Halo Wars 2 support has ended, says Microsoft

Halo Wars 2 is a criminally underrated RTS for Xbox One and PC. Set somewhere around the events of Halo 5, Halo Wars 2 follows the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire in their battle against Atriox, a rogue brute that has built up a sizeable force of his own. Halo Wars 2 enjoyed a decent amount of post-launch content, including a campaign expansion featuring the dreaded Flood, new modes, and playable heroes. Lately, though, development has practically dried up.

Halo Wars 2 fans started a petition on Change.org to try and get noticed by 343i, requesting further development, much-requested fixes and balance changes, as well as a Steam version – something we'd heard a long time ago, was on the cards. Sadly, 343i responded today to say that the studio is not committing any more resources to Halo Wars 2, as it puts its focus on the Master Chief Collection. The full statement is as follows.

As awesome as all of these requests are, and as much as we personally share these same desires, the unfortunate reality is that we currently are unable to commit to any future Halo Wars 2 continued development or support at this time.The same team that is currently working on bringing MCC to PC and Halo: Reach to MCC (the 343 Publishing Team) is also the team that helped make Halo Wars 2 a reality. With the large scope and immense amount of work surrounding MCC for PC, the resources that were previously focused on Halo Wars 2 have been pulled over to help support MCC and Halo: Reach development.Every one of us cares deeply for Halo Wars 2 and the awesome community that has and continues to play the title. The team has previously partnered directly with the Halo Wars community to be heavily involved in balance patches, bug fixes, and numerous improvements to the game both during initial development and well beyond its launch and subsequent DLC releases. Since launch, Halo Wars 2 received 18 content updates and over 30 balance patches that were built entirely on community feedback and requested changes. While we'd love to keep that great partnership going, at this time the team does not have the bandwidth to work on Halo Wars 2 with other development efforts taking priority.This doesn't mean the team won't revisit Halo Wars 2 in the future – we'll never say never - but it does mean that these requests are things the team is unable to commit to for the foreseeable future. Who knows, maybe they will be able to focus on some of the requests in the petition later down the road, but at this time, in the interest of transparency and open dialog, we just wanted to be up front and realistic that there are no current plans to do so.Thank you for all your feedback and requests for even more awesome with Halo Wars 2 – and thank you for the amount of passion and continued interest you show towards the title and the Halo Wars community. We look forward to hopefully being able to work with the community on Halo Wars again in the future.

It's a crushing shame that Microsoft isn't prepared to invest in its Halo Wars 2 franchise, particularly since the company seems to want to tout itself as a games-as-a-service company. No games last forever, but Halo Wars 2's abandonment seems premature, especially in a world where titles like No Man's Sky, Final Fantasy XIV: Realm Reborn, and Rainbow Six Siege were all able to turn around and become big success stories.

Steam at the absolute minimum could've breathed new life into Halo Wars 2, allowing for mods and that sort of thing. At least at the moment, it looks like it's simply not meant to be.

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Makes sense and since I've done everything possible in HW2, I'm OK with it. I think majority is really waiting for MCC for PC and Halo Reach, preferred without big issues. So its smart to pull resources over towards the MCC development, even if it means temporarily.
  • Fair enough, but I feel like MS has the resources to pull more in to properly cater the user bases it is trying to build up, especially in a core franchise like Halo. I dunno.
  • Agreed, Microsoft is well capable in working on both the same time, then again I guess they want to make great use of what they got. Being Microsoft, I think it's something they still need to learn and be better at, when it comes to sticking with what has a mass following and fans and keep them satisfied.
  • Either hire someone new to handle HW2 or hire someone new to deal with MCC, both might lead to unexpected results...
  • Really unfortunate to see this response. Halo Wars 2 still needs patching and balance support. I appreciate the transparency. Hopefully, the fanbase is able to eventually convince them HW2 is worth the attention. We've been out in the wilderness before and our continued passion for the franchise made HW2 a reality at all.
  • Still need to give this game a go one I have missed this gen.
  • I think every developer or studio faces that decision on where to best place resource and they must be up to some pretty heavy crunching to meet deadlines at the moment that are important to MS. Maybe instead fans should be asking for confirmation of Halo Wars 3, or should there even be a remastered Halo Wars Collection. When does Halo Wars 5 become part of the MCC too?
  • This game was so bad, I don't see how it can be underrated for you. From the battle system to the scenario, nothing was good.
  • yeah, there has not been a single balance patch that was built "entirely on community feedback" unless they mean often doing the opposite of what we said or going about things in nonsensical ways. TBH I'd be hard pressed to find a patch that was built majority from community feedback. It's worth noting that for over half a year the community was promised we would see more support and more frequent changes, this was said in response to grumblings, now we're basically being said we're getting nothing. Hiring new people or getting an external teams are options they just aren't taking them. Just wish 343i cared about this game as much as the community does.
  • What does it mean for people like me who have wanted to give it a try but haven't? What would we be missing or is the game going to be unplayable? I hope they don't pull it from GamePass.
  • Halo Wars 3 please! I only play it for the campaign.
  • Pretty sur we gonna see a HW3 but after age of empire 4 and halo infinite comes out... So you've got plenty of time..