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'.