Back in the beginning of February I posted a story about Microsoft shutting down Xbox Live for original Xbox games that spawned an interesting discussion. Some folks thought it was fine, others thought Microsoft was doing wrong by its loyal customers. In the article I noted Microsoft's Marc Whitten as saying "I encourage you to check your LIVE messages and associated e-mail account over the coming weeks for more details and opportunities."
Well now we know what we were watching our in-boxes for. Microsoft is sending out emails to "loyal Halo 2 players" letting them know they'll be getting a 3 month Xbox Live Gold membership (or extension to an existing membership) as well as 400 Xbox Live points (worth $5.00 US) to spend on whatever catches their eye. Perhaps more importantly to Halo 2 players, the offer also comes with the promise of an invitation to the Halo: Reach beta, which is planned to begin on May 3rd of this year. If you were still a fan of playing some other Xbox Original game online, you're apparently out of luck. And what constitutes a loyal Halo 2 player? Microsoft hasn't really published its parameters, but it seems like anyone who has played Halo 2 online recently is being considered a loyal Halo 2 player. That's anecdotal though. If you got the email, it'd be great if you could leave a comment sharing your online Halo 2 experiences. And to everyone upset about Microsoft shutting down the service I ask: is this enough of a gift to placate you? [Via Kotaku]