You know - I always knew if anyone ruined Halo, it'd be Microsoft, even though this is not what I had in mind. In a move meant to protect Halo intellectual property, Microsoft have basically terminated the last remnants of Halo Online.
In case you can quite place Halo Online in your memory banks, worry not, you're not mad. Well, you could be, just not in this case. Anyway, Halo Online was a juiced up version of Halo 3, made by 343 Industries and Saber Interactive and aimed at markets with low end rigs.
It went into closed beta in Spring 2015 in Russia but the entire idea was eventually abandoned. That, however, didn't stop some brave souls from developing it further under the name ElDewrito.
The mod made Halo Online available outside Russia, albeit with meagre numbers at best. Well, that's until the update v0.6 landed and once again brought it to prominence.
The update brought server browsers, cosmetics, stats, ranked servers and pretty much anything you'd expect from a proper online multiplayer title. In fact, Halo Online ElDewrito's Twitch figures reportedly shot upwards of 10 thousand and it all looked rosy.
The mod's website says ElDewrito "is a community-made mod for Halo Online" that "allows the game to be played in player-hosted servers". And that is apparently where the problem lies - server code.
The fact that Halo Online was abandoned doesn't mean it crossed into the open source domain, as Microsoft's hordes of attorneys probably chanted in unison. The company's intellectual property must be protected, which is not optional - it is their legal responsibility towards their shareholders, they pointed out.
The company claim to have been in touch with ElDewrito's devs and are adamant that everyone is disappointed at the inevitable outcome, some perhaps more than others. With so much work sunk into it, we can't help but feel for the others.
Microsoft stressed, however, that their activities are not aimed against the devs or their ElDewrito mod - they are simply obliged to take down "many elements of that underlying code", seeing as how much of it is still being used today.
ElDewrito is apparently still alive and well at the time of writing, although we don't expect it to stay that way for long.