Halo Online A Halo Game with aspects of all the Halo games combined into one, large multiplayer game. The game was created for the intentions to only be in Russia however it has been leaked into other countries with difficulty. The game itself is completely free and contains tons of maps, whether they are returning maps, modified maps, or completely new maps. There are also weapon scope and skin customizations, and Mod support and more . The game has since been shut down for further development but can be played without restrictions using a mod called ElDewrito .

Post feature Report RSS Microsoft Shuts Down Halo Online Mod “ElDewrito”

The company, however, is interested in partnering with modders in the future.

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In an announcement posted to Halo series developer 343 Industries’ website, Microsoft has announced that it is officially shutting down the fan-made ElDewrito project. The mod was created as a fan-made continuation of Halo Online, a multiplayer-only Halo 3 spinoff that Microsoft was developing exclusively for the Russian Market.

Halo Online was cancelled – or as Microsoft says, “put on indefinite hold” – before being officially released. However, assets from the project leaked in 2014. Despite Microsoft’s attempts to suppress the leak with DMCA takedowns, a team of modders continued working with those assets to create ElDewrito.

The purpose of ElDewrito was similar to that of Halo Online, but with a few twists. It was intended to be a free, highly moddable, community-driven multiplayer Halo game for PC. The team got so far as releasing version 0.6, the announcement of which put the project back on Microsoft’s radar and resulted in this shutdown.

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Microsoft elaborates on the decision, below:

“Community created content has long been a key pillar in the Halo franchise and something we have continuously sought to support – from the early beginnings of Red vs. Blue to Forge-made maps & modes to the “Halo Custom Edition” to original recent fan creations like “Installation 01.” These projects, and others like them, have one key factor in common – they fit within Microsoft’s established content usage guidelines.

While we are humbled and inspired to see the amount of passion poured into this project, the fact remains that it’s built upon Microsoft-owned assets that were never lawfully released or authorized for this purpose. As this project reverberated across the community, our team took a step back to assess the materials and explore possible avenues, while Microsoft, like any company, has a responsibility to protect its IP, code and trademarks. It’s not optional in other words."

"While we are humbled and inspired to see the amount of passion poured into this project, the fact remains that it's built upon Microsoft-owned assets that were never lawfully released or authorized for this purpose."

This shutdown is of special interest to the mod community, as Microsoft has previously been relatively lenient when it comes to fan-made Halo projects. So why did they put their foot down for ElDewrito? The company’s statement is refreshingly forthcoming:

“In the case of the original Halo Custom Edition, that was as a specific add-on to Halo PC to officially empower the mod and content creation community to essentially go nuts with Halo: Combat Evolved (it even required a valid Halo PC retail key). More recently, Installation 01 has garnered some buzz and even made headlines for receiving a thumbs-up from 343. Installation 01 is an original work, built from the ground up in a separate engine, that abides by Microsoft’s content usage guidelines. With Halo Online, there’s a common misconception that once it was canceled, the assets were either turned over as “open source” or left for the community’s whims as “abandonware” – neither of which is actually true. Not only did Microsoft issue takedown notices at the time of the original leaks, but many elements of that underlying code and content are still actively being used today and will continue to be in the future.”

"...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."


In what appears to be a show of good faith, Microsoft has stated that it recognises how important the PC Halo community is, and is working on plans within that space for the future – possibly involving partnerships with the ElDewrito team:

“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. While we have nothing to announce today, please know that the PC community is very important to us and top of mind as we work towards the future."

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox division, went so far as to single out the passage in a tweet:

"I doubt they'll risk more severe action such as a full shutdown since doing so will be extremely bad for their image."

Today, the ElDewrito team posted a response to Microsoft’s actions, and it doesn’t paint as rosy a picture as Microsoft is trying to make out. The response states:

“At the moment things have gone quiet on both ends … I just want a discussion on whether we should be pushing this more as a community, we already have Microsoft in a head-lock with this PR nightmare, they already look bad enough. Further pressuring MS is a win/win situation. I doubt they'll risk more severe action such as a full shutdown since doing so will be extremely bad for their image.”

A further PSA posted to the official Halo Online subreddit confirmed that, despite Microsoft’s threat of legal action, Halo Online is technically still playable and not completely shut down:

“ElDewrito requires a copy of 1.106708 ms23 from the original closed alpha of Halo Online: if you have a copy lying around or can find one somewhere: great - just add ED! The servers won't be going down for the foreseeable future. :) Even if the server browser or master server is taken down one day, the game offers a direct connect function through the "connect" command (in the F1 console) as well as Discord invite integration.”


Ultimately, this is a sticky situation for both parties, and does not follow the patterns of normal legal threats that we tend to see from fan-made mod projects using a developer’s intellectual property. Microsoft appears to be aware of how easily this could tarnish the company’s image, and so has placed deliberate emphasis on its apparent willingness to work with the ElDewrito team and service the PC Halo fanbase. The modders, however, understandably see the situation differently, and will need to figure out how far they can continue to push development of ElDewrito if, as they say, Microsoft truly has gone quiet. We’ll continue updating the situation as it develops.

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Comments
Thebiggestball
Thebiggestball

(buried)

first

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pilldickle2002
pilldickle2002

First to get 63 downvotes too

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AtomicTacoNuke
AtomicTacoNuke

Let's try and turn that to 69 downvotes

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AugustusNocturnis
AugustusNocturnis

Microsoft can claim it's willing to work with modders in the future, and despite the PR rocks dangling over their heads, I wouldn't fully trust them to uphold their word. That said however, CnD's from them are not as common as they are from companies such as EA or Activision.

I can't help but wonder why they didn't officially release the assets the mod was built upon, if they truly cared so much about it, and the community around it. Microsoft was simply displeased that a profit couldn't be made from the situation. It wouldn't have hurt them a touch to give something back to the community, besides a CnD.

They're not as concerned about the public's opinion of them as they may claim. It's impossible for something this miniscule to hurt Microsoft's PR, considering how monolithic the tech company has become.

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OhNoesBunnies!
OhNoesBunnies!

I'd agree with you if they hadn't given a solid reason WHY they shut it down; the Eldewrito was/is using assets stolen from a leak that are still in use (in the form of code) by Microsoft's current products today. This is against their terms of use when it comes to ANY of their IPs.

I see their response as being very professional, and the Eldewrito's mod team response as being very childish, they should have expected this while using assets without permission, instead of creating their own.

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AugustusNocturnis
AugustusNocturnis

It is not the shutdown itself that I am speaking against, as editing anything related to an engine is grounds for a CnD in any game, but Microsoft's response nearly sounds sarcastic. On the surface, it may sound professional, but the claim that they will "work with the team", and are concerned at all about their PR has been proven, by Microsoft's previous actions to be hollow words. Actions speak louder than words, and Microsoft, if indeed caring about the community, would have put releasing the assets on the table.

With that said however, the Eldewrito mod's team should have been well aware of potential legal ramifications. You're obviously signing yourself up for legal conflict when you build a mod off leaked content. A defense wouldn't even hold up in court since Microsoft has solid legal grounds in this case.

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OhNoesBunnies!
OhNoesBunnies!

Wouldn't you be miffed and sarcastic when a group of people stole your code and used it to make an online game with your IP and assets, that you were not only -not- making money off of (as it is your product), but also potentially turning many customers away to future prospects? No, they would not have put releasing assets on the table, because then what's the point in shifting work towards PC when they need do nothing, nor have any chance at making money? Microsoft has hundreds of people working on the halo franchise and providing jobs for themselves, and it's obvious they have no problem with mods / games based off HALO that DO NOT use their stolen assets.

The Eldewrito team dug this hole for themselves and I have -no- sympathy for thieves and people who know what they're doing is wrong, even if the game itself brought me and my friends joy.

They're a business, guy.

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AugustusNocturnis
AugustusNocturnis

Once again you're missing the entire point of my two posts. My point is, if it's not clear enough for some reason, is that Microsoft is making hollow claims about support for the community. If it hasn't escaped anyone's notice, they're a company with hundreds of highly successful products both hardware and software. Their PR won't be affected by their closure of one small mod. Their claims that they are at all concerned about that are thus false.

No one's arguing that Eldewrito's objective was risky. However, as I will state for the third time, if Microsoft cared as much as claimed about the mod's team or the community playing it, they would've released the assets in the West. Halo Online's already available in Russia. This isn't something that was stolen somehow from a Microsoft employee's computer.

It's also very poor character to resort to personal insults as I noticed you did a few posts down by calling me a "tool". You certainly are taking this personally. Say, you aren't a Microsoft mouthpiece by chance, are you?

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OhNoesBunnies!
OhNoesBunnies!

It's objective wasn't risky, they used theft to obtain leaked source code that didn't belong to them, and began to capitalize upon that with free (I use that word loosely, as they did subsist on donations as well) updates to, again, code that did not belong to them.

This is as clear as night and day. There's nothing to miss or argue.

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TheRenegadist
TheRenegadist

Typical from a company like this, no matter how they act or what they say, never put trust in them. Companies like Microsoft are only in this for the money, they only support something if it will in turn gain their customers trust and ultimately make them more money. It's all about money, they aren't your friend and they don't care about you.

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Packy21
Packy21

Instead of just making the games themselves they could just let this pass. We've been asking for a ******* Halo 3 port for years, or at least something close to what Halo 3 was. Instead they purge the games because it's not making them any money. Typical Micro$oft.

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Trempler
Trempler

Not sure what is wrong with your guys, if these really uses nonlegal / stolen / leaked content, I approve the shutdown.

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Dark1Isaac
Dark1Isaac

Typical of this people, they didnt see any money so they just shut down, they dont care about anything but money.

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yourgrandma
yourgrandma

Microsoft released a game that is now no longer playable, i fully support the modders and fans that continue to revive and host dead and canceled games from being forever lost.

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MafiaGreed
MafiaGreed

I can only agree with you there. **** Microsoft.

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880Zero
880Zero

So when you guys gonna remove the Winter Contingency mod for using blatantly ripped assets?

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OhNoesBunnies!
OhNoesBunnies!

They can only remove it if it's reported enough. Their report function is strange.

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Unikraken
Unikraken

"Today, the ElDewrito team posted a response to Microsoft’s actions"

That was a fan, not a dev: Reddit.com

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Azatoth027
Azatoth027

Here we are again with the "money is bad and companies suck" childish ********. It seems to be a trend these days.
One day they're gonna be fed up of you guys' crap and make sure no one can mod their products, not even by memory injection.

Monkey breaches ToS, monkey gets CnD hammer on its head. How hard is it to get?

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OhNoesBunnies!
OhNoesBunnies!

Someone who understands the difference between talent and theft. *Shocked*

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Packy21
Packy21

Stealing assets is of course not good and i do not support that. I think nobody does that. The problem is that Microsoft has no alternative for a mainstream Halo game on PC, outside of 1 and 2 which are hard to run on modern pc, and of which PC copies are rare. Above that they're turning Halo multiplayer into CoD ********.
Eldewrito went back to what many fans considered the best Halo, Halo 3. We have been asking for a Halo 3 port for PC for years now. ElDewrito takes the Halo 3 multiplayer and makes it availble on PC with custom maps, mod support and all sorts of cool stuff.
Microsoft taking this game down doesn't only mean we don't get to ply it anymore, but is also a clear signal they do not care about the PC market at all. If they cared, they would've either allowed this or buy the mod from the devs and hire the devs at MS.

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Lateralus10k
Lateralus10k

Cash Hoarding Bastards!

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El_Zongo
El_Zongo

It's amazing how many people that don't support open-ended modding actually use and post on this website. Is Microsoft buying these people? Are their just going with their sugar-daddies and trying to get brownie points for whenever Microsoft decides to **** out a version of the MCC or Halo 6 for the Windows 10? Maybe they are hoping that Microsoft won't release that exclusively to the Windows 10?

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wombocombomacombo
wombocombomacombo

what happened to the cool Microsoft?
oh wait, it never existed

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Packy21
Packy21

What's a Microsoft... OH you mean micro$oft!

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Nyerguds
Nyerguds

All links in the article are "mailto:" links for some weird reason...

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HeartofShadows
HeartofShadows

The same company that tried to force Windows 10 on their userbase through mandatory updates.

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His_Shakiness
His_Shakiness

The mod isn't really shut down. If you want to download the 0.6 mod you can find it on their site: Reddit.com
This only doesn't include the Halo Online ms23 build which they had available before the M$ intervention. You can search for that elsewhere or PM someone on the ElDewrito Discord.

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