Nice Guy Valve Greenlights Retail Version of Half-Life: Black Mesa
Half-Life is 15 years old. Thanks for making me feel like a senior citizen, Valve.
Unwanted reminders of mortality aside, the birthday of one of the most beloved games in history is worth celebrating. We already threw Mitch into Half-Life 2′s Ravenholm for some video fun, and before long, we’ll be getting a full-blown retail version of the stellar Half-Life remake, Black Mesa, on Steam.
Yes, yes, I know, you can already download Black Mesa for free. But now, thanks to Valve graciously giving the mod team the green light to actually sell the remake, Black Mesa will be bigger and better than ever.
The Black Mesa team made the announcement on the official Black Mesa Forum, describing Valve’s decision as an unexpected, incredible honor.
“We never developed Black Mesa with money in mind,” the team said in a statement. “Our team is made up of average, hardworking people, and no one joined the team to make money. For us, Black Mesa is purely a labor of love. We believe this philosophy has significantly contributed to the overall quality and feel of the game.”
“Our decision to sell Black Mesa rests on two key points. One is we believe we can make the game even better by having full access to the Source engine. This lets us tackle and fix limitations instead of working around them. The second is because frankly, our team could really use the financial help.”
The plan from here on out is to quickly get a paid version of Black Mesa up on Steam “for a relatively low price.” The Black Mesa team notes that this will be an updated version of the existing game, with various bug fixes and improvements. Yes, you’ll still be able to grab the free version, the team notes, but revenue from the paid version will not only support the modders, it will go towards making Black Mesa complete and polished.
Speaking of complete, when can we expect Black Mesa to tackle Xen?
“To be totally honest however, Xen is still a ways off,” the team states. “Over the past year, we have spent a HUGE amount of time porting the game to a new engine and fixing hundreds of bugs. The work to port to the new engine was not because of the decision to go retail, this was work that had to be done to get Black Mesa onto Steam and support our future plans.”
“So, please be patient with us as we work to make Xen a stunning and worthy conclusion to Black Mesa. Until Xen is completed, we have multiple interesting additions planned for the Steam version of Black Mesa, which we will announce later on down the road.”
We’ll keep you posted.