343 Industries is planning to shut down the online services of the legacy Xbox 360 Halo titles next year, with the change slated to take down matchmaking, file share, and other online elements for a vast majority of the games. The impacted Xbox 360 titles are Halo: Reach, Halo 4, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Spartan Assault, and Halo Wars.
The studio explained that the playerbases for these versions are dwindling but they still require a large amount of resources to maintain. "As with any business, our teams must continually weigh needs against available resources (time, people, expertise, etc.) and prioritize on areas and opportunities that yield the greatest impact", added 343 Industries. "As these games continue to age, and as improved modern replacements for many of these experiences have moved to the forefront, less and less people are investing time in the original legacy titles."
The legacy services shutdown will happen in approximately one year, in December 2021. Keep in mind that this will also affect players using backward compatibility on modern Xbox consoles to play these original Halo versions. Obviously, the games in Halo: The Master Chief Collection will not be affected by this, and all legacy Xbox 360 user-generated content has already been brought forward into the new versions.
See the image above to find out how exactly will each Xbox 360 version be impacted by the shutdown of online services. Digital sales have been halted for these versions as well, making Halo: The Master Chief Collection the only method for new players to experience the classics.