The creators of the popular Halo Online mod ElDewrito have said it's here to stay - despite Microsoft's announcement of Halo: Master Chief Collection for PC.
The team behind ElDewrito broke their 10 month silence to say the mod was alive and kicking after some had expressed concern it would be shut down now Halo was set for PC officially.
"Despite the posts saying goodbye to ElDewrito and the thanks we are giving out, do not be mistaken; the mod is not dead, nor is it inactive or going away," RabidSquabbit wrote in a blog post.
"In fact, it's the most popular it has been in many many months."
In a reddit post, RabidSquabbit revealed ElDewrito had enjoyed 540,665 unique players - a significant number for any mod.
ElDewrito, a hugely-impressive mod for Halo Online, the cancelled free PC game based on Halo 3 Microsoft built for the Russian market, lets you play multiplayer games in player-hosted servers, with multiple server browsers, player and emblem customisation, stat tracking and even ranked and social servers.
Back in April 2018, Microsoft moved to stop active development on the mod, saying ElDewrito did not fit within Microsoft's content usage guidelines because the Halo Online code the mod is based upon was never officially released.
The mod itself remained playable, and, behind the scenes, its creators met with representatives of 343 Industries to discuss their work. According to the modders, ElDewrito showed 343 Industries now was the time to bring Halo to PC - officially of course.
"They mentioned to us that our success with ElDewrito lit a spark and we were told it 'gave us a kick in the pants'," RabidSquabbit said.
"MCC has obviously always been planned to eventually be on PC, but was never on the current roadmap. So while ElDewrito is not responsible for MCC coming to PC, it is responsible for it coming to PC right now. So for that, the ElDewrito team would like to thank you, the community, for spreading the word, playing ElDewrito with such positive reactions, and enjoying the game we poured our hearts and souls into; ElDewrito is what set MCC PC in motion."
So, what happens next? It sounds like the ElDewrito team may end up helping 343 out when it comes to modding support to Halo: Master Chief Collection on PC, but this won't make it in for launch. It's also worth pointing out the initial launch of Master Chief Collection will not include any Forge or Theatre functionality. These are planned for some point after the game comes out.
The ElDewrito team is less than thrilled at Master Chief Collection's planned launch state, but it's hopeful it can help 343 out when it comes to adding bits and bobs further down the line.
"While we are beyond excited that MCC is coming to PC and this is fantastic news for all Halo Fans, many of us are a little disappointed in what is being offered on launch," RabidSquabbit said. "ElDewrito 0.6 didn't just attempt to bring a Halo game to PC, it brought it with a very fresh experience while keeping the Original, classic 'Yep This Is Halo' feeling. An insanely enhanced Forge, and a plethora of gametype and player trait customisation never before seen in a Halo game.
"While we feel that this is a crucial aspect that should be included on launch to keep players interested with the limited initial content, we are very glad that modding support and Forge are on the roadmap for a future time, and look forward to helping 343 shape this aspect of MCC."
As for ElDewrito, an update is planned.
"Bottom Line: this is not in any way a goodbye," RabidSquabbit said.
"The ElDewrito team is not going anywhere, and you'll be seeing a hell of a lot more from us in the future, whether it be in the existing ElDewrito mod, or MCC PC itself."