When Microsoft finally discontinued Xbox Live support for Halo 2 on April 15, it was the end of an era. Gamers from around the world who spent inordinate amounts of time fragging each other in Halo 2's many levels were forced to say goodbye.
However, as most left for newer alternatives, some refused to.
"Throughout the past week, a small group of dedicated Halo 2 players kept their Xbox's on so that they could enjoy the game for a while longer," Bungie Community member "Joe Campbell" wrote in a forum. He said even though Microsoft has turned off support for Halo 2, the players have been able to keep playing the game because they haven't turned their consoles off and maintained a constant connection to Xbox Live since April 15.
"As long as we don't turn off our Xbox's, or lose connection, we can stay online," Campbell wrote. "Our Xboxes have been on for nearly 12 days straight."
Staying online for 12 days has been difficult. The original group was much larger, but due to dropped Web connections and consoles overheating because of constant use, gamers have been dropping out "at a rapid rate." As of this writing, there are 14 gamers currently playing Halo 2 even after support has been discontinued.
The gamers who are left say they plan to keep Halo 2 for as long as possible. Campbell said he and his fellow Halo 2 gamers "will keep playing until we are all forcibly removed."
To prove that the players are actually still able to access Halo 2 and take on each other online, some have been live streaming the bouts between players. One gamer, "Z0mbie," has more than three hours of footage showing the last remaining people playing the game over Xbox Live.
There's no telling how much longer the remaining 14 gamers will be able to hold out until they are forced to bid adieu. But they expect the end to come by way of "Microsoft, Bungie, our Xbox's overheating, or just lagging out."
But don't think that they're doing this for accolades or prizes. According to Campbell, he and the rest of the gamers continue to play Bungie's classic "not for competition, not for a prize, but for the love, and memory of Halo 2."