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Post by Dan @ 12:50pm 18/01/13 | 15 Comments
While those wishing to fire up an online game of multiplayer for the PC version of the original Halo: Combat Evolved can still do so, over a decade later thanks to Gearbox Software's work with an open dedicated server model, Halo 2 online multiplayer functionality will cease to be on February 15th 2013.

Revealed as a brief footnote to a blog about a swathe of new upcoming Xbox 360 content for Halo 3, Halo Waypoint's Jessica Shea shared the disappointing news (thanks Eurogamer):
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.
Halo 2 made use of the much-maligned Games for Windows Live service, requiring Windows Vista when it launched in 2007 (two and half years after the original Xbox version), with all online multiplayer games played on servers operated by Microsoft.

Sure, only a handful of people a day were still making use of it globally, and LAN play will still be available, but it's still a demonstration of the failings of a closed-server model, when the original 2002 PC version of Halo: Combat Evolved is still truckin'.












Latest Comments
badfunkstripe
Posted 12:56pm 20/1/13
I'm sure it's not far off until these companies that like this kind of control will be shutting games off sooner and sooner. So eventually after a year when the next one comes out, the old one is useless.
iJebus
Posted 02:26pm 20/1/13
When it peaks at ~20 players, I don't really blame them for killing it off.
paveway
Posted 04:20pm 20/1/13
So eventually after a year when the next one comes out, the old one is useless


there is nothing surer that activision will have a view (and would love)to do this with the cod series, not sure they could ever do it after 1 year but maybe 2 years and bam the previous version's servers get shut down
mteejay
Posted 12:04pm 03/2/13
most people get sick of the older games and move onto something new anyway. i know i am a games whore, and once i am done with it, toss it in the 'proverbial bin'. unless you played halo2 regularly online, your not going to care about them shutting it down. aside from that, 20 people at the most across all their servers - just not worth maintaining. if there were enough people playing, i am sure they would continue the service...
copuis
Posted 12:11pm 03/2/13
yeah, but some of those older games are still fun, and if they have methods that allow them to be lan played with ease, the title will live alot longer

i mean, dont they still play starcraft, and how old is that game now
Lithium
Posted 12:46pm 03/2/13
The fact there's only 20 people playing just shows no one wants to use their cancerous online platform. Would be heaps more if there were ded servers.

deadlyf
Posted 02:07pm 03/2/13
They should just release a patch to allow people to host games once they shut their own servers down. You wouldn't need dedicated servers for old games if all you want to do is have the occasional bash with friends as long as the ability to host your own game is there.

Of course the problem with that idea is that they would have to put some development time into a dead game for nothing other than a little PR. Very little incentive IMO.
copuis
Posted 02:29pm 03/2/13
they could always have coded it in from the start
Khel
Posted 02:37pm 03/2/13
In principle, sure, no dedicated servers is a bad thing and sets a bad precedent. But in reality, who would still want to really play Halo 2 on PC anyway? Even if it had dedicated servers from the start, I couldn't imagine the playerbase being any bigger at this point than it is now.

It'll take a game that people actually give a s*** about being shut down before this argument can gain any real traction with gamers at large.
greazy
Posted 02:52pm 03/2/13
most people get sick of the older games and move onto something new anyway. i know i am a games whore, and once i am done with it, toss it in the 'proverbial bin'. unless you played halo2 regularly online, your not going to care about them shutting it down. aside from that, 20 people at the most across all their servers - just not worth maintaining. if there were enough people playing, i am sure they would continue the service...

This is true but if a dedicated server software existed then it wouldnt be an issue. IMO it comes down to control. Companies seem to want near complete control of their games. Why should you be playing this old game (and not making us money) when a newer version exists (which can make us money)?
yeah, but some of those older games are still fun, and if they have methods that allow them to be lan played with ease, the title will live alot longer i mean, dont they still play starcraft, and how old is that game now

Starcraft used battle.net which is a service that allows players to host their on games. Still not a dedicated server setup but still damn good. So this turn off is similar to blizzard turning off battle.net for Starcraft (probably never).
Whoop
Posted 02:54pm 03/2/13
Even with dedicated servers, there's no guarantee you can still play the game in 10+ years time if no one is willing to run the server. Sure there's LAN play but who goes to LAN's anymore?
copuis
Posted 04:29pm 03/2/13
rarely, but lans still happen
greazy
Posted 06:22pm 03/2/13
Even with dedicated servers, there's no guarantee you can still play the game in 10+ years time if no one is willing to run the server. Sure there's LAN play but who goes to LAN's anymore?

But in 10+ years time your average computer might be able to handle the server software and if youre really keen you're able to host your own server.

Also just having the LAN option is awesome because, again, if someone is keen they might be able to setup something like Lancraft for War3. It worked amazingly well.
BladeRunner
Posted 12:01am 04/2/13
I would like to see some of the newer Halo games on PC but I seriously doubt it will ever happen. Dedicated server should always be an option.
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