLC can still be acquired at no cost

Phase Three – 2021

  • Continued messaging and reminders throughout the year across Halo channels

Phase Four – December 2021 *(TBD, no sooner than 1 year from the date of today’s blog)

  • Halo Xbox 360 legacy services are turned off
Chris Carter
EIC, Reviews Director - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step in January of 2009 blogging on the site. Now, he's staff!