The ElDewrito mod for Halo Online, an abandoned Halo title on PC that 343 Industries was developing “exclusively for the Russian market,” became incredibly popular seemingly overnight with the release of its 0.6 update. Unfortunately, this has resulted in ElDewrito garnering some unwanted attention from 343 and Microsoft, who have recently asked that development of the mod be put on hold.
ElDewrito basically took leaked files and assets of Halo Online, essentially a free-to-play version of Halo 3‘s multiplayer, and gave it online functionality, including ranked servers, stat tracking, and more. Apparently, it’s pretty darn good, too.
However, those leaked Halo Online files and assets are still Microsoft’s intellectual property, and as a result, the publisher has asked ElDewrito’s creators to halt further development of the mod.
“While we are humbled and inspired to see the amount of passion poured into [ElDewrito], the fact remains that it’s built upon Microsoft-owned assets that were never lawfully released or authorized for this purpose,” 343 Industries stated in a recent blog post. “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.”
The team behind ElDewrito noted in a blog post that, while the mod itself isn’t being taken down, the assets used by ElDewrito to actually run the game (like full-game zip files) “will likely be taken down by Microsoft” from wherever these files are being hosted, essentially killing the project. Players that already have these files can still download ElDewrito and play it through P2P servers, but it seems increasingly unlikely that players will be able to find the game files needed to actually play.
ElDewrito’s developers noted that the mod had 8,000 concurrent players when Microsoft asked them to pause development, which is not an insignificant number.
It’s not all bad news for Halo fans who’d like more of the series on PC, however. In fact, it sounds like this experience might actually help bring Halo to the PC in a bigger way, according to 343’s blog post:
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.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer even highlighted this in a follow-up tweet, giving more credence to the idea that 343 Industries has its sights set on bringing Halo to PC:
This point is important “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” https://t.co/KVJbH5PfJI
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) April 25, 2018
The above statements from 343 Industries may indicate that the developer is working on a PC port of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. As recently as last month, 343 Industries clarified that it’s well aware of how many players want The Master Chief Collection on PC, though the Xbox One version’s continuing development is possibly stalling that from happening. However, a major update to The Master Chief Collection is scheduled for this summer, so it’s possible that PC players might not have that much longer to wait.
Source: PC Gamer