A seemingly short lived return for what many would now describe as “classic Halo,” Microsoft appears to be taking legal action against ElDewrito: a free executable allowing users to play a modded version of Halo Online on their PC. We wrote about the mod back in March, when hype was mounting in anticipation of the 0.6 build release; now finally here, this moment in Halo history, in which you can use your keyboard and mouse to dumpster kids with no-scope flick-shots during mid-air man cannon jumps on Narrows, might be all too fleeting.
Late last night on April 24, a delicately phrased letter was published by 343 Industries. While Bungie was historically very encouraging when it came to fan-projects, ElDewrito is ambitiously treading in some pretty dangerous water: while the mod might be an open source project, the code and properties which its built on are not. The letter implies that 343 has been in conversation with the mod team, toned as both sober and amicable while noting that they recognize the demand for Halo on the PC.
Series big-wig Frank O’Connor weighed in on ResetERA, explaining that the action being taken is of legal necessity: “I hope nobody … thinks anyone is happy about this – at one end of the spectrum, it’s sad to see folks’ hard work and effort be sunsetted, and on the other, all the people who do this stuff are human. Nobody takes joy in this kind of work or responsibility. It’s simply a necessary part of being a publicly traded company in the US.”
Certainly an interesting bump in the road for everyone involved, ElDewrito will no doubt serve as a significant footnote in Halo’s storied legacy. At this time, the Reddit master thread that contained the download links and instructions has been scrubbed. Players that have already downloaded the launcher are still able to host and play matches at the time of writing. Spartans never die, but things are looking awfully grim for the Halo 3 mod that love built.