Back in January, having long outlived its original-Xbox counterpart’s death date of April 2010, a Halo Waypoint manager announced via a weekly Halo bulletin that Halo 2’s PC-version servers would officially be taken offline.
…We’re sad to report that the service end-date for Halo 2 PC Multiplayer will be February 15, 2013. We’ve been monitoring the population for months, and it’s been peaking consistently at approximately 20 players or less. Those that own this game can continue to enjoy Multiplayer over LAN after that date; however our network services will be turned off at that time. We love you, Halo 2 PC, and you will live forever in our hearts.
Understandably, those loyal 20 players or less were pretty vocally upset… and 343 Industries must have heard them. Yesterday, almost ten years after Halo 2‘s release, 343 announced that multi-player servers would remain live until the summer–around mid-June–and about 100 people across the globe broke out in celebration.
David Ellis announced the decision on his twitter. “Halo 2 PC support extended through June 2013 while we investigate further support options. Now go get those achievements.” Ellis offered no explanation for this abrupt decision, so any general idea as to why is pure speculation.
There are still rumors floating around of a Halo 2: Anniversary Edition in the works, fueled by Xbox Magazine’s report that “following the success of remake Halo: Anniversary, 343 Industries has now started development of Halo 2: Anniversary.” So it’s very possible that giving servers an extended lifespan may be a way to hold fans over until the anniversary edition is announced. Given that Halo 2 still retains a following passionate enough to influence 343’s over the shut-down of a practically-obsolete game nearly a decade later, it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to wonder if 343 Industries wants to revitalize the brand. Of course, that’s complete heresy.
Regardless of 343’s next step, it sure is comforting to know that fans are being heard, acknowledged, and loved.