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Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month

The Halo Bulletin has a lengthy post on the author's gaffe in not recognizing a YouTube star, details on season 2 of Spartan Ops, and word on next week's matchmaking playlist update (thanks Eurogamer). Buried way at the bottom is the announcement that February 15th will see the closure of multiplayer servers for the PC edition of Halo 2 (forever to be known as the game that failed to force you to upgrade to Vista). If you are impacted by this, then you and 19 other players are not at fault here:

To switch gears ever so slightly, were sad to report that the service end-date for Halo 2 PC Multiplayer will be February 15, 2013. Weve been monitoring the population for months, and its 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.

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26. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 20, 2013, 17:40 Suppa7
 
Shataan wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 15:26:
"Still have not forgiven Bungie for selling out to Microsoft"

I for 1 am glad M$ bought Halo. Otherwise, you`d all be playing Halo as a 3rd pov piece of.......

M$ did the right thing releasing it as a 1st pov game.

doesn`t anyone miss the old days where we had a dedicated server running on a spare pc at home, so if we needed to.... we could host a server? I sure do.

Hahaha Halo was always a 2nd rate shooter, gtfo. Halo 1 was the only decent (not great) halo game, halo 2 sp sucked and mp was ok, halo 3 was just balls mostly and same with 4.
 
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25. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 19, 2013, 05:03 Endo
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 14:27:
And this is why you don't buy games where you can host the server yourself.
Yeah. At least you can still play with LAN. Still, excluding either option from a PC multiplayer game is not acceptable to me.
 
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24. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 18, 2013, 11:05 Dev
 
InBlack wrote on Jan 18, 2013, 04:09:
I enjoyed Halo on the PC and was really pissed when they announced that Halo2 would be a Vista only exclusive. To this day I still dont know what all that was about, many people here on Blues were trying to convice me that it was all about DirectX10 but Im pretty sure that in hindsight they will agree with me when I say that Microsoft was just peddling its lousy fucking OS...
And it turned out that it really didn't even use dx10. It only needed vista for some wierd install method they did (and I dont remember anyone else ever using that special vista install method again).
I remember there were workarounds to get it installed on XP and that it actually ran BETTER on xp than vista.
 
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23. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 18, 2013, 08:02 jdreyer
 
InBlack wrote on Jan 18, 2013, 04:09:
I enjoyed Halo on the PC and was really pissed when they announced that Halo2 would be a Vista only exclusive. To this day I still dont know what all that was about, many people here on Blues were trying to convice me that it was all about DirectX10 but Im pretty sure that in hindsight they will agree with me when I say that Microsoft was just peddling its lousy fucking OS...

Dude, it's just your overactive imagination. MS would never limit their software in a way that would force consumers down a single path.

Hmm, on second thought they have a lot more in common with Apple than I thought...
 
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22. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 18, 2013, 04:09 InBlack
 
I enjoyed Halo on the PC and was really pissed when they announced that Halo2 would be a Vista only exclusive. To this day I still dont know what all that was about, many people here on Blues were trying to convice me that it was all about DirectX10 but Im pretty sure that in hindsight they will agree with me when I say that Microsoft was just peddling its lousy fucking OS...  
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21. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 18, 2013, 00:18 Dev
 
necrosis wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 23:01:
jdreyer wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 15:59:
Interestingly, a few months ago, my wife came upon a shrink-wrapped Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS at Goodwill. It has bundled some pretty awesome games: Jedi Knight Academy, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, Rainbow Six 3, Splinter Cell, and the original Halo. So, I may get around to it at some point.
Wow. Thats... wow. Damn thats a good set of games.
Thats because they used to bundle some good stuff, and that was a serious point of buying something, what it came bundled with Nowadays its 1 game. And in a $300 graphics card, a single game isn't going to make many people's buying decision.
 
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20. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 23:01 necrosis
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 15:59:
sauron wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 14:37:
I must be the only guy in the world that has never played Halo. Still have not forgiven Bungie for selling out to Microsoft, or Microsoft for making it XBox-exclusive and then using it to market Vista. They can kiss my undead sorceror's ass.

The Master Chief is just a corporate symbol used by idiots in suits to sell things. If the products were any good, they wouldn't need it.

I've never played it. I don't own a console, and never bought it for PC.

Interestingly, a few months ago, my wife came upon a shrink-wrapped Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS at Goodwill. It has bundled some pretty awesome games: Jedi Knight Academy, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, Rainbow Six 3, Splinter Cell, and the original Halo. So, I may get around to it at some point.
Wow. Thats... wow. Damn thats a good set of games.
 
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19. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 15:59 jdreyer
 
sauron wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 14:37:
I must be the only guy in the world that has never played Halo. Still have not forgiven Bungie for selling out to Microsoft, or Microsoft for making it XBox-exclusive and then using it to market Vista. They can kiss my undead sorceror's ass.

The Master Chief is just a corporate symbol used by idiots in suits to sell things. If the products were any good, they wouldn't need it.

I've never played it. I don't own a console, and never bought it for PC.

Interestingly, a few months ago, my wife came upon a shrink-wrapped Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS at Goodwill. It has bundled some pretty awesome games: Jedi Knight Academy, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, Rainbow Six 3, Splinter Cell, and the original Halo. So, I may get around to it at some point.
 
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18. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 15:26 Shataan
 
"Still have not forgiven Bungie for selling out to Microsoft"

I for 1 am glad M$ bought Halo. Otherwise, you`d all be playing Halo as a 3rd pov piece of.......

M$ did the right thing releasing it as a 1st pov game.

doesn`t anyone miss the old days where we had a dedicated server running on a spare pc at home, so if we needed to.... we could host a server? I sure do.
 
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17. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 14:37 sauron
 
I must be the only guy in the world that has never played Halo. Still have not forgiven Bungie for selling out to Microsoft, or Microsoft for making it XBox-exclusive and then using it to market Vista. They can kiss my undead sorceror's ass.

The Master Chief is just a corporate symbol used by idiots in suits to sell things. If the products were any good, they wouldn't need it.
 
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Kittens!
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16. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 14:27 Cutter
 
And this is why you don't buy games where you can host the server yourself.  
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15. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 14:05 Beelzebud
 
Get ready for more of this in the upcoming years. With many developers not doing dedicated servers, this is the end result.

 
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14. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 13:51 Clancy
 
"We love you, Halo 2 PC, and you will live forever in our hearts"

What they really meant to say is:
"Pa, take them out to the back and put them out of their misery!"
 
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13. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 13:06 Verno
 
Copying some files or recompiling some stuff is not costly, I could believe some compatibility or licensing issues but migration for non-essential software daemons is pretty much a joke thanks to VMs. At the worst you might have some old linked libraries or legacy stuff to worry about. They already have the hardware capacity for other things and they already have to employ people to do this stuff, they don't really save anything significant based on what I see doing IT doing around here and what friends in the industry say.

To be fair though, one legitimate scenario is that there are no more personnel around who have the familiarity with the software and many companies don't want to run it if that's the case. That's happened a few times in the industry and there have been some cases where old server code gets lost in a transition or etc.

But I agree that with 20 players and for the number of years they ran it that this is a fine ending point, especially since the community has an alternative. I just strongly dislike it when companies sunset things and don't let the community who is interested at least run it themselves.
 
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12. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 12:51 Dev
 
a) I'm glad to see actual numbers behind a shutdown notice. 20 players peak seems a reasonable number to shut down at for a AAA title.

b) Note that since this game has LAN, ppl can STILL play it multiplayer (and can probably use things like hamachi or whatever to play it online multiplayer).

c) As for cost, it could well be that it would cost them a chunk. For instance, many older servers are not virtualized, but on separate hardware. They could have been extending the warranty all this time to keep the server hardware replaceable, but now perhaps its EOL and doing a replacement server would be expensive. And if they wanted to pay someone to migrate it into a virtual server, thats not free either.
It may not be huge amount to a large company, but I could see it being enough to have them make the call that 20 ppl peak is too little to bother with.
 
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11. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 12:23 Verno
 
Techie714 wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 10:57:
Why should companies be forced to support legacy games? these companies are in the business of making money not supporting old games.

The companys right to make money is a separate issue. No one is infringing on or suggesting they don't have a right to make money. Hell, no one is even saying they should incur unfair expenses. People paid for a product and the multiplayer functionality is part of that product. No one expects them to shell out millions every year to support Ghost Recon 1 or Halo 2 but the cost argument doesn't make much sense, these things are low maintenance and generally cost very little. They already have power and server farm costs, those are ongoing expenses that the removal of a few games isn't going to save them much on. I don't know what kind of business model they are using that does not factor those costs into the product sale either.

Now with that said I'm all for these companies releasing the source so the games can live on, but now you get into a whole legal matrix, so it's easier & less costly just to shut down these servers. But I totally agree with those that want to keep playing these old games, they should be allow to.

They don't even need to release the source, they can just release the dedicated server and lobby binaries, presumably if there isn't any proprietary or unlicensed code (I suspect this is a big part of it) in there. Anyways bottom line is that no one is saying them doing with Halo 2 is a big deal, I think the fact that they supported it this long is laudable. I was just lamenting the fact that companies don't take a friendlier approach with their user communities and have some goodwill.

This comment was edited on Jan 17, 2013, 12:40.
 
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10. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 11:39 Armengar
 
If it has dedicated servers then so what if the matchmaking goes down. We played HL1 for shit'n'giggles at the last lan just to see the stoopid frame rates. Plenty of HL1 mods still get played and have active servers. Most new integrated GFX laptops will play HL1 brilliantly - great when you are stuck in a hotel due to snow with only a "normal" works laptop to hand (a time when steam really shines).  
Its not the cough that carries you off but the coffin they carry you off in.
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9. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 11:35 Creston
 
Techie714 wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 10:57:
Why should companies be forced to support legacy games? these companies are in the business of making money not supporting old games.

Legally there is nothing forcing them to, and like I said, in this case the game is still playable, both sp AND mp. The convenience of being able to play versus others across the internet is just taken away.

I find it an entirely different scenario when a game like Sim City is involved, because as soon as EA shuts the servers down for that, it will become unplayable for everyone who owns it.

Creston
 
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8. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 11:16 Parias
 
Creston wrote on Jan 17, 2013, 10:53:
That said, yeah, if only 20 people are playing it, I'm not sure there's really a point in keeping it up anymore, especially since the game can still be played MP without it. (worst case scenario, they VPN to each other and emulate a LAN.)

This here is the big argument - the games that actually deserve outrage over this sort of thing are those that don't offer any LAN play whatsoever (i.e. certain EA games that have seen recent shutdowns over the years), and as such offer no alternative options.
 
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7. Re: Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month Jan 17, 2013, 10:57 Techie714
 
Why should companies be forced to support legacy games? these companies are in the business of making money not supporting old games. Now with that said I'm all for these companies releasing the source so the games can live on, but now you get into a whole legal matrix, so it's easier & less costly just to shut down these servers. But I totally agree with those that want to keep playing these old games, they should be allow to.  
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