The makers of ElDewrito, the mod that hoped to bring Halo Online multiplayer to PC, have been informed that Microsoft is taking actions to shut down the project.
In a post on Halo Waypoint, 343 Industries stated that “Microsoft has initiated actions to protect its Halo intellectual property in the wake of the recent ‘ElDewrito’ PC release.” The studio claims that part of the problem with the mod is that it is based on Halo Online code that never received an official release. 343 states that while they are “humbled and inspired” by the work that went into ElDewrito, the fact that the mod is technically based on “Microsoft-owned assets” places it in a problematic legal area.
The makers of ElDewrito have posted their own update in which they state that they “do not know the answer” to what the future of the mod is. While the entirety of the mod itself isn’t technically based on Microsoft assets and won’t be outright taken down at this time, the team will have to halt development and remove any official Microsoft assets required to play the game.
For the moment, the latest build of ElDewrito remains playable and downloadable for free here, but expect it to be blocked by Microsoft in the coming days. It’s not all bad news, though. The Halo Waypoint post also teases that 343 is actively looking at bringing “the classic Halo experience” to PC in an official capacity.
“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.”
This might be a bit of PR speak, especially when it comes to “partnering” with the ElDewrito team, but Halo on PC is still an exciting prospect, considering that no main Halo game has been released on the platform since Halo 2. Halo 5: Forge was a map editor released for PC and Halo Wars 2 was an RTS experience.
Meanwhile, it’s expected that the inevitable Halo 6 will come to both Xbox One and PC, as all first-party Microsoft games have in the last few years. It’s unclear if Halo 6 is the PC experience the blog post is referring to.
The other possibility is that Halo: The Master Chief Collection is finally coming to PC. That would certainly fill the void left behind by Halo Online and ElDewrito. The collection is receiving some new updates on the Xbox One in the next few weeks. Might this be the pre-cursor to a full PC release that includes cross-play? We’ll keep you updated, of course.
The roots of the ElDewrito project can be traced back to around the time that Halo 5 was released. At that time, 343 Industries released a PC version of Halo‘s multiplayer called Halo Online. Sadly, that version of the game was only available in Russia and was canceled in 2016. The original purpose of the project’s limited release is not entirely clear at this time.
What is clear is that a version of Halo Online was leaked onto the internet via 4chan and was quickly adopted by modders who wanted to turn it into the global way for PC fans to finally be able to play some Halo multiplayer in the modern age. The project was dubbed “ElDewrito.” Work was halted slightly by a brief detour towards developing a successor project, but the team eventually returned to improving ElDewrito.
Since then, the ElDewrito have made tremendous progress on the mod. In a post on the ElDewrito blog, the team outlines some of the most recent improvements they made. There’s quite a bit of information to digest, but the long and short of it is that the new version of the project features popular Halo 3 maps Valhalla and Guardian, a host of fan-made maps, and is entirely open source (meaning that anyone can contribute to it). Best of all, it’s absolutely free to download.
What’s the catch? Well, that depends on how you look at the situation. To be certain, ElDewrito isn’t a professionally made PC version of Halo multiplayer for PC. It’s a little rough around the edges in spots and might always be qualified as a work in progress. However, the mod makes good on its promise to allow gamers to experience Halo multiplayer on PC for the first time in years.