The popular ElDewrito Halo Online mod is in danger of being snuffed out by Microsoft. Halo fans are understandably upset by the development—and, interestingly, so is the studio that currently takes care of the Halo franchise, 343 Industries.
ElDewrito seemingly attracted Microsoft's attention when it went live a few days ago. The mod, which is built around Halo Online (a Russian PC game based on Halo 3 that was cancelled before release, but wound up on the wilds of the internet anyway), is essentially a Halo 3-style multiplayer experience for PC. To date, Halo 3 remains an Xbox 360 and Xbox One exclusive release, so it's easy to understand why there's demand for Halo 3-style multiplayer on PC.
Unfortunately, Microsoft can't / won't let ElDewrito keep using its assets freely. Yesterday evening, 343 industries made a post on Halo Waypoint, the official Halo community site, warning ElDewrito players that Microsoft "has initiated actions to protect its Halo intellectual property in the wake of the recent 'ElDewrito' PC release."
The tone of 343's message is apologetic overall. "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," the team writes. "The ElDewrito team is understandably upset at this outcome given the time they've each invested in this project, but they understand the legal implications and the need to press pause on this work."
Despite the doom-and-gloom, 343 promises to do what it can to satiate the community's obvious desire for 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," the team writes. "[W]e 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."
ElDewrito still functions—for now. A recent post on the mod's official blog indicates everything is currently up in the air. At the time of this writing, Microsoft has yet to issue a takedown notice or anything of the sort. Ultimately, the ElDewrito team believes the mod will remain available for download, though the assets needed to run the game—all of which are Microsoft's IP—will eventually be taken down by Microsoft.
No further work on ElDewrito is being done until the mod team knows how Microsoft intends to proceed. For now, it's asked fans of the mod not to make threats or harass anyone at 343 Industries.