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Half-Life 2 Delayed

Shacknews has finally received official word that Half-Life 2 will not be making its planned release date of September 30, something a quick glance at the calendar can confirm. Here's the quote from Valve's Doug Lombardi:

The previously announced September 30th release date for Half-Life 2 is being pushed back. We are currently targeting a holiday release, but do not have a specific "in-store" date to share at this time. We will release that information as soon as we have confirmed a new date.

242 Replies. 13 pages. Viewing page 1.
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242. Re: damn Oct 7, 2003, 11:25 Lilricky
HL2 developed in total secrecy?? So all those interviews they were giving about it in July-August were a leak as well?? Perhaps it was just to throw us off the track...hehe

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241. Re: damn Sep 30, 2003, 16:16 Bob
I understand the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" argument relating to speed of release vs. stability of code but this is different than most other release situations.

Unlike most moronic devs/publishers who announce the game 5 years ahead of time, HL2 was developed in total secrecy; there was no pressure of a release. They had the financial backing they needed, they had a gauranteed seller being the sequel to HL. They had total freedom to pick any date. So when they at long last came forward and said 30 Sep. it was naturally assumed by most that this would much firmer than the average release date.

I'm sure the game will be good and I'm not going to lose too much sleep over this but speaking strictly about the date issue, Valve/Vivendi deserve to get called on this one.

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240. damn Sep 30, 2003, 15:56 natx
To leave the customers in the dark without an official statement(read: not second hand news on gamespot) prior to the release date is irresponsible. It looks like vivendi said it wasn't going to be released on the 30th, but there was no press release.

Lesson learned today: Expectations are premeditated resentments.

Why didnt we listen to vivendi in july?
I never read that til today.

I agree about the previous poster that more likely the publisher. Valve is vivendi's bitch, plain and simple. Valve probably was berated for disagreeing with vivendi and saying the release would be 9/30. Whenever the rich execs decide the game will be released, finished or not, it will be released. Granted my first thought as to what might have caused the delay was steaming pile of code called steam. Seems like valve is just trying to re-invent the content delivery network with that.

At least we can look forward to other great vivendi titles which are available in stores now: GIRLS JOIN BARBIE™ IN A HANDHELD CROSS-COUNTRY HORSEBACK ADVENTURE , BARBIE™ HORSE ADVENTURES™ BLUE RIBBON RACE FOR GAME BOY® ADVANCE,

I actually woke up early for a change to get this game, now it wont be out til XMAS. Let's all try to forget this day ever happened!

On a side note, remember how SWG stuck to their release date of July 27th all along, yet people were unhappy that Lucasarts released a buggy unfinished product? People were so irate about that release.... so your damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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239. Re: Nox Sep 29, 2003, 22:47 Zephalephelah
I agree with you. But, if Valve wasn't sure they could have released it they wouldn't have said so. They waited 5 years before telling us about the game. Something stinks here... something stinks like a cruddy, sniff, sniff, program called... sniff, sniff, .... SHIT. Er, I mean STEAM.

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238. Re: If you hate the way Valve treats you... Sep 29, 2003, 18:09 Nox
"Stupid fucking whiners. Cry about games that get delayed.
Cry about games that get released with bugs.

Guess what, it's one or the other."

No it isn't loser. If you don't announce a release date then it won't be delayed. That way you can fix all the bugs to your heart's content and still release it "on time". Can you say DUH??

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237. Re: No subject Sep 29, 2003, 17:59 Nox
"Pentium 4, 2.6ghz 800Mhz FSB
1024MB PC3200
Geforce 4 Ti4400 128MB DDR"

Damn Xero - your system is almost identical to mine:

Pentium 4, 2.8ghz 800Mhz FSB
1024MB PC3200
Geforce 4 Ti4400 128MB DDR

I actually built the new system at the beginning of September in anticipation of HL2, but the videocard is from my old system. I was going to play HL2 with the GeForce4, but after the Steam fiasco and now this, I may just wait until the 9800 Pro retail hits $250 before buying HL2.

Valve dropped the ball on this one. Last spring they should have just announced the project, said it was near completion, and said it will be released "when done". Duh.

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236. Re: Film vs. Games Sep 29, 2003, 13:56 PsycSui
The problem with the games industry is that developers have no power at all about release dates etc. Publishers have all the power and the developers are their bitches.

Actually, some developers have control over their own release dates. For example, I give you id. id software releases their product when THEY want to, without influence or instruction from Activision. I'm sure Valve has a similar agreement with Vivendi.

Also, Half-Life 2 is not going to be delayed because they'll sell more copies during the hiloday season. HL2 is going to sell a million copies, and Vivendi is going to get that money, no matter when it's released.

Films vs. Games

No one here said movies don't have problems, or that they never get delayed. But movies and software have different problems. It would be easier to compare the release of Half-Life 2 to a version of Windows than something like The Matrix or The Lord of the Rings. The problems you run into just aren't the same. They are two creative processes, but they're for completely different media types. One is designed to run on multiple hardware configurations with different operating systems, the other is designed to work on Christie Projectors. One is designed to allow interaction, the other to be observed and enjoyed.

Games may sometimes provide a movie-like experience, but it doesn't mean that they're the same. And the truth is, they're not even close.

I'm not saying movies are easy to make when compared to games. I understand that they too have a very complicated process. I'm just saying that they're different types of entertainment with different kinds of solutions for problems.

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235. Re: No subject Sep 29, 2003, 13:20 Waachi
>hmm... who else?

Llamasoft. :p

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234. Re: bring on the games Sep 29, 2003, 10:23 Halo
Then when it crashes, MP runs like crap, and enormous amounts of bugs show up you'll wonder why they rushed it, and how the biggest game of all time got a 7.5 instead of 9-10's on all reviews.

I'de rather wait and see the hardwork payoff without a problem.


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233. bring on the games Sep 29, 2003, 05:38 SirAnthony
This is a really long thread. I haven't read most of it. I just want to say. Come on guys. Get Half Life 2 and Doom 3 out the door. I'm ready to play. I built my new rig. Lets go. I got Homeworld 2 but I'm just not in the mood for that kind of game right now. I'm having trouble getting into it. Seems a bit difficult for only the third mission. I want some action, thrills and eye candy. Come on come on!!!!!

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232. Re: No subject Sep 28, 2003, 23:58 Vexar
I have a different theory than damolecs, even though I do respect what I've read in his posts.

Vivendi has been looking for a buyer, and have been. I believe that that Valve’s deal with them is based on Vivendi being a solvent company, and if Vivendi changes hands, Valve would get all the rights back for distributing HL2.

My guess is that Gabe is very smartly hanging onto the title until Vivendi is sold to someone so that he can distribute the title on his own with Steam, and find another publisher for the Box item. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft published the title, and incorporated steam into the next version of windows.

Like I said this is just a theory.

My running list of developers that have power over publishers. (add more) and this list isn't in any particular order so don't try and read anything into that.

id software

hmm... who else?

It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Sapho that thoughts acquire speed - The lips acquire stains - The stains become a warning - It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.


It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Sapho that thoughts acquire speed - The lips acquire stains - The stains become a warning - It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

Piter-Menat Quo
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231. Re: Film vs. Games & STEAM Sep 28, 2003, 20:28 Zephalephelah
"No it didn't. The Lord of the Rings is three books, hence three films. Also, even a retarded cockroach would understand that no person alive would go see a 9 hour movie."

Actually, you retarded cockroach, the premier of Return of the King is going to be preceded by Fellowship of the Ring & the Two Towers at 25 locations in major US cities. People will watch both movies & then at midnight they will watch Return of the King. These are huge theatres, the best of the best, holding hundreds of people per theatre. So you are WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Plus, there are a few films nearly 4 hours, one just over 4 hours, a russian film of 10 hours, a film released in 1967 which was 25 hours, and an English film released which ran 48 hours.

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230. Re: VALVE Sep 28, 2003, 19:23 damocles
My point proven...

People always blame the developers, never the publishers.

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229. VALVE Sep 28, 2003, 18:55 Will

my plan - we sneak into valve software hq, kill everyone there (including gabe), steal all the copies of HL2, fix em ourselves (which'll probly take much less time)and release em to the public


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228. Re: No subject Sep 28, 2003, 15:49 damocles
That's true for most games, especially console titles where purchasing is often done by parents on behalf of their kids. For something like Half Life 2, the ideal release date is early-mid november. This way, they can give review code to all the major magazines and have the game reviewed for the november issue, just before the game is on the shelves. If they can get massive coverage in all the top magazines a week or two before release interest will be at the maximum and sales will rocket. Also, all the major sales outlets will have just been paid to set up HL2 displays in their stores until mid january, maximising post xmas sales. Also, with november, all the serious gamers purchase on day of release then start spreading the word. By christmas, every gamer with friends wants HL2 and has just got a load of money for christmas - cha-ching!

Remember that word of mouth sales will continue on after xmas and will be the main sales promotion for the few months after xmas - lots of people got HL2 for xmas and so are now telling their friends how great it is and are promoting the game for free. Adults are usually skint after xmas, but kids are wealthy and want to spend their xmas earnings.

Look at any site that has a list of game release dates, the hotspots are mid october to mid november. December is a very dry month for actual releases - only games that are forced to slip back are released during december in a desperate bid to get some of that xmas booty.

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227. Re: No subject Sep 28, 2003, 15:04 anon@24.76
Some other site had a good essay on why releasing just before the holiday is NOT a good idea.

Its because MOST of the game buying public does NOT follow news sites like this, so if the game comes out in december most kiddies wont know about it in time to get thier parents to buy it. But if it comes out months before hand, and other poeple buy it first, they start spreading the word about how it is the MUST HAVE GAME, then the kids have enough time to whine at their parents and the parents will then have time to buy it.

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226. No subject Sep 28, 2003, 11:16 damocles
Very interesting take on all this democles - and it would make sense. Is this something you came up with on your own because of the way it "usually happens", or do you have some inside information?

I wish I did have some insider info, but no, this is just my best guess given the way the industry works.

Sadly, the games industry is going the way of Hollywood where the men in suits and ties so tight they cut off the circulation to their brain have all the power. Developers make the games, do all the real work, and then get punished like you wouldn't beleive if they fall behind. A lot of games get canned simply because they are a few months behind schedule. A lot of potentially fantastic games have gone this way. People in suits see only the dates and the current expenses, they lack the foresight to see the massive amounts they could be raking in if they let these games continue to completion.

In regards to the HL2 delay - I think vivendi had their own agenda all along. Even when Valve said September 30th at E3 Vivendi knew they were gonna aim for a holiday release which is why they gave november release dates to all the major distributors (and hence why all shops have dates around that time). Vivendi knew they had Valve by the balls and are quite happy to deprive their audience of the game for another 2 months just so they can get "record opening weekend sales". The publishers all want immediate revenue from their games, they aren't willing to look at it long term, even though a lot of games sell more in 3 years than they did in the first 3 months. HL1 was a prime example of this, but publishers couldn't give a toss. They know it's the developers that get the flak, not the publishers.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if after HL2 ships Valve announce they are cutting all ties with Vivendi. Much as Lionhead did with EA. The publishers have got to learn you can't scerew with the big developers and expect to get away with it. Lionhead's new publisher contract (if I remember rightly) gives Lionhead the rights to decide the release dates and what territories the games get distributed in. Hopefully more developers can wrangle deals like that and sort the industry out properly.

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225. Re: Film vs. Games & STEAM Sep 28, 2003, 10:53 Creston
But Lord of the Rings did exactly that & got away with it no problem.

No it didn't. The Lord of the Rings is three books, hence three films. Also, even a retarded cockroach would understand that no person alive would go see a 9 hour movie.

I'll agree that some very few movies miss their intended release dates, but how often has the public heard about those release dates?
99.99% of the times, when Hollywood says that blablabla will come out November 7th, you can write down November 7th in your agenda as "Go see blablabla".

What do you imagine the gaming industry's rate is? I'd estimate it's around 10%, and probably not even that.


EDIT: Screw it, this board sucks for quoting =P

No, it's just your UBB that sucks

This comment was edited on Sep 28, 10:55.
Avatar 15604
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224. Re: Film vs. Games & STEAM Sep 28, 2003, 09:27 Undead Scottsman
So, uhh... Zephalephelah, you calling John Cook a liar?

Joneleth: What was the reason behind [the HL2 delay]? Or are you not allowed to say? :/
JohnC: it's not done
Joneleth: And I'm also guessing that, at this point, you all have more of a "when it's done" stance on the game's release date.
JohnC: i think we're just trying to get the new schedule finalized before announcing another date

EDIT: Screw it, this board sucks for quoting =P

Jeremy Dunn
This comment was edited on Sep 28, 10:25.
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223. Re: Film vs. Games Sep 28, 2003, 06:21 L0cky
I think damocle's is right on the money.

If the game wasn't finished then Valve would have some idea of what was left to do and at least an inkling of how long it would take to finish. I can't think of a single thing that would have Valve tentativly sticking to a release date right up to seven days before it except for something beurocratical.

If they had spotted some bugs, even with Steam then they should know if it's closer to a 2 day job or a six week+ job. Valve probably did what we always ask (and never expect them to do) and completed the game before announcing it. Legal matters and talks with Vivendi is probably what lead to the slippage.

you can't have your cake and eat it too.

What's the point in having your cake and not being able to eat it?

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242 Replies. 13 pages. Viewing page 1.
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