When Xbox Live shut down on the original Xbox, a community of dedicated players vanished… from the console. Halo 2 fans were still able to take their shots on the PC version. It endured.
As 343 made their update post this week on the happenings in the community and with Halo 4, a small note at the bottom made some players cringe: Halo 2 on the PC was going offline.
To switch gears ever so slightly, 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.
So that’s it. Halo 2 was a beacon for the beginning of the online console generation, something that catapulted Xbox Live to success. Along with first party sports games, Microsoft forced high bandwidth connections – a controversial move – and charged – even more controversial – but Halo 2 was enough.
While this is only one game, it remained that sliver of what remained from the original Xbox Live experience. Consider those memories just that: memories.