Vivendi Universal dogfight heats up in US District Court on GameSpot
Democritus) reveals some details of a behind-the-scenes legal battle between
Valve and Sierra (now part of VU Games) over Half-Life and Half-Life 2 that's
been brewing for several years now. The article picks through details of a
recent court filing by Valve that reveals the current state of the litigation,
which has its next court date on October 8, though an actual trial is not
scheduled until March 21, 2005. Included are disputes over what
role Steam is to take in the game's distribution and who actually holds rights
to the Half-Life intellectual property. Here's a segment that summarizes some of
In court filings, Sierra/VUG says that the current distribution of
Half-Life 2 via Steam exceeds the scope of the current software publishing
agreement between the two parties. It is apparently seeking the court's
assistance in compelling Valve not to use Steam as an avenue of distribution.
On Friday, when asked if Valve was remained intent on making Half-Life 2
available to gamers via Steam, regardless of what was determined on October 8,
Lombardi replied, "Yes."
Interestingly, and in spite of the ongoing legal dispute, Sierra/VUG still wants
to work with Valve in the future and is asking the court via filings to force
Valve to work with it on whatever is next in the development pipeline. It asks
the court, in filings, "for a declaration that Sierra and VUG have the right to
a fourth engine license pursuant to the terms of...the 2001 Agreement."
According to Lombardi, "We're going to meet the obligations of our current