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Microsoft and 343 have taken action against Halo Online ElDewrito to protect their IP

Halo Online ElDewrito 0.6 is built using Microsoft's assets

Microsoft and 343 have taken action against Halo Online ElDewrito to protect their IP

Microsoft and 343 have taken action against Halo Online ElDewrito to protect their IP 

Halo Online ElDewrito is a fan-made made piece of software which takes what remains of Sabre Interactive's failed (Russia Only) Halo Online free-to-play PC game, using community made code to restore the game's functionality and add new features. 

The problem here is that Halo Online ElDewrito is not a from the ground up recreation of Halo Online, with the project's use of official Halo assets and IP forcing Microsoft and 343 Industries to take action. 

In the world of Intellectual Property (IP), owners are forced to protect their property or lose it, with every ignored breach weakening the legal protection the IP or trademark has. Microsoft cannot ignore Halo Online, as doing so places the Halo brand at risk. This legalese is why Microsoft's content usage guidelines are in place, to facilitate fan creations while protecting Microsoft's IP. Halo Online ElDewrito doesn't meet these guidelines. 

After Microsoft issued a DMCA on Halo Online ElDewrito back in 2015, the project was seemingly abandoned, returning to Microsoft's radar with the launch of Halo Online ElDewrito version 0.6 last week, a release which received a lot of media attention. 

     Today we want to let our community know that Microsoft has initiated actions to protect its Halo intellectual property in the wake of the recent “ElDewrito” PC release. Community created content has long been a key pillar in the Halo franchise and something we have continuously sought to support – from the early beginnings of Red vs. Blue to Forge-made maps & modes to the “Halo Custom Edition” to original recent fan creations like “Installation 01.” These projects, and others like them, have one key factor in common – they fit within Microsoft’s established content usage guidelines.

Back in 2014, Microsoft, 343 and Sabre Interactive partnered to develop “Halo Online” – a title that was being developed exclusively for the Russian market. The game was subsequently put on indefinite hold but Halo Online ended up in the wild beyond its intended audience and official scope, resulting in DMCA takedown notices being issued by Microsoft. As time went by, Halo Online faded and fell off the radar until the recent exposure of the .6 update shined a new light on the current ElDewrito project. While we are humbled and inspired to see the amount of passion poured into this project, the fact remains that it’s built upon Microsoft-owned assets that were never lawfully released or authorized for this purpose. 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.

 

To explain what does an doesn't meet Microsoft's content usage guidelines, 343 Industries mentions Installation 01, another fan-made Halo Multiplayer game for PC. Halo Online ElDewrito used an existing Halo game and modified it to run on PC again with new and edited code, whereas Installation 01 is an independent creation, which uses a different engine, new assets and otherwise meets Microsoft's content usage requirements. 

Halo Custom Edition is another example, where this PC specific Halo add-on can be used to create custom maps, mods and content for the original Halo within Microsoft's guidelines.  

In a statement released by ElDewrito, the team stated that Microsoft is not "shutting down the mod" or "going after the Eldewrito crew" but are instead taking action to remove Halo Online's code and packages from places where they are hosted. In short, ElDewrito has been asked to halt the development of their Halo Online mod, though the removal of Microsoft's assets from their online hosts will prevent the mod from functioning. 

 

    We’d like to clear up a few areas of confusion we’ve seen across the community over the past few days regarding ElDewrito and other fan-made projects. In the case of the original Halo Custom Edition, that was as a specific add-on to Halo PC to officially empower the mod and content creation community to essentially go nuts with Halo: Combat Evolved (it even required a valid Halo PC retail key). More recently, Installation 01 has garnered some buzz and even made headlines for receiving a thumbs-up from 343. Installation 01 is an original work, built from the ground up in a separate engine, that abides by Microsoft’s content usage guidelines. With Halo Online, there’s a common misconception that once it was canceled, the assets were either turned over as “open source” or left for the community’s whims as “abandonware” – neither of which is actually true. Not only did Microsoft issue takedown notices at the time of the original leaks, but many elements of that underlying code and content are still actively being used today and will continue to be in the future.

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 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. 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.

We’d like to extend our thanks to the community at large for constantly pouring so much passion into Halo. While it’s unfortunate to find ourselves as the bearers of bad legal news, the outpouring of support and excitement is inspiring and together, in partnership with this community, we believe we can really do great things for the future of Halo.

    
343 Industries reiterated that they know that the "community really wants more Halo on PC" and are "very excited about the prospects of an official classic Halo experience making its way to PC". 

It is clear today that Halo has a future on PC, with Microsoft's Xbox Play Anywhere program bringing every upcoming "Xbox-exclusive" game to Windows 10. We have already seen modern iterations of Gear of War, Halo Wars and Forza on Windows  PCs, making a PC release of Halo 6 seemingly inevitable on the platform.

You can join the discussion on Microsoft and 343 Industries taking ac
tion against Halo Online ElDewrito on the OC3D Forums

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Most Recent Comments

25-04-2018, 04:42:04

Giggyolly
Ah man, I've literally played less that 3 hours on Halo Online. I was looking forward to having a few beers with my mates and playing halo like the old days (minus the beers obviously).
Halo is well over 10 years old, and I just don't understand how Microsoft hasn't cottoned on to the fact that there's a metric butt load of money to be made from PC.Quote

25-04-2018, 04:57:24

AlienALX
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giggyolly View Post
Ah man, I've literally played less that 3 hours on Halo Online. I was looking forward to having a few beers with my mates and playing halo like the old days (minus the beers obviously).
Halo is well over 10 years old, and I just don't understand how Microsoft hasn't cottoned on to the fact that there's a metric butt load of money to be made from PC.
At the time they did not want to release games on PC as it took away from console game sales (original Xbox). They can't charge a licensing fee to PC gamers (against the law) so they shifted all of their software onto console. Halo did come out on the PC, don't think it was online though. But yeah, all of their other games were then cancelled on PC and it was like that for 15 years. It's only recently they are releasing games side by side on PC.Quote

25-04-2018, 05:41:41

Thelosouvlakia
Can't blame microsoft for suing the company who made this though, I mean Halo is registered to microsoft, and microsoft hasn't licensed the development or use of the logo names etc..Quote

25-04-2018, 06:41:46

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giggyolly View Post
Ah man, I've literally played less that 3 hours on Halo Online. I was looking forward to having a few beers with my mates and playing halo like the old days (minus the beers obviously).
Halo is well over 10 years old, and I just don't understand how Microsoft hasn't cottoned on to the fact that there's a metric butt load of money to be made from PC.
The next Halo will come to PC, all of Microsoft's first party titles are Xbox Play Anywhere now.

For the time being, all that the developers of ElDewrito have been asked to do is cease the development of the tool, so it is still operable. It will go offline when MS find and take down the online host of the Halo assets used though.Quote

26-04-2018, 10:48:03

SPS
Reply
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