Microsoft sent Halo: Reach beta codes to the last dozen still playing Halo 2 more than two weeks after multiplayer support was shut off for the original Xbox. Maybe it's a hint to finally disconnect and play something else?
Technically, this isn't much of an award, as Reach beta keys were to be offered to loyal original Xbox gamers, along with some Microsoft points and a Gold membership extension. I don't know if that swag has hit for them yet, but at least the "Noble 12" can immediately get into Swordbase, Powerhouse and the like.
And the final 12 holdouts got recognised by the big company, which must be a nice feeling too. Microsoft put out this statement:
A small band of a committed few, engaged in a battle against insurmountable odds. It's not Noble team from Halo: Reach, it's the final, passionate few who are still playing Halo 2. We wish them the best in their battle against time. Their tremendous exhibition of courage and commitment makes them ideal candidates for Noble team and therefore we are working to ensure they have everything necessary to participate in the Halo: Reach beta.
Reading between the lines, why do I sense they're also saying, "Now for the love of God, would you please get out of the game so we can finally shut things off?"