Microsoft Says It's Pursuing Legal Action Against Halo Online Mod--But The Mod Still Survives

The genie apparently cannot be put back in the bottle.

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Of all the Halo titles that have come out over the years, Halo Online is definitely the weirdest. Announced and released in early access in 2015, Halo Online was a Russia-only, PC-exclusive multiplayer game based on the Halo 3 engine. Back in 2016, development on the game was shut down and the game itself was shelved.

However, Halo Online continued to survive outside of the control of Microsoft. Its code leaked a couple of years ago, and determined fans built a modded version of it that allowed non-Russians to play it. Called ElDewrito, it featured player-hosted servers, stat tracking, and even emblem customization. However, Microsoft has now declared that it has initiated legal action intended to prevent players from using Halo: Online's game files.

The company is not targeting ElDewrito directly, since it's just a mod built on top of the game files. However, it has begun issuing DMCA notices to streaming sites showing Halo: Online in action as well as any websites hosting the game files themselves.

Microsoft chose to start cracking down now because the ElDewrito modders had just recently released a brand-new, feature-rich patch, and the player base spiked in response. In fact, there are still thousands of Halo: Online players right now. And it appears that Halo developer 343 Industries recognizes the huge demand for Halo on PC.

"As Microsoft's need to protect its IP spun up, we reached out to members of the ElDewrito team to have an open discussion about the project and the admittedly difficult situation we all find ourselves in," it wrote in a statement. "One thing remains clear--the community really wants more Halo on PC. As we look ahead, we're very excited about the prospects of an official classic Halo experience making its way to PC and we hope to be able to partner with the ElDewrito team and broader mod and content creation community to help inform the types of experiences and features our fans desire."

Although nothing has been announced yet, this at least gives a little glimmer of hope that more of the classic Halo games could make their way to PC at some point in the future. In any case, we do know that Halo 6 will almost certainly be on PC, as every Xbox-exclusive game is now released on Windows 10 as well.

[News from ArsTechnica]

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