And then there were none.
After weeks of showing the world just how much playing Halo 2 on Xbox Live meant to them, a group of hard-core Master Chief devotees who just couldn't let go of the multiplayer version of their beloved game has given up the ghost.
On April 15, Microsoft turned off access to Xbox Live to anyone using an original Xbox. But those who had managed to not log out of Halo 2 were able to continue playing--and won the respect of Xbox Live management, and the attention of the world.
By April 30, there were just a dozen left playing, and at that time, Stephen Toulouse, director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live, made it be known that Microsoft not only wouldn't force the dozen out, but was actively watching them do their thing, and appreciating their efforts. "To those noble folk keeping halo2 alive: we see you, and we salute you," Toulouse tweeted at the time.
Microsoft also offered each of the players access to the new Halo: Reach beta.
Over the last 10 days, that group of 12 gradually dwindled until just one player was left: Apache N4SIR who, the games blog Kotaku wrote, "had been streaming his play, and now, without an opponent, wondered what he should be doing. Someone suggested beginning the campaign--but not beating the final mission, as it would sign him off."
But now, even Apache N4SIR has succumbed to the realities of a life without being able to waste countless hours--or, hey, several consecutive weeks--playing Halo 2.
As Toulouse tweeted on Tuesday morning, "The last Halo2 player falls. Apache N4SIR, we salute all your guys dedication. Now go join Noble Team!"
The group of hard-core Halo 2 players had said that they wouldn't step out of the game voluntarily. And in the end, their numbers fell because of a series of normal technology issues. Indeed, according to Kotaku, it wasn't Apache N4SIR's choice to quit the game. Rather, it seemed that technology stepped in.
"Shortly before 11 p.m. PDT, May 10, 2010, Apache N4SIR left Halo 2. He says he was booted from the game. This is the end of multiplayer on Halo 2 and the original Xbox Live."