Valve Archive - Press Releases
⬅ Valve Archive

Press Releases

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur nec libero a nulla sollicitudin tincidunt. Maecenas et laoreet quam. Pellentesque lobortis nulla eros, id malesuada nibh sagittis at. Nullam a blandit nibh. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Sed vel cursus mauris, elementum porta eros. Sed ligula purus, pharetra sit amet dui et, vestibulum ullamcorper ex. Vestibulum viverra, ex nec vehicula pulvinar, lectus risus pellentesque sem, vitae semper urna mi id elit. Pellentesque eget metus neque. Cras mollis, elit ac eleifend efficitur, neque ex vestibulum tortor, ut dapibus sem leo quis libero. Nullam lacus tellus, molestie vitae purus ut, laoreet sollicitudin urna.

Todo: This page will be really big, so maybe make them collapsible. And have a directory listing like Wikipedia

Sierra secures exclusive publishing and distribution rights for Half-Life, the hot upcoming action game from Valve.

May 27th, 1997


BELLEVUE, Wash. - Sierra On-Line announced today an agreement with Valve to publish and distribute the game developer's debut release, Half-Life. Half-Life combines id Software's renowned QUAKE (r) technology, Valve's proprietary technological advances and sophisticated, innovative gameplay. The result promises to be the most exciting first-person action game available this holiday season.

Half-Life introduces a revolutionary leap in 3D first-person games by combining stunning technology enhancements with genre-breaking gameplay elements. Gamers are given opportunities to wreak havoc--in true action-game fashion--but they are also challenged to explore and strategize; for instance, telling friend from foe is no longer a simple matter of humans vs. monsters. Half-Life's strong story elements, advanced inventory system and story-integrated challenges create an experience never-before-seen in traditional "run-and-gun" action games.

The game features many technological advances, including 16-bit color, sophisticated colored lighting, and environmental effects such as translucency, dynamic textures, and metallic surfaces. A proprietary character animation system gives creatures the highest polygon counts and most fluid character motions seen in a first-person action game. In addition, an advanced artificial intelligence system lets non-player characters demonstrate remarkable cunning, including group behaviors and progressive strategic movement and ambush skills. The result is an entirely immersive playing environment with intensely realistic life forms. Half-Life contains support for Open-GL and Direct 3D and MMX hardware acceleration. Internet multiplayer support for up to 32 players is also included.

Assigned to a top-secret experiment at a decommissioned missile base, you've made an amazing breakthrough, an alarming discovery, and a stupid decision. Now, with the pieces of your colleagues scattered around the lab, you must fight your way past crafty alien monsters to the surface, where a full-scale battle has erupted between the invaders and government troops. Safe at last? No! The military is just as interested in silencing you as they are in eradicating the alien menace. You must make a last ditch attempt to reach the alien world, foil their monstrous schemes, and figure out how to make peace with your own murderous kind.

Along the way you'll discover fantastic experimental weapons, diabolically cunning death squads, and grotesquely beautiful worlds. It will take a fast trigger finger and a faster mind to survive, as not every monster is your enemy and not everything is as it seems.

"Sierra On-Line is thrilled to have the opportunity to publish Half-Life," remarked Ken Williams, CEO of Sierra On-Line. "Valve's enhancements to the Quake engine technology introduce gameplay and design elements that will thrust Half-Life to the forefront of first-person gaming. Gamers will agree that the results are nothing less than mind-boggling."

"Our goal with Half-Life was to build the most exciting and technologically advanced game possible," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and Managing Director of Valve. "When it came to selecting a publisher, it was very clear that Sierra was the most committed to leap-frogging the current generation of games and giving gamers a product that will be head and shoulders above anything else shipping this year."

Valve's prestigious development team is comprised of many well-respected names within the gaming community, including: 3D artist Chuck Jones, formerly with Apogee/3D Realms, where he was an artist and animator for Duke Nukem 3D, Rise of the Triad, Shadow Warrior and the Duke Nukem Plutonium Pack; game and level designer Harry E. Teasley III, former art director of Williams' Doom for Sony Playstation; Tools Architect Ben Morris, creator of DCK (Doom Construction Kit) and WorldCraft; game designers Steve Bond and John Guthrie, creators of the Quake Airplane and Quake Kart; and level designer Dario Casali, one of the world's best-known deathmatch level designers, including those found on id Software's Final Doom.

Half-Life, on PC CD-ROM, is scheduled to ship in November, 1997 and will be available at most software retailers, as well as through Sierra Direct at (800) 757-7707.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops games software. Based in Kirkland, Washington, the company consists of more than 20 leading artists, game designers and programmers. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Sierra On-Line is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment, productivity and educational software. The company recently merged with CUC International, a technology-driven, membership-services company that provides access to travel, shopping, auto, dining, home improvement, financial and other services to 66.3 million consumers worldwide. The company's common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol CUC Intl. Sierra's corporate headquarters are located in Bellevue, WA.

Valve Backgrounder, Half-Life screen shots, and additional information available upon request.

Quake (r) is a registered trademark of id Software, Inc. All rights reserved

HALF-LIFE READY TO RADIATE AT E3!

June 12th, 1997


BELLEVUE, Wash. - Sierra On-Line announced today that Half-Life, the recently-announced debut release from Valve, will premiere at CUC Software's spectacular exhibit at the Inforum in Atlanta during E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Exposition, June 19 - 21). Half-Life takes the next step in the evolution of 3D first-person action games by combining the most advanced, proprietary technology with genre-breaking gameplay elements. It is scheduled for a November 1997 release on PC CD-ROM.

Visitors to the CUC Inforum can expect to see many of the ground-breaking technological and gameplay features that will make Half-Life the year's most exciting action game. Examples include sophisticated rendering technologies, including 16-bit color, sophisticated colored lighting and environmental effects such as translucency and blurring. All of these features are implemented in software so gamers don't need special hardware accelerators to see them. "By building these features into the software, we can make them an esssential part of the gameplay, rather than just eye-candy," said Gabe Newell, managing director of Valve. "For instance, we use breakable glass everywhere. We use colored lights to convey mood, and even clues. Our force fields cycle in and out of existence, giving the player a blurred hint about a different part of the game, or a temporary bridge to run across. The designers can do all of this without worrying about fitting every monster, texture, architectural detail and effect into a single 256 color palette."

Half-Life does contain support for Open-GL, Direct 3D and MMX hardware acceleration and E3 attendees will be able to see a 3Dfx version of the game. "Half-Life looks amazing without hardware acceleration," said Ken Williams, CEO of Sierra On-Line. "But those who have the additional hardware are going to be shocked by the realism that's been achieved."

The Half-Life demo will also feature monsters created with Valve's proprietary skeletal animation system. This system gives game characters the most fluid and complex motion seen in a first-person action game. It also allows them to be much more structurally complex than ever before. For instance, while current action games have difficulty handling monsters with more than 500 polygons, Half-Life will contain monsters with over 6000 polygons.

E3 attendees will also see Half-Life's advanced artificial intelligence system at work. This system lets Half-Life's non-player characters demonstrate remarkable cunning, including organized group behaviors, progressive strategic movements, and the ability to assess risks and take cover if necessary. "Monsters in current action games are pretty predictable," said Steve Bond, Valve game developer. "Once they see you, they simply turn and attack. We wanted to make an experience that was more alive and unpredictable. Half-Life's monsters aren't on a suicide mission: they don't want to die and they'll do some unexpectedly crafty things to avoid getting killed."

As a player of Half-Life, you'll find yourself assigned to a top-secret experiment at a decommissioned missile base where you've made an amazing breakthrough, an alarming discovery, and a stupid decision. Now, with the pieces of your colleagues scattered around the lab, you must fight your way past crafty alien monsters to the surface, where a full-scale battle has erupted between the invaders and government troops. Safe at last? No way. The military is just as interested in silencing you as they are in eradicating the alien menace. You must make a last ditch attempt to reach the alien world, foil their monstrous schemes, and figure out how to make peace with your own murderous kind. Along the way you'll discover fantastic experimental weapons, diabolically cunning death squads, and grotesquely beautiful worlds. It will take a fast trigger finger and a faster mind to survive, as not every monster is your enemy and not everything is as it seems.

Half Life, on PC CD-ROM, is scheduled to ship in November, 1997 and will be available at most software retailers, as well as through Sierra Direct at (800) 757-7707.

Half-Life will be demonstrated at CUC Software's exhibit in the Inforum at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Private meeting rooms for retailers and the press will be available. To arrange a demo appointment, please contact Eric Twelker at 206-649-9800 x5862 or [email protected]

Founded in 1996, Valve develops games software. Based in Kirkland, Washington, the company consists of more than 20 leading artists, game designers and programmers. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Sierra On-Line is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment, productivity and educational software. The company recently merged with CUC International, a technology-driven, membership-services company that provides access to travel, shopping, auto, dining, home improvement, financial and other services to 66.3 million consumers worldwide. The company's common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol CUC Intl. Sierra's corporate headquarters are located in Bellevue, WA.

Half-Life can take advantage of the greater framerate and improved visuals of 3D graphics cards such as the 3Dfx.

Colored lighting and translucency are integral to Half-Life's gameplay due to 16-bit rendering in software.

Half-Life's skeletal animation system enables much more complex and lifelike monsters: some will be composed of more than 6000 polygons.

Valve Hires Ben Morris, Acquires WorldCraft

July 14th, 1997


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 14 , 1997

CONTACT:
Eric Twelker
P.R. Manager, Sierra On-Line
206-649-9800 x5862
[email protected]

Gregg Coomer
Valve
206-889-9642
[email protected]

VALVE ACQUIRES WORLDCRAFT AND WELCOMES BEN MORRIS AND MARC LAIDLAW TO DEVELOPMENT TEAM

New staff and leading level editor will enhance Half-Life, the upcoming action game to be published by Sierra On-Line

BELLEVUE, Wash. - Games developer Valve today announced that it has acquired Worldcraft, the leading 3D action game level development tool. An enhanced version of the editor will be included with Valve's debut release, Half-Life, and will take advantage of the numerous technical advancements found in the Half-Life engine. Worldcraft, called "sleek, swift, and completely intuitive" by Wired magazine, has long been the favorite map editor among gamers developing customized levels for Quake, the popular action game from id Software. Ben Morris, the developer of Worldcraft, has joined Valve to continue development on the editor, as well as to create additional tools for Half-Life add-on developers. Also joining the team is renowned cyber-punk author Marc Laidlaw. Both Morris and Laidlaw will be working on Half-Life, one of the most highly-anticipated games of the upcoming holiday season. Half-Life, a 3D first-person action game, combines advanced, proprietary technology with genre-breaking gameplay elements. It is being published by Sierra On-Line and is scheduled for a November 1997 release on PC CD-ROM.

The current version of Worldcraft has been called "the undisputed king" of level editors by PC Format magazine. It is an intuitive, easy-to-learn tool that incorporates dozens of powerful features previously available only to advanced programmers. The newly enhanced version of Worldcraft-which will be included in the Half-Life box-will support Half-Life's many technological innovations, including 24-bit textures, chrome and translucency. It will also contain advanced editing features, including vertex manipulation and clipping planes for faster shaping of architecture, support for Direct 3D and OpenGL, and improvements to the user interface to make frequently performed editing tasks faster and easier. Worldcraft will continue to support 8-bit legacy games.

"Worldcraft has always been known for it's power and ease of use," said Ben Morris, who also developed the popular DCK (Doom Construction Kit). "But the newest version of Worldcraft will be even more advanced since it is being built for Half-Life's innovative engine. Level developers are going to love building new worlds for Half-Life."

Valve also welcomed this week renowned cyber-punk author and journalist Marc Laidlaw to the team as writer and game designer. In addition to building levels for upcoming projects, Marc will be apply his award-winning writing skills to ensure that Valve's stories and scripts are as intense and entertaining as all the other elements of its games. Marc is the author of half a dozen novels, including Dad's Nuke and The 37th Mandala, winner of the International Horror Guild's award for Best Novel of 1996. While writing a cover story about id Software for Wired magazine, he determined that level designers had the coolest jobs on earth and is looking forward to making a contribution to Half-Life and to other Valve projects.

"Having Ben Morris and Marc Laidlaw join Valve reflects our desire to build technologically advanced games with innovative gameplay," said Gabe Newell, Valve's co-founder and Managing Director. "We know gamers want powerful tools and extensibility to get the most from state-of-the-art action games, and we know gamers are already fans of Marc's writing and story-telling in more traditional media. Ben and Marc will both have significant impact on Half-Life."

Half Life, on PC CD-ROM, is scheduled to ship in November, 1997 and will be available at most software retailers, as well as through Sierra Direct at (800) 757-7707. Additional game details, screen shots, and an AVI demo are available at www.sierra.com/halflife

Founded in 1996, Valve develops games software. Based in Kirkland, Washington, the company consists of more than 20 leading artists, game designers and programmers. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Sierra On-Line is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment, productivity and educational software. The company recently merged with CUC International, a technology-driven, membership-services company that provides access to travel, shopping, auto, dining, home improvement, financial and other services to 66.3 million consumers worldwide. The company's common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol CUC Intl. Sierra's corporate headquarters are located in Bellevue, WA.

Half-Life Delayed

October 2nd, 1997


First and foremost, Half-Life's release date (originally slated for mid-November) is slipping. Though I can't offer a new ship date until late next week, it will most likely slide into a 1Q98 ship. Also note that a playable demo (on CD and downloadable) will be available approx. 30 days prior to the release of the final product.

We are all extremely excited about Half-Life and are confident that this small delay will be worth the wait for action game fans!

I'll get back to you within the next 10 days with the revised ship date.

In the meantime, you may want to review........

THE TOP TEN REASONS WHY HALF-LIFE IS DELAYED:
(brought to you by the Half-Life development team)

10. We resisted Ultima Online but got sucked into Oprah's bookclub
9. Wasted 300 development hours catapulting sheep
8. Gabe and Mike learned scheduling at Microsoft
7. We're having problems making it year 2000 compatible
6. El Nino
5. Redoing the models so they all have ponytails
4. Wedge put his eye out with his new pellet machine gun (see www.valvesoftware.com/hocopus)
3. Spending too much time on our .plan files
2. Everything is finished; just waiting on the "Bill Gates Mansion" level

AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON THAT HALF-LIFE IS DELAYED........
1. Forgot to add mandatory Satanic references

Gabe Newell, Re: Half-Life™ Ship Delay

October, 1997


Sierra is sending out the release below letting people know that Half-Life™ won't be shipping until the first quarter of next year. This is a total bummer for us here at Valve, for everyone at Sierra, and, I'm certain, for all of you who have been doing such a great job supporting us.

The problem is pretty simple, Half-Life™ is a very intricate and detailed game, and it's taking us longer to get it done than we thought. We considered simplifying parts of the game or dropping some features to try and cut back on the amount of work, but in the end we decided it was best to keep building the product we all believe in and take our lumps on the schedule.

It still sucks, though.

Anyhow, I wanted to make sure you all heard about this directly from us rather than from some other source. We greatly appreciate everything you have done to support Half-Life™, and we think the game is going to more than live up to your expectations.

Gabe Newell
Managing Director, Valve

Half-Life Preliminary Findings

October 13th, 1997


Want to see demonstrations of the coolest Half-Life features by members of the Valve team? Want to see the latest and greatest Half-Life screen shots? Then the Half-Life Preliminary Findings CD is just what you need. Check in at participating Electronics Boutiques and Best Buy locations Halloween Week (Oct 27-31) and ask for your FREE Half-Life Preview CD. Limited to supplies on hand. If you miss getting your hands on one, keep your eyes peeled here for portions of the demo available for download.

Half-Life Playable Demo

November 19th, 1997


As previously announced, Half-Life's release date was recently bumped into the first quarter. Expect Half-Life to hit store shelves sometime in April. A downloadable playable demo will be available approximately 30-45 days prior to game release.

Half-Life™ Preliminary Findings CD

November, 1997


We recently released the "Half-Life™ Preliminary Findings CD," a limited-edition, non-playable multimedia preview CD containing gameplay movies, interviews with development team members at Valve, screen shots and tons of game info. The CD was (and, in certain stores, still is) available at participating Electronics Boutiques and Best Buy locations. If you were unable to secure a copy of the CD, much of the content is available for download on Half-Life™ fan sites (see web ring below).

Official Half-Life™ Release Date

November or December, 1997


Scheduled release date is Summer 1998. A downloadable playable demo will be available approximately 30-45 days prior to game release.

Valve Announces Worldcraft Support For QUAKE 2

December 18th, 1997


KIRKLAND, WA December 18, 1997-- Game developer Valve today announced version 1.6 of the popular level editor, Worldcraft. The new release adds functionality that allows add-on developers to create levels for id Software's recently released Quake 2, as well as Activision's Hexen 2.

"Demand for Quake 2 support has been very strong," said Gabe Newell, Managing Director of Valve. "Within a few days of Quake 2 shipping, I had personally received several hundred e-mail messages from add-on level developers who were interested in purchasing a version of Worldcraft that supported Quake 2."

Worldcraft 1.6 support for Quake 2 and Hexen 2 includes:

FGD files Worldcraft 1.6 contains FGD files for Hexen 2 and Quake 2. Worldcraft uses FGD files to expose game entities, such as monsters, paths, and objects, to level developers.

Exporters Worldcraft 1.6 has the necessary export support to create map files appropriate to each of the games.

Quake 2 specific features Worldcraft 1.6 also provides support for new features unique to Quake 2, such as its transparency modes, radiosity settings, and the ability to export textures to a separate WAL file.

The 1.6 upgrade is free to registered users. New users will be charged $35.00. The upgrade will be available at the Worldcraft website, before December 31st. A patch for version 1.5 that allows limited editing of Quake 2 levels is available immediately.

Worldcraft is specifically designed to make first-person game level editing faster and easier for experienced level designers as well as for those just getting started. The original Worldcraft, developed for Quake players who wanted to create customized levels of that best-selling action game, was released independently by creator Ben Morris in September of 1996. In May of 1997, the tool was purchased by Valve for use in its premiere game, the first-person action game Half-Life.

The next major release of Worldcraft will be the 2.0 release included with Half-Life. In addition to the functionality of release 1.6, Worldcraft 2.0 will include vertex merging and scaling, which lets users merge faces on an object or scale an object around a specific vertex; the path corners tool, which makes it easy to specify a complex path for an entity within the game; and entity reports, which help users see the relationships between groups of entities (like buttons, switches and doors). Worldcraft 2.0 will also let users take advantage of features native to the Half-Life engine, including DSP sound effects, 24-bit color palettes and libraries of prefabricated objects.

Half-Life, published by Sierra On-Line, is due to ship in the first quarter of 1998.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops games software. Based in Kirkland, Washington, the company consists of more than 25 leading artists, game designers and programmers. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Quake and Quake 2 are registered trademarks of id Software, Inc. Hexen 2 is a registered trademark of Activision, Inc. All rights reserved.

Yahn Bernier, Creator of BSP Joins Valve

March 17th, 1998


I'm happy to formally announce that I am now a Valve employee. I've been here since January when I relocated from Atlanta and left my job as a patent attorney by day and BSP developer by night. Valve originally hired me to work on development tools and on Half-Life's mulitplayer code, and that's taking up the bulk of my time. Now that Ben Morris has decided to return to Canada, I'll probably also do a little work finishing up Worldcraft 2.0.

Needless to say, these new commitments are going to make further development of BSP (by me, anyway) very difficult. I am looking at the possibility of releasing it to another developer to work on. However, the priority here--obviously--is to make Worldcraft the best and most popular 3D editor available and I'll do whatever I can to help make that happen, including adding some popular BSP features to Worldcraft.

Games development has been a long-time passion of mine and it's great to have this opportunity to do it full-time. I consider BSP to be something of a stepping-stone for me and I'm very happy to be moving on to other interesting projects. Valve is a very cool place to work and my fiancee, Beth (who is also an attorney) and I are excited about living in the Seattle area.

Half-Life Release Date Clarification

April 6th, 1998


Sierra has received numerous inquiries in the past day regarding the official Half-Life Web site's listing of an early June ship date. This listing is inaccurate and, since no specific release date has been announced, the site has been updated to 'Summer 1998.' Half-Life is still on target for a late Spring - early Summer release and the Valve team is working towards hitting in the E3 timeframe. Half-Life is coming along nicely; it's looking great and we're all very excited about it.

Thanks for your patience and continued support!

Half-Life Beta Test

April 6th, 1998


There will be a public beta-test for Half-Life -- it has not been determined how wide a test and how we will get participants. Date is also TBD although probably May sometime. Vague enough for you? : ) Touch base in mid-May -- we'll see where we stand.

- Sierra's Eric Twelker

Valve and Sierra Studios Debut Half-Life's Multiplayer Features at 1998 Electronic Entertainment Expo

May 27th, 1998


E3, Atlanta, GA. - Valve L.L.C. and Sierra Studios today unveiled a collection of innovative multiplayer features for Half-Life, the highly anticipated 3D first-person action game and debut release from Valve. The new features, intended to broaden the appeal of multiplayer action gaming to a wider gaming audience, are being showcased for the first time at the 1998 Electronic Entertainment Expo, held in Atlanta, GA May 27 through May 30.

"With the multiplayer functionality in Half-Life, we are going to make action gaming on the Internet a lot more fun and a lot less frustrating to the mainstream gamer," said Scott Lynch, Senior Vice President of Sierra Studios.

The multiplayer features of Half-Life that will be shown are:

One Button Play
Gamers will be able to be up and running in a multiplayer game with the press of a single button. There will be no configuration hassles, no IP addresses, and no need for additional utilities or patches. The Half-Life launcher will automatically connect to the Internet, locate the master server, select an appropriate low-ping game, download any resources necessary to play, and launch the game.

Find Your Friends
With Half-Life's integrated communications and searching facilities, gamers will be able to find their friends no matter where they are on the Internet, get together, talk to each other, and then jump into a game together. It's also easy to set up a private game that only you and your friends can play.

Be Yourself
Anonymity is a thing of the past with Half-Life. As part of customizing the appearance of their onscreen character, players can scan a picture of themselves onto their computer and have that appear as their character's face in the game (and on their opponents screen). Members of clans can spray paint their clan logo or other bitmap on the opposing teams territory to let them know who's really in charge. A master server keeps track of your accomplishments and standings versus all of the other Half-Life players.

Lag-friendly game design
For many players new to the Internet the amount of time it takes for information to travel back and forth across the Internet, known as lag, can make the fast pace of action gaming very frustrating. By the time the server has registered a fire command, the target has already moved. Half-Life addresses this by designing for lag. One example of this that will be shown at E3 is one of the weapons, the Snark, a fire-and-forget organic grenade that is completely independent of the player's ping time.

Cooperative and Competitive scenarios
Many mainstream gamers are interested in both the competitive and cooperative aspects of the multiplayer experience. Half-Life will contain both head-to-head and cooperative scenarios.

Auto Download and Configuration
Even experienced gamers can be frustrated by the complexities of downloading new maps, placing add-ons into the right directories, and knowing which of these should be used with which servers. Half-Life makes all of these operations automatic and completely transparent to the player. If a player connects to a server, and the server administrator is running a Half-Life game that requires new sounds, new models, new maps, or additional DLL's, all of these will be automatically downloaded and configured for the user.

24 by 7 Server Support
Players will no longer have to worry if their favorite Half-Life game or map is available. With free support from WON.Net, they will be guaranteed that all of the popular levels will be available at all time, with nothing more than a WON.Net registration. A master server will also keep track of all available servers running on the Internet, which games they are running, all standings and scores, and what servers offer players the lowest ping times,

Additional Features
In addition to the above, Half-Life features 32-player Internet and LAN multiplayer support. Servers are available via WON.net, Gamespy or user hosted servers. Half-Life's skeletal animation system lets players see which weapons opponents are using. Half-Life's dynamic environments add to the realism and chaotic fun: burn marks, bullet holes and blood marks appear on surfaces. Multiplayer levels include player-controlled trains and conveyer belts, which offer creative means of offense and defense.

Voted "Best Game at ECTS" by All Games Network and winner of "Best Action Game" and "Best Take on First-Person Action" in Gamepen's "Best of 1997 E3 Awards", Half-Life combines the most advanced, proprietary technology with genre-breaking gameplay elements to create the next revolution in computer gaming.

Half-Life, on PC CD-ROM, is scheduled to ship in Summer 1998 and will be available at most software retailers, as well as through Sierra Direct at (800) 757-7707.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops games software. Based in Kirkland, Washington, the company consists of more than 20 leading artists, game designers and programmers. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Sierra Studios, a member of the Sierra family and a brand division of parent company Cendant Software, is dedicated to bringing to market computer game entertainment software that reflects a commitment to established game brands, quality gameplay and represents a move to bring new and innovative experiences to gamers. Encompassing the creation, progress and advancement of the computer gaming industry, Sierra Studios embodies the new era of entertainment software excellence. Sierra is part of Cendant Software, one of the largest PC consumer software groups in the world, and a leader in entertainment and educational software. Cendant Software consolidates the sales, manufacturing, finance, accounting and management of Cendant Corporation's software divisions, including Sierra, Knowledge Adventure, Davidson & Associates, Inc. and Blizzard Entertainment. Cendant Corporation is the result of the December 1997 merger between CUC International and HFS Incorporated, creating a business and consumer services company focused on real estate, travel and membership.

Sierra Studios to Publish Team Fortress 2 as Half-Life Expansion Pack

May 28th, 1998


E3, Atlanta, GA. - Valve L.L.C., developer of the eagerly anticipated Half-Life, announced today the acquisition of TF Software Pty. Ltd., Australian developer of Team Fortress, one of the most popular multiplayer games on the Internet.

Team Fortress (TF) is a first person action game with strong team oriented play and strategic elements. Each member of a team takes on a specific class, such as scout, sniper, or engineer, in competition with other teams. The player's class determines his or her appearance, tools or weapons, and skills. Close coordination with other team members is the key to success in the game; it is also the source of the game's long-standing popularity. The original Team Fortress, developed as an extension to id Software's Quake, was released in August 1996. Today, approximately 40% of current Quake servers are dedicated to Team Fortress.

"When we began development of Team Fortress 2 our goal was to build the best team-based action game yet," said Team Fortress's Managing Director, Ian Caughley. "Most multiplayer action games are just collections of individuals killing each other, but with TF 2, the emphasis is as much on team play and strategy as it is on shooting."

"We looked at all of the different game platforms we could host TF 2 on," added Robin Walker, lead designer of TF 2. "Half-Life's advanced technology, as well as its flexibility for extensions, with features like client-side DLL support and add-on controllable HUD's (Heads Up Display), meant we could do things with Team Fortress 2 that wouldn't be possible on any other system."

"This is the best thing that could have happened for Team Fortress and the fans of the game who have been waiting for TF 2," said John Cook, lead developer of Team Fortress. "The resources we now have at our disposal ensure the game will have functionality and breadth of support that it wouldn't have had if we had continued on our own."

Sierra Studios and Valve also announced that Team Fortress 2 will be shipping as a Half-Life expansion pack later this year. "Half-Life is clearly perceived in both the user and press communities as the best single-player action game for 1998. Team Fortress is one of the most popular games being played on the Internet. Building TF 2 on top of Half-Life's will result in a multiplayer experience of much greater depth and broader appeal than anything currently available," said Scott Lynch, Senior Vice President of Sierra Studios.

Details on the TF 2 expansion pack will be forthcoming.

Half-Life, on PC CD-ROM, is scheduled to ship in Summer 1998 and will be available at most software retailers, as well as through Sierra Direct at (800) 757-7707.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops games software. Based in Kirkland, Washington, the company consists of more than 20 leading artists, game designers and programmers. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Sierra Studios, a member of the Sierra family and a brand division of parent company Cendant Software, is dedicated to bringing to market computer game entertainment software that reflects a commitment to established game brands, quality gameplay and represents a move to bring new and innovative experiences to gamers. Encompassing the creation, progress and advancement of the computer gaming industry, Sierra Studios embodies the new era of entertainment software excellence. Sierra is part of Cendant Software, one of the largest PC consumer software groups in the world, and a leader in entertainment and educational software. Cendant Software consolidates the sales, manufacturing, finance, accounting and management of Cendant Corporation's software divisions, including Sierra, Knowledge Adventure, Davidson & Associates, Inc. and Blizzard Entertainment. Cendant Corporation is the result of the December 1997 merger between CUC International and HFS Incorporated, creating a business and consumer services company focused on real estate, travel and membership.

Sierra Sale No Impact on Half-Life

August 12th, 1998


I'm getting bombarded with emails about this from concerned fans. Can you let people know that we appreciate their interest and concern, and that it isn't going to affect Half-Life's ship date anymore than it's going to affect Diablo 2 or Fisher-Price Little People Discovery Farm.

OK. Maybe it will affect Fisher-Price Little People Discovery Farm because the Little People decide to pull the trigger on their Golden Parachutes when whatever IPO/sale occurs, but everything else is business as normal. So please stop sending me email about this and go back to sending me mail asking me when exactly this summer the game will ship.

- Valve's Gabe Newell

On Half-Life's Release Date

August 25th, 1998


Guys: I want to give you an update before people get too anxious over the course of the week, waiting for an announcement from Sierra/Valve. It looks like the announcement Sierra was alluding to at their party last week is actually going to happen at ECTS, which is in London over Labor Day weekend. We're going to be talking about our developer support plans and give a status report on Half-Life and Team Fortress 2. (Half-Life won't be shipping in August.)

We know how impatient you all are to play Half-Life and we want to repay your enthusiasm with a fantastic game. We're all in extreme crunch mode and will be until ship....we're as anxious to play the final version as you are. Thanks for continuing to support us through the tough final push toward gold.

- Valve's Lisa Mennet

More on Half-Life OEM

September 7th, 1998


By now you've probably already seen Mike's post but let me reiterate: the OEM version of Half-Life is intended for hardward manufacturers to bundle with their hardware (OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer btw). It's standard practice for OEMs to make decisions on the software they will bundle MANY months in advance of it actually hitting store shelves, which is why we needed to deliver this version in advance of the retail product. While we do not control when these manufacturers will actually ship HL along with their hardware, it should be AFTER the full retail product ships, now slated for late October.

There were two reason for making the OEM announcement: 1) to let everyone know that we're not just sitting on our thumbs, since finishing this milestone gets us a LOT closer to shipping the final product and 2) to let the larger PC community, particularly hardware manufacturers, know that we (actually, Sierra) have this program if they are interested in taking part. Sounds like something got lost in the translation somewhere! Hope this clarifies.

- Valve's Mike Harrington

Half-Life by Thanksgiving

October 20th, 1998


BELLEVUE, WA - October 20, 1998 - Sierra Studios announced today their upcoming 3D action thriller, Half-Life, one of the most anticipated titles of 1998, will be in stores by Thanksgiving weekend. The game will go gold later this month, and retail outlets will start seeing the game in mid-November, just in time for the busiest buying weekend of the year. Pre-orders have given the heads of corporate offices within Cendant Software all indications that Half-Life will be the biggest product launch of 1998 for the company.

Half-Life Gold

November 9th, 1998


Half-Life has gone gold, and is in manufacturing.

I'd like to say how extraordinarily grateful all of us here at Valve are for the support and enthusiasm you have shown Half-Life over the last two years. We are very proud of the product, and hope it lives up to your expectations.

Sierra will be sending out a media alert tomorrow giving more details on the street date.

- Valve's Gabe Newell

Half-Life Gold

November 10th, 1998


Bellevue, WA (November 10, 1998) - Sierra Studios announced today that Half-Life, one of the most anticipated games for the holiday season, has gone gold and will be in stores before Thanksgiving weekend. Developed by Valve Software, this first-person 3D action shooter has been getting a lot of attention in the last couple of months since the release of the 250mg OEM demo.

The game has already won plenty of praise, including "Best PC Game" and "Best Action Game" at this year's Electronic Entertainment Exposition from Unified Gamer's Online, Best of E3 Show Awards. The same group, represented by 30 different gaming Web sites, recently announced the UGO Holiday Games "Best Buy" Awards, where Half-Life scooped up awards in the Best Action category and Best PC game category.

"The buzz has been so fantastic from the press, the sales team, the retailers and the consumers that we are proud to say we are off to market," said Jim Veevaert, director of marketing for Sierra Studios.

Half-Life Primary Server Program

November 15th, 1998


BELLEVUE, WA - November 15, 1998 - Sierra Studios and Valve Software just announced the Half-Life Primary Server Program, a special offering for those interested in hosting dedicated Half-Life game servers. Winner of numerous awards and due in stores around the globe in time for Thanksgiving, Half-Life is the most anticipated title for the 1998 holiday season.

In preparation for this massive release, Sierra Studios and Valve are offering special incentives-including advanced copies of the server software and prizes -- to those who sign up to become server hosts at launch.

Primary server enrollment begins with filling out the short informational questionnaire located at www.sierrastudios.com/hlprimaryserver. Applicants need to be running over a cable modem or better connection to be accepted into the program. Sierra Studios and Valve will be checking servers incrementally and sending rewards to those who continue to run dedicated Half-Life servers over time.

"We are extremely excited about the multiplayer features we've put into Half-Life," said Gabe Newell, co-founder or Valve. "The Primary Server Program is just the first of many efforts Sierra and Valve will be making to support and interact with the community."

Half-Life Primary Server Program Closed

November 17th, 1998


Bellevue, WA (November 17, 1998) - On the heels of Sunday's announcement from Sierra Studios when the Primary Server program for their upcoming game Half-Life was launched, the company announced today that they are closing the program due to the overwhelming number of applicants in the pool.

"We had over 1,000 people apply to be server hosts from around the world," said Doug Lombardi, product manager for Sierra Studios. "The reaction has been fantastic. Our goal was to have 500 by launch and within 24 hours we were blown away with the response."

Half-Life International

November 20th, 1998


Half-Life has gone gold in the UK and in France. The release candidates for Italian and Spanish will be burned on Tuesday

- Valve's Gabe Newell

Half-Life Model & SDK

November 25th, 1998


Howdy. Gabe mentioned in his letter yesterday that I'm the the Valve contact for folks who wish to do mods... Since that letter was posted, there's been a huge response that I've been sorting through, asking about source code availability and such, so I thought it would be a good idea to send you guys a quick note about what's going on.

We're putting together resources for the Half-Life Software Developer's Kit. It will have resources for modellers to learn how to build new characters and weapons for Half-Life, for mappers who want to learn how to use the more sophisticated Half-Life entities (that aren't covered in autolycus' excellent WorldCraft tutorial), for texture artists who wish to make new wads for the game, and for coders who wish to create new game DLLs for TCs and mods that require them.

Right now, there's a fair amount to do to get the entire SDK in shape for release. In the meantime, here are some resources that will allow modellers and mappers to start creating new content as soon as possible (sort of an SDK, Jr.) I will keep the news sites posted on future updates to the SDK when they become available.

Also attached is the Security Guard Deathmatch Model, in an installable .exe. Now you can play against your friends as Barney, the helpful Half-Life security guard.

- Valve's Harry Teasley

VALVE AND SIERRA STUDIOS ANNOUNCE IMMEDIATE AVAILABILITY OF Half-Life UPDATE - Team Fortress Classic to be released for Half-Life at the end of January

January 15th, 1999


Kirkland, WA. - Valve L.L.C. and Sierra Studios announced the immediate availability of an update for its award winning game, Half-Life. The update includes new multiplayer maps, player models, a new team-play mode, and significant improvements in Internet bandwidth utilization. "We are very committed to supporting the Half-Life multiplayer community, and will continue to invest in further enhancing this aspect of our technology and gameplay," said Gabe Newell, Valve's Managing Director.

"We've come up with a number of techniques for encoding the multiplayer datastream that significantly improve overall latency on lower speed connections," said Yahn Bernier, senior development engineer at Valve. "Most players will see a dramatic improvement in the smoothness of gameplay."

The maps included with the update are optimized for the new team play mode. Frenzy is best for small groups of players, especially those with lower-end PCs. Crossfire is for much larger groups of players and allows a team to call in air strikes that will destroy anyone who hasn't been able to reach a protective bunker in time.

This update is available via the auto-update facility built into Half-Life, as well as via download over the Internet from game sites, Half-Life fan sites, and from Sierra Studios (www.sierrastudios.com).

Valve also announced that they will be releasing Team Fortress Classic as a free add-on for Half-Life. Team Fortress Classic is a direct port of the original Team Fortress developed for id Software's Quake. Its innovative gameplay, character classes, and mission variety contributed to its enormous popularity, with over 500,000 downloads of the add-on from a single FTP site.

Team Fortress Classic will be available for free downloading by the end of January, and will include two entirely new maps from David Sawyer and Matt Armstrong, the developers of the acclaimed Canal Zone map.

"We wanted to introduce Team Fortress gameplay to the Half-Life community and give current Team Fortress players a glimpse of some of the new technology we'll be using in Team Fortress 2," said Robin Walker, Lead Designer for Team Fortress 2. "We were able to take the original Team Fortress add-on for Quake and port it to Half-Life as a way of testing the Half-Life software development kit. Team Fortress Classic players can now enjoy Half-Life's superior graphics and audio, ease of use, and advanced animation technology while we focus on making Team Fortress 2 the best multiplayer game possible."

"This is a great idea!" said Dave Carter (a.k.a. Bundy), a member of one of the Internet's leading Team Fortress Clans, and author of a Team Fortress community commentary web page. "It's very exciting to those of us who've been playing Quake-based Team Fortress, because we can finally play Team Fortress with viewable weapon models, decals, D3D acceleration, and all the other great Half-Life engine functionality. Half-Life players who haven't yet experienced Team Fortress will find it much easier to get into, and once they play it they'll understand why it's one of the most popular multiplayer games on the Internet."

Team Fortress 2 is a much more advanced, stand-alone multiplayer game built on top of the Half-Life technology. It will be shipped by Valve and Sierra Studios later this year.

Also available in late January will be the Half-Life software development kit. With over 50 Half-Life add-ons already announced (http://www.planethalflife.com/wavelength/tclist.htm), interest in the software development kit is very high within the Internet gaming community. "We have had several of the development teams here to our offices in Washington to try out early versions of the development kit," said Valve's Harry Teasley, "and it's very exciting to see just how far both single-player and multiplayer products are building on the Half-Life technology."

Valve also said that development on the Linux version of the Half-Life dedicated server was going well. "Zoid should have something for people to start beta testing shortly, with general availability within a few weeks," said Mike Harrington, Valve's Director of Development. "The Linux dedicated server will get rolled into that Half-Life Primary Server Program." The Primary Server Program is a free download of all of the components necessary to host Half-Life or Team Fortress Classic servers, and is available from WON.Net.

Half-Life combines the visceral action of legendary action games like Doom with great storytelling in the tradition of Stephen King. Since its release in November, 1998, Half-Life has won critical acclaim from industry press in the United States and around the world, including a five-star review from Computer Gaming World, and a review rating of 97 from PC Gamer, the highest score ever awarded to an action game. Half-Life has also been called a "smash hit" by the Wall Street Journal and the "best PC game of the year" by USA Today.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops games software. Based in Kirkland, Washington, the company consists of more than 25 leading artists, game designers and programmers. TF Software PTY Ltd., the developers of Team Fortress, was an Australian developer of games software acquired by Valve in 1997. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Sierra On-Line is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is comprised of six brands, Sierra Attractions, Sierra FX, Sierra Home, Sierra Sports, Sierra Studios, and Dynamix, a Sierra Company. Sierra Studios' games include Caesar III, Lords of Magic: Special Edition, Half-Life, King's Quest: Mask of Eternity, Return to Krondor and the upcoming Homeworld and Gabriel Knight III.

Half-Life Demo Tomorrow

Febuary 12th, 1999


BELLEVUE, WA (February 12, 1999) -- Sierra Studios, Valve Software, and PC Gamer Online will launch Half-Life: Uplink, the official public demo for the worldwide smash hit game, Half-Life, Friday at noon at www.pcgamer.com.

"Half-Life: Uplink is a free never-before-seen Half-Life mini-mission," said Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve. "In creating the demo, we wanted to give new players an experience that captures the essence of what makes Half-Life the Game of the Year, plus provide current Half-Life players with exciting, all-new content."

Half-Life, Valve's debut title, was released late in November, 1998. For the month of December in the United States, Half-Life generated more revenue than any other PC game.* PC Gamer, the world's best-selling PC Games magazine, named Half-Life the "Game of the Year" in its March, 1999 issue.

Half-Life: Uplink Movie

Febuary 17th, 1999


"Half-Life : Uplink" : Live Action Film To Be Released On-Line!

Half-Life combines state of the art gameplay with all the suspense of a Hitchcock movie. The game sets you inside a secret government research facility where a horrific accident leaves you stranded deep underground and fighting for your life against marauding aliens and marines.

Half-Life : Uplink follows a journalist who hears about 'the accident' and manages to break in to the Black Mesa base to see what's going on….

The film was commissioned by Lisa Humphries, product manager for Half-Life at Cendant Software. "This long awaited title has met all our expectations and more. The film has been designed for two reasons, one to draw in new gamers and let them experience Half-Life, and two, to supply the gaming fraternity with a different angle on the game. Something to share and something to say thank you".

Filming took place inside an underground military facility at a recently decommissioned USAF base in Bedfordshire, UK. "The location was perfect and must have been exactly how Valve imagined the Black Mesa base to look" said Chris Birch, producer of the film. "We tried to stay as true the game as possible. With a perfect location we had to get the right sound effects and thanks to Sierra we were able to draw on the entire sound library from Half-Life itself".

"Half-Life has such a strong following. The aim was to support and build upon that as well as draw in new players whose interest will have been sparked by seeing the film" said Chris Birch. Fans will even be able to download two different endings with possibly a third to come. The second ending will be available two weeks after the release of the film.

The Half-Life film will be available in a variety of formats on-line at www.cruisecontrol.uk.com from Monday 22nd February. Please note that this website will not be active until Saturday 20th February.

Valve Licenses Intel MRM Technology for Team Fortress 2

March 16th, 1999


PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Monica Harrington
Valve LLC
(425) 889-9642, ext. 130
[email protected]

Valve Licenses Intel MRM Technology for Team Fortress 2
Highly detailed, realistic looking models will make gameplay even more immersive

Kirkland, WA (March 16, 1999) - Valve LLC, the makers of the blockbuster PC game Half-Life, announced today that they will be using Intel's Multiresolution Mesh Technology for their upcoming title Team Fortress 2. This technology will allow Valve to create a "scaleable" game with highly detailed, realistic looking models that automatically adjust performance to the gamer's PC.

"We believe the PC is the ultimate entertainment platform," said Gabe Newell, Valve co-founder and managing director. "By combining Intel's new MRM technology with our own Parametric Animation skeletal modeling system, we're able to create realistic-looking models that move the way real people do. This represents a huge advance in terms of making PC entertainment more appealing for a broader spectrum of users."

"A big advantage of Intel MRM technology is that it's scaleable to the available processing power," said Ken Birdwell, senior development engineer at Valve. "We build models once, and they are automatically optimized for each player's hardware, giving everyone the maximum performance and resolution possible."

"The Intel MRM technology lowers the cost and shortens the development time needed to create compelling 3D content for games," said Matthew B. Langie, strategic marketing manager for 3D technologies developed in the Intel Architecture Labs. "With scaleable titles such as Team Fortress 2, gamers will see 3D games that automatically adjust to their system, be it the highest-end Pentium III processor-based computer or a basic PC system."

Team Fortress 2 is a cooperative action game slated for release later this year. Valve's debut game, Half-Life, currently a best seller, has won Game of the Year honors from more than 30 publications worldwide, including PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and CNET's Gamecenter.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops game software. Based in Kirkland, Washington, the company consists of more than 25 leading artists, game designers and programmers. TF Software PTY Ltd., the developers of Team Fortress, was an Australian developer of games software acquired by Valve in 1997. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Half-Life Expansion Announcement

Sierra Studios Announces Official Half-Life Game Expansion Half-Life: Opposing Force Due Fall 1999

April 15th, 1999


BELLEVUE, WA (April 15, 1999) - Sierra Studios proudly announces that it will release an official game expansion for the highly celebrated 3D action thriller, Half-Life, this fall. Half-Life: Opposing Force (a.k.a. "Op For") is the official game expansion for Half-Life, the game named the 1998 "Game of the Year" by over 40 publications worldwide. Half-Life: Opposing Force is being developed by Gearbox Software for Sierra Studios.

In Half-Life: Opposing Force, players return to the Black Mesa Research Facility to engage in an entirely new episode of single player action and will be offered an enormous variety of new multiplayer content. Gamers play a soldier this time around, instead of Gordon Freeman. Having the option of playing on the opposing force, the player will experiment with a host of new military, experimental and alien weapons. Also a key feature will be to battle a fierce new alien race as well as interaction with more human characters. Finally, in addition to the extensive new single player experience, gamers will compete in new multiplayer maps designed by industry all-stars.

"Gearbox is extremely psyched to be working with the superior Half-Life game system and universe," said Randy Pitchford, lead designer of Half-Life: Opposing Force at Gearbox. "Our number one goal is to preserve the integrity of Half-Life and provide new experiences that expand upon the sensation of the original-we intend to make Half-Life fans very happy."

"Sierra Studios is excited to formally announce this expansion and to be the first to work with Gearbox Software," said Doug Lombardi, product manager for the Half-Life franchise. "Op For will take full advantage of the remarkable technology that Half-Life produced; including: enemy AI, rendering technologies, skeletal animation system and the extraordinary multiplayer technology that helped Half-Life become the quintessential benchmark action game."

SIERRA STUDIOS TO DELIVER BEST-SELLING HALF-LIFE TO THE MAC

April 23rd, 1999


BELLEVUE, WA (April 23, 1999) -- Sierra Studios announced today their hit game Half-Life will be available for Macintosh gamers this fall. Originally developed by Valve Software, the Macintosh version of the game will be developed by Southern California-based Logicware, recognized for Macintosh gaming development and well-known for working with some of the top computer game publishers in the industry.

"The PC version has sold nearly one million units worldwide - bringing Half-Life to the Mac is a natural next step, especially since there is such unwavering devotion in the Macintosh gaming community," said Jim Veevaert, director of marketing for Sierra Studios. "We are excited to be working with a company like Logicware that has such a strong reputation in the Mac gaming market."

Half-Life combines the visceral action of legendary action games like Quake with great storytelling in the tradition of Stephen King. Named Game of the Year by 40 publications worldwide, it is by far one of the most popular first-person action thriller games on the market. More information can be found at www.gameoftheyear.com.

Logicware was formed in 1995 to create fun, cutting edge games for computers and console systems. Founded and run by entertainment industry veterans, Logicware has developed a multitude of original titles and conversions on a variety of platforms. In late 1997, Logicware began publishing games for the Mac OS. Logicware is now one of the premiere game publishers for the Macintosh market. Logicware is located east of Los Angeles in Covina, California.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is comprised of five brands: Sierra Attractions, SierraHome, Sierra Sports, Sierra Studios, and Dynamix, a Sierra Company. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, whose holdings also include Knowledge Adventure, Blizzard Entertainment and WON.net.

ALL-NEW TEAM FORTRESS 2 WEB SITE NOW ONLINE

June 15th, 1999


Bellevue, WA (June 15, 1999) - Sierra Studios and Valve Software announced today at 2 o'clock P.M. PDT the launch of a brand-new Web site dedicated to the upcoming multiplayer game, Team Fortress 2: Brotherhood of Arms. The site is live and can be found at the following URL: www.team-fortress2.com. It hosts new screenshots from Valve's recent award-winning E3 demo, and new information about the game.

Team Fortress 2 puts players in a realistic combat environment where communication and teamwork make the difference between victory and defeat. With 12 unique player classes, beginning and advanced training missions and a real-time voice communication system, Team Fortress 2 takes online gaming into the realm of social, role-based entertainment.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops game software. Based in Kirkland, Washington, the company consists of more than 25 leading artists, game designers and programmers. Valve's first game, Half-Life, was awarded "Game of the Year" by over 40 publications worldwide. In 1997 Valve acquired TF Software PTY Ltd., the Australian developers of Team Fortress and Valve's most recent release, Team Fortress Classic. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Sierra Studios is a member of the Sierra family. Sierra Studios' games include Caesar III, Half-Life™, King's Quest®: Mask of Eternity, Return to Krondor™ and the upcoming games Homeworld®, Gabriel Knight III™ and Pharaoh™. More information can be found at www.sierrastudios.com.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is comprised of a family of brands: Sierra Attractions™, SierraHome™, Sierra Sports™, Sierra Studios™, and Dynamix™, a Sierra Company. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, whose holdings also include Knowledge Adventure™, Blizzard Entertainment® and WON.net™.

Half-Life Macintosh Web Site Launched

Official Half-Life Mac Site Now Live

July 8th, 1999


Bellevue, WA (July 8, 1999) - Sierra Studios, Valve, and Logicware announced today the launch of a new Web site dedicated to the upcoming Macintosh conversion of Valve's smash hit Half-Life, the thrilling computer game named Game of the Year by over 40 publications, including PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World and CNET's Gamecenter. The site can be found at the www.sierrastudios.com/games/half-life/mac/ and features an overview of the game, screenshots, news, and product information.

Originally designed by Valve Software, Half-Life combines the visceral action of legendary action games like Quake with great storytelling in the tradition of Stephen King. Half-Life for the Macintosh will be as extraordinary as the PC version, while taking full advantage of the latest Macintosh technology. The Macintosh version of Half-Life is being developed by Southern California-based Logicware and will be available Fall 1999.

Logicware was formed in 1995 to create fun, cutting-edge games for computers and console systems. Founded and run by entertainment industry veterans, Logicware has developed a multitude of original titles and conversions on a variety of platforms. In late 1997, Logicware began publishing games for the Mac OS. Logicware is now one of the premiere game publishers for the Macintosh market. Logicware is located east of Los Angeles in Covina, California.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops game software. Based in Kirkland, Washington, the company consists of more than 25 leading artists, game designers and programmers. Valve's first game, Half-Life, was awarded "Game of the Year" by over 40 publications worldwide. In 1997 Valve acquired TF Software PTY Ltd., the Australian developers of Team Fortress and Valve's most recent release, Team Fortress Classic. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is comprised of a family of brands: Sierra Attractions™, SierraHome™, Sierra Sports™, Sierra Studios™, and Dynamix™, a Sierra Company. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, whose holdings also include Knowledge Adventure™, Blizzard Entertainment® and WON.net™.

Mac H-L Cancelled

Email sent to Blues News.

October 19th, 1999


From: Gabe Newell

There's been a lot of speculation about Half-Life for the Macintosh - its feature set, its compatibility with the PC version, and so on. Andrew Meggs at Logicware has been doing a good job on the port, and it's mostly done. At this point we've spent a bunch of money on the Mac product and have spent a lot of time thinking about what we need to do to make sure Macintosh users are happy with it when it ships.

Which is why we are canceling the Macintosh version of Half-Life.

When we started Mac Half-Life, there was a lot of optimism about the opportunity for Macintosh games. As someone who worked on Macintosh software starting in 1983 before the 128K Mac had shipped, it was pretty exciting to think that there was going to be a resurgence in the Mac gaming market.

However, as we got closer to shipping the product and reality set in, it was increasingly obvious that in order for us to break even on the Mac version, much less be profitable, we were going to have to cut some corners. OK - I guess we won't have Team Fortress Classic available at shipment. Maybe people will accept it if we update them with TFC later. OK - I guess I understand why we don't have an automatic update facility. Maybe people will accept that they have to manually update. OK - I guess I understand why we might carve out a separate multiplayer space for Mac users from PC users because of the on-going interoperability issues. Maybe that won't be the disaster I think it will be.

But the more I thought about it, the more I felt that this was nonsense. Our existing Half-Life customers are really happy with us. They were happy with the original game, they were happy when we released TFC, they were happy with our on-going investment in Half-Life, and there's even more coming for them in the next couple of months. They are happy because we do our best for them, and that's what they expect from us in the future. Given the realities of the Mac gaming market, our Mac customers were always going to be mad at us. They were always going to be second-class customers where we couldn't invest to the same degree in the Mac version as we did elsewhere. I don't want to be in that business. I would much rather we just eat the money we've spent so far than take money from Mac customers and short-change them.

It's disappointing to me on a personal basis that we won't ship Half-Life for the Mac. Everyone here, and I'm sure the people at Logicware are disappointed. The Mac gamers who were looking forward to Half-Life are undoubtedly disappointed as well. However that's a lot less disappointment than what would have happened if we had tried to get Mac gamers to accept second-class treatment on an on-going basis.

Gabe

Mac H-L Cancelled

Email sent to Computer and Video games.com.

November 16th, 1999


From: Gabe Newell

Andrew Meggs at Logicware has been doing a good job on the port, and it's mostly done. At this point, we've spent a bunch of money on the Mac product and have spent a lot of time thinking about what we need to do to make Macintosh users happy with it when it ships. Which is why we are cancelling the Macintosh version of Half-Life.

Gabe

HALF-LIFE(tm) COMING TO SEGA DREAMCAST(tm)

Best-Selling, Critically Acclaimed Action Thriller Heads to Sega's Next Generation Console

February 14th, 2000


February 14, 2000 (Bellevue, WA) - Sierra Studios(tm) and Valve LLC today announced at the Milia trade show in Cannes, France that their award-winning action thriller game, Half-Life, is currently in development for a summer release on Sega Dreamcast. Half-Life combines great storytelling with intense action and advanced technology to create an impressive, realistic world where players need to think smart to survive. Originally created for the PC by Valve, Half-Life has won more than 50 Game of the Year awards from publications around the world, was named "Best PC Game Ever" by Imagine Media's PC Gamer magazine (November 1999), and has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.

In development by Northern California-based Captivation Digital Laboratories in conjunction with Gearbox Software and Valve, Half-Life: Dreamcast is set to be even more extraordinary than the original PC version. The Sega Dreamcast edition will feature several optimizations, including higher polygon player characters, dramatic lighting and special effects, to showcase the power of the Sega Dreamcast and deliver a fresh and exciting player experience for console gamers.

Half-Life: Dreamcast will also feature an all-new single player mission that surrounds the Black Mesa Security Guard character, Barney. This special mission is being custom created for the Dreamcast by Gearbox Software, the Texas-based development team that created Half-Life: Opposing Force(tm), the official PC expansion for Half-Life and runner-up to 1999 Game of the Year by PC Gamer magazine (March 2000).

"Half-Life has become a big franchise with 1.5 million units sold worldwide," said Hubert Joly, CEO of Havas Interactive. "Its immersive environment, the depth of its story, its unique action character lend themselves well to creating a great console product that takes advantage of the high performance of the Sega Dreamcast."

"Valve's number one objective is to deliver state of the art entertainment experiences that push the envelope with every new release," noted Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director, Valve. "By partnering with Sega our intention is to create an incredible new version of Half-Life that takes full advantage of Sega Dreamcast's architecture."

Founded in 1996, Valve develops entertainment software. Half-Life is Valve's debut title. Since its release in November, 1998, Half-Life has won over 50 game of the year awards from publications that include PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and CNET's Gamecenter. Valve's upcoming title, Team Fortress 2: Brotherhood of Arms won the E3 Game Critics' Award for Best Action Game and Best Online Game. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at http://www.valvesoftware.com.

Located near San Francisco in El Granada, California, Captivation Digital Laboratories, Inc. is a software developer specializing in high-end computer and video games. Founded in 1996 with a core team of console gaming veterans, Captivation was one of the first Dreamcast developers in the United States and has worked closely with Sega of America on the rollout of key Dreamcast technologies. More information can be found at http://www.captivation.com.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. http://www.sierra.com/ is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, a global leader in interactive content, and is one of the world's largest publishers of education, entertainment and home productivity software. Its divisions, Blizzard®, Coktel, Knowledge Adventure®, Sierra(tm) and WON.net(tm) are famous for releasing critically acclaimed and award winning titles. Havas has operations in the US and in Europe and is a subsidiary of the French publishing house Havas, part of Vivendi Communications.

COUNTER-STRIKE TEAM PARTNERS WITH VALVE

Version 1.0 to be included in Half-Life update

April 12th, 2000


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Doug Lombardi
[email protected]

Kirkland, WA (April 12, 2000) -The Counter-Strike development team and Valve today announced Valve's support for on-going development of Counter-Strike, the popular multiplayer modification (MOD) for Valve's awarding winning debut title Half-Life.

"The financial and technical support from Valve is a big help in continuing to evolve Counter-Strike. It lets us focus on making Counter-Strike a better game and respond to gamers requests for features and fine-tuning," said Minh Le, Project Leader of Counter-Strike development. "Distributing Counter-Strike 1.0 as a free upgrade to the two million Half-Life players will grow the Counter-Strike community enormously."

"We made a major investment in the MOD community early on with activities like the MOD Expo and the release of tools and source code," said Gabe Newell, Managing Director of Valve. "With Half-Life still a top seller at retail, and generating over 350 million player-minutes per month on the Internet, a lot of the credit for that goes to the MOD community's support of Half-Life. Working with Minh and Cliffe is one way of showing our on-going commitment to them and all the gamers that make Half-Life the most popular game on the Internet."

Counter-Strike was first showcased at the Half-Life MOD Expo '99 in San Francisco and, after a series of subsequent releases, has become the premier realistic combat game on the Internet since its initial release late last year. Currently Counter-Strike is at Beta release 6, with future releases to be made available shortly via Half-Life's built-in MOD browser or via download from http://www.counter-strike.net/.

Counter-Strike casts players as a member of either a terrorist or counter-terrorist team. Each team has unique weapons and capabilities. The game is played in a variety of maps with varying objectives, including rescue missions, assassination, bomb diffusion, and more. More information on Counter-Strike can be found through the official Web site at http://www.counter-strike.net/. Founded in 1996, Valve develops entertainment software. Half-Life is Valve's debut title. Since its release in November 1998, Half-Life has won over 50 Game of the Year Awards from publications that include PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and CNET's Gamecenter. More information about Valve is available through the company's Web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Half-Life Update Announced

May 1st, 2000


Kirkland, WA (May 1, 2000) -Valve, L.L.C. today announced a number of enhancements and updates are being prepared for Half-Life, the epic action thriller named Game of the Year by over 50 publications. The releases will include new Half-Life technology, new Half-Life multiplayer games, updated versions of popular game modifications (MODs), and new toolsets for MOD authors.

"Continued support for Half-Life has been an important factor in helping us achieve 2 million copies sold worldwide and becoming the number one action game played online," said Gabe Newell, manager director of Valve, L.L.C. "This next round of releases will put some of our next generation tools in the hands of MOD authors, greatly increase the size of our online community, as well as enhance the Dreamcast version of Half-Life."

Specific details on the new releases will be made available over the next two weeks.

Half-Life SDK 2.0 Soon

May 2nd, 2000


Kirkland, WA (May 2, 2000) -Valve, L.L.C. today announced the upcoming release of the Half-Life SDK 2.0, an updated suite of authoring tools for its award-winning game, Half-Life. The release is part of an ongoing effort to support those creating Half-Life game modifications (MODs) and keep them current with the code base Valve is using to author its latest creations.

"The new SDK allows MOD authors to create a much wider variety of games, such as isometric RPGs, fighting games, and real-time strategy games, in addition to new styles of action games," said Gabe Newell, managing director of Valve L.L.C. "Half-Life is currently generating over 350 million player-minutes per month on the Internet and is the most popular multiplayer game played online, and part of that success was made possible by the amazing content created by the MOD community. We have every intention of continuing our support for that community."

"MODs such as Counter-Strike will benefit enormously from the new SDK," said Counter-Strike co-developer Minh Le. "Half-Life is far and away the best development environment for MOD authors, in addition to having the largest on-line community. With Half-Life, you can build a better MOD and have it played by a lot more people."

This release of the Half-Life SDK includes all the assets available in the "ProSDK," previously only available under NDA, plus many new features, including access to Valve's new networking system, and new user interface toolkit (V-GUI). Half-Life SDK 2.0 will be made available free of charge on gaming Web sites and CDs everywhere in the coming weeks.

OpFor CTF Announced

May 3rd, 2000


Dallas, TX (May 3, 2000) -Gearbox Software, in conjunction with Valve, L.L.C., today announced the upcoming release of a completely new multiplayer game for their best-selling game expansion, Half-Life: Opposing Force (OpFor).

OpFor CTF (Capture the Flag) casts players as a member of one of two teams comprised of characters from both Half-Life and Half-Life: Opposing Force. Featuring a variety of action oriented power-ups and a brand new weapon; OpFor CTF will ship with new maps and the Worldcraft entity files needed to create custom OpFor CTF maps.

"Opposing Force let gamers continue to enjoy the single-player experience of Half-Life. With Half-Life multiplayer so popular on the Internet, we wanted Opposing Force to extend the multiplayer experience as well," said Randy Pitchford, Director of Gearbox Software.

"We have had a lot of people asking us and MOD developers for a pure CTF game, and now Gearbox has produced it and is giving it away to Opposing Force customers," said Gabe Newell, managing director of Valve L.L.C. "This is a good thing for our online players, and gives people another reason to try out Opposing Force if they haven't already."

OpFor CTF will be made available free of charge later this month as part of an Opposing Force update.

Worldcraft 3 Announced

May 4th, 2000


Kirkland, WA (May 4, 2000) -Valve, L.L.C. today announced a new version of its popular action game editor, Worldcraft, is being prepared for a worldwide release. Worldcraft 3, which will launch simultaneously with the Half-Life SDK 2.0, includes a wealth of new features that allow for greater ease-of-use and faster creation times.

"The new version of Worldcraft features a tremendous amount of new functionality requested by both our internal designers as well as those in the community making new content for Half-Life and Team Fortress," said Gabe Newell, managing director of Valve L.L.C. "Distributing better tools allows current authors to realize their creations more immediately while simultaneously making it easier for beginners to get started."

An OpenGL renderer, new texture application features, and automatic previewing tools are among the many new features in Worldcraft 3. Available free of charge via gaming Web sites and CDs, Worldcraft 3 will support all Half-Life games and game modifications (MODs), which currently account for over 60% of all action games being played online.

VALVE ANNOUNCES TEAM FORTRESS 1.5

New Version of Popular Online Game Coming Soon

May 5th, 2000


Kirkland, WA (May 5, 2000) -Valve, L.L.C. today announced a new version of its popular team-based action game, Team Fortress (TF), is currently in the final phases of production. To be released free of charge in the next Half-Life update, Team Fortress 1.5 features new scenarios, an advanced user-interface system (VGUI), new networking and server technologies, and more.

"As new tools and technologies come online in the development of Team Fortress 2, there will be opportunities to roll them out to players and the MOD community," said Gabe Newell, managing director at Valve. "Team Fortress 1.5 marks a significant point in this process."

Key Features:

* New Networking System. This release includes the TF2 networking system and is compatible with all Half-Life games and MODs. The new networking system improves play for all players regardless of their connection.

* VGUI Interface. The Valve GUI (VGUI) is a set of general purpose, extensible user interface APIs for displaying and manipulating user interface elements in-game. Available to mod authors in Half-Life SDK 2.0, the VGUI is exploited in this release via new in-game menus that allow players to change class, communicate with teammates and more by simply clicking through this customizable menu system-and subsequently eliminating the need to move your fingers off critical keys during the heat of battle. The new menu system is also designed to help new players get into the game, removing the need to know any extra keys beyond moving and firing.

* New Scenarios:
  • Dustbowl is a game of staged attack and defend played against the clock. The offense must advance their flag into the enemy base before the clock expires. The other team's objective is simply to play good defense. The map carries the teams through three successive bouts, each in new map locations.
  • Warpath places teams in a battle for control of five command centers, located in team bases as well as neutral ground. Victory requires simultaneous control of all five command centers, requiring teams to divide into defensive squads that hold captured territory and offensive squads attempting to take control of the next command point.
  • Epicenter is a new capture the flag style of play that requires each team to advance its flag from base to an APC in enemy territory. Loaded with strategic positions for snipers and sentry guns, Epicenter is very much a fast-paced scenario in which defensive and offensive maneuvers are somewhat interchangeable.
* Spectator Mode. Featuring two chase cam modes and one free roaming mode, TF 1.5's spectator mode brings a new dynamic to TF and the ability to easily implement spectator mode into all HL games and MODs.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops entertainment software. Half-Life is Valve's debut title. Since its release in November 1998, Half-Life has won over 50 Game of the Year Awards from publications that include PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and CNET's Gamecenter. More information about Valve is available through the company's Web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

SIERRA STUDIOS AND VALVE ANNOUNCE HALF-LIFE MOD PROGRAM

Development Grants to Be Awarded

May 11th, 2000


Bellevue, WA (May 11, 2000) - Sierra Studios™, a member of the Sierra On-Line family, along with Valve LLC today announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles their continued support for the MOD community at large by offering endowments to premiere development teams creating Half-Life® MODs.

Valve and Sierra will be awarding grants to multiple groups of MOD development teams over the next few months anticipating a MOD pack to be published by Sierra Studios featuring the best of these MODS later this year. Several Half-Life MODs will be showcased at E3 in the Sierra Studios booth, located in the South Hall, Booth #1146. Later this summer, Valve and Sierra will be hosting the second annual Half-Life MOD Expo in San Francisco. Half-Life MOD Expo 2000 is a follow up to last year's successful event that showcased some of the best MODs being developed by independent developers supporting Half-Life. Half-Life MOD Expo 2000 will be open to the public. More information will be posted on Sierra Studios' Web site, http://www.sierrastudios.com this summer.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops entertainment software. Half-Life is Valve's debut title. Since its release in November 1998, Half-Life has won over 50 game of the year awards from publications that include PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and CNET's Gamecenter. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at http://www.valvesoftware.com.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. http://www.sierra.com/ is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, a global leader in interactive content, and is one of the world's largest publishers of education, entertainment and home productivity software. Its divisions, Blizzard®, Coktel, Knowledge Adventure®, Sierra™ and Flipside.com™ are famous for releasing critically-acclaimed and award-winning titles. Havas has operations in the US and in Europe and is a subsidiary of the French publishing house Havas, part of Vivendi Communications.

SIERRA STUDIOS(tm) ANNOUNCES HALF-LIFE: BLUE SHIFT

Exclusive New Mission for Sega Dreamcast(tm) Officially Named

August 29th, 2000


BELLEVUE, WA (August 29, 2000) - Sierra Studios(tm) and Gearbox Software announced today Half-Life: Blue Shift, the name of the exclusive mission being developed as an additional offering in Half-Life Dreamcast. This special mission surrounding the Black Mesa security guard from the original game is being custom created for the Dreamcast console system by Gearbox Software, the Texas-based development team that created Half-Life: Opposing Force(tm), the official PC expansion for Half-Life and winner of the 2000 Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' PC Action Game of the Year.

Scheduled for release November 1st, Half-Life Dreamcast is in development by Northern California-based Captivation Digital Laboratories in conjunction with Gearbox Software and Valve. Half-Life: Dreamcast is set to be even more extraordinary than the original PC version. In addition to Half-Life: Blue Shift, the Sega Dreamcast edition includes the original version of Half-Life with several enrichments, including highly detailed characters, enhanced weapons, and more articulate animation to showcase the power of the Sega Dreamcast and deliver a fresh and exciting experience for console gamers.

Half-Life combines great storytelling with intense action and advanced technology to create an impressive, realistic world where players need to think smart to survive. Originally created for the PC by Valve, Half-Life has won more than 50 Game of the Year awards from publications around the world, was named "Best PC Game Ever" by Imagine Media's PC Gamer magazine (November 1999), and has sold over 2 million copies worldwide.

Founded in January 1999, Gearbox Software is a team of veteran 3D game developers collected in Dallas, Texas. The Gearbox crew is made up of artists, designers, and programmers who joined forces to form their own development house after stints at a variety of companies, including 3D Realms, Microprose and Ritual. Half-Life: Opposing Force is the company's first offering to the gaming community and is the recipient of the prestigious 2000 Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' PC Action Game of the Year.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. http://www.sierra.com/ is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, a global leader in interactive content, and is one of the world's largest publishers of education, entertainment and home productivity software. Its divisions, Blizzard Entertainment(r), Coktel, Knowledge Adventure(r), Sierra(tm) and Flipside.com(tm) are famous for releasing critically acclaimed and award winning titles. Havas has operations in the US and in Europe and is a subsidiary of the French publishing house Havas, part of Vivendi Communications.

SIERRA STUDIOS AND VALVE ANNOUNCE HALF-LIFE(R): PLATINUM

Ultimate Half-Life Collection Available on PC CD-ROM This Holiday Season

August 30th, 2000


Bellevue, WA (August 30, 2000) - Sierra Studios(tm) and Valve L.L.C. today announced the holiday 2000 release of Half-Life(r): Platinum, an incredible collector's edition that includes all the single and multiplayer games in the award-winning Half-Life franchise.

"Half-Life has proven to be much more than an action game," said Jim Veevaert, vice president of marketing at Sierra Studios. "The success of the original product combined with the success of its single and multiplayer add-ons have established it as a movement in electronic entertainment. Half-Life: Platinum represents both a collector's item and an easy point of entry for new gamers wanting the complete set of games in this amazing franchise."

Available on PC CD-ROM, Half-Life: Platinum contains the original Half-Life: Team Fortress Classic, Half-Life: Opposing Force(R), the number one online action game--Half-Life: Counter-Strike*, and a collection of top MODs (game modifications) created by members of the Half-Life community.

Originally released in November 1998, Half-Life has sold over 2 million copies worldwide, been named Game of the Year by over 50 publications, and dubbed "The best PC game ever made," by PC Gamer magazine (November 1999). Founded in 1996, Valve develops entertainment software. Half-Life is Valve's debut title. Since its release in November 1998, Half-Life has won over 50 Game of the Year Awards from publications that include PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and CNET's Gamecenter. More information about Valve is available through the company's Web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. http://www.sierra.com/ is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, a global leader in interactive content, and is one of the world's largest publishers of education, entertainment and home productivity software. Its divisions, Blizzard Entertainment(r), Coktel, Knowledge Adventure(tm), Sierra(tm) and Flipside.com(tm) are famous for releasing critically acclaimed and award winning titles. Havas has operations in the US and in Europe and is a subsidiary of the French publishing house Havas, part of Vivendi Communications.

*According to the leader board on www.gamespy.com
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners

SIERRA STUDIOS AND VALVE ANNOUNCE HALF-LIFE: COUNTER-STRIKE

New Team-Based PC Game Featuring Several Top Half-Life MODs

August 31st, 2000


Bellevue, WA (August 31, 2000) - Sierra Studios(tm) and Valve L.L.C. today announced Half-Life: Counter-Strike, the largest multiplayer game offering in one commercial product, combining all the elements of the Half-Life online universe with new single- and multiplayer content. Half-Life: Counter-Strike is a stand-alone PC game due to ship this fall with all of Valve's multiplayer content, three of the top MODs for Half-Life, and the #1 played online action game*, Counter-Strike.

"Half-Life's online community is growing at a rate of over 500% per year -Counter-Strike is a key part of our strategy to sustain that growth moving forward," said Gabe Newell, managing director of Valve L.L.C. "In addition to offering the number one online action game as a stand-alone product, Half-Life: Counter-Strike delivers all our online games in one package to gamers who have not tried any of these leading online action games."

In development by the Counter-Strike Team in conjunction with Valve, Half-Life: Counter-Strike casts players as a member of either a terrorist or counter-terrorist team. Each team has unique weapons and capabilities. The game is played in a variety of scenarios with varying objectives, including rescue missions, assassination, bomb diffusion, and more. More information on Counter-Strike can be found through the official Web site at http://www.counter-strike.net/.

In addition to Counter-Strike, the entire Half-Life online experience is available within this package including, Half-Life multiplayer, Team Fortress Classic, and Half-Life: Opposing Force multiplayer. And finally, three new MODs, created by some of the top-level designers within the Half-Life community, are also featured. More information on Half-Life and its MODs can be found at www.gameoftheyear.com.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops entertainment software. Half-Life is Valve's debut title. Since its release in November 1998, Half-Life has won over 50 Game of the Year Awards from publications that include PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and CNET's Gamecenter and has sold over 2 million units worldwide on the PC. More information about Valve is available through the company's Web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. (www.sierra.com) is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, a global leader in interactive content, and is one of the world's largest publishers of education, entertainment and home productivity software. Its divisions, Blizzard Entertainment(r), Coktel, Knowledge Adventure(r), Sierra(tm) and Flipside.com(tm) are famous for releasing critically acclaimed and award winning titles. Havas has operations in the US and in Europe and is a subsidiary of the French publishing house Havas, part of Vivendi Communications.

*According to the leader board on www.gamespy.com

###

SIERRA STUDIOS AND REWOLF SOFTWARE ANNOUNCE GUNMAN CHRONICLES

First-Person Action Experience Powered by the Half-Life Engine

September 1st, 2000


Bellevue, WA (September 1, 2000) - Sierra Studios(tm) and Rewolf Software today announced Gunman Chronicles, a completely new stand-alone PC experience powered by Valve's Half-Life engine. The 3D-first person game is making its worldwide debut this weekend at the European Computer Trade Show (ECTS) in London, England. It is due to ship worldwide this fall.

As the first stand alone release built on the Half-Life engine Gunman Chronicles expands on all the amazing effects and frighteningly realistic artificial intelligence that made Half-Life the undisputed king of first-person action games.

In development by Rewolf Software, Gunman Chronicles is set in the western spiral of the galaxy, five years after a horrifying alien infestation. The adventure leads players to four unexplored planets with an amazing variety of habitats for enemies, features 40+ hours of gameplay, customizable weapons allowing for 32 variations of arsenal, original sound and music, and 30 new monsters to wage heart-stopping battle. In addition, Gunman Chronicles includes multiplayer modes for up to 32 players via LAN and Internet connections.

Founded in 1997, Rewolf Software is a digital entertainment group comprised of artists, designers, and programmers from around the world, who met online. Gunman Chronicles, Rewolf's debut title, is scheduled for worldwide release in Fall 2000.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. (www.sierra.com) is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, a global leader in interactive content, and is one of the world's largest publishers of education, entertainment and home productivity software. Its divisions, Blizzard Entertainment(r), Coktel, Knowledge Adventure(r), Sierra(tm) and Flipside.com(tm) are famous for releasing critically acclaimed and award winning titles. Havas has operations in the US and in Europe and is a subsidiary of the French publishing house Havas, part of Vivendi Communications.

Sierra Studios and Gearbox Bring Valve's Half-Life to Playstation 2

Award-Winning Action Announced for Second Next-Generation Console in 2001

November 17th, 2000


Bellevue, WA (November 17, 2000) - Sierra Studios(tm) and Gearbox Software today announced development of Valve's Half-Life for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. The game will bring award-winning, adrenaline-pumping action to the next-generation console in 2001, complete with exciting new cooperative, deathmatch and multiplayer modes. Half-Life for PlayStation 2 is in development by Gearbox Software, developers of the award-winning Half-Life PC expansion, Half-Life: Opposing Force. Half-Life PlayStation 2 will ship in the second quarter of 2001.

Half-Life PlayStation 2 is an all-new experience for console gamers featuring a complete next-generation upgrade of the original ground-breaking game as well as entirely new multiplayer cooperative and competitive bonus games set within the Half-Life universe. All new advanced technology, enhanced characters and weapons, upgraded environments and never before seen levels define Half-Life for PlayStation 2 as the most advanced and impressive Half-Life ever made. The worldwide exclusive on this game will be featured in the January issue of GamePro magazine (U.S.).

"The advanced technology in PlayStation 2 will allow us to take Half-Life's heart-racing action to the next level," said Jim Veevaert, vice-president of marketing at Sierra Studios. "Given the popularity of the franchise, as well as the mind-blowing capabilities of the next-generation console, we fully expect Half-Life to be a marquee title for the PlayStation 2."

"The console growth in Europe has been phenomenal and we are confident the Half-Life franchise will dominate this market," said Peter Rezon, managing director Havas Interactive UK.

"Gearbox Software's intimate relationship with Valve Software and the Half-Life universe matched with the power of the PlayStation 2 and our growing experience as next-generation console game developers will carry us to deliver first-hand the greatest incarnation of the most important action game of our time," said Randy Pitchford, Director of Gearbox Software.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops entertainment software. Half-Life is Valve's debut title. Since its release in November 1998, Half-Life has won over 50 Game of the Year Awards from publications that include PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and CNET's Gamecenter and has sold over 2 million units worldwide on the PC. More information about Valve is available through the company's Web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

Founded in January 1999, Gearbox Software is a team of veteran 3D game developers collected in Dallas, Texas. Half-Life: Opposing Force was the company's first offering to the gaming community and is the recipient of the prestigious 2000 Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' PC Action Game of the Year. More information about Gearbox is available through the company's Web site at www.gearboxsoftware.com.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. http://www.sierra.com/ is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, a global leader in interactive content, and is one of the world's largest publishers of education, entertainment and home productivity software. Its divisions, Blizzard Entertainment(r), Coktel, Knowledge Adventure(r), Sierra(tm) and Flipside.com(tm) are famous for releasing critically acclaimed and award winning titles. Havas Interactive has operations in the US and in Europe and is a subsidiary of Havas, the publishing and information division of Vivendi, a world leader in mass market multimedia communications.

Gunman Chronicles Ships to Stores Nationwide

High Noon Comes to Deep Space in First-Person Action Experience Powered by the Half-Life Engine

November 20th, 2000


Bellevue, WA (November 20, 2000) - Sierra Studios(tm) and Rewolf Software today announced that Gunman Chronicles, a completely new stand-alone PC experience powered by Valve's Half-Life engine, has shipped to software retailers nationwide. The game combines a wild-west sensibility with a high-tech theme to create a thrilling and visually unique first-person action experience.

As the first stand alone release built on the Half-Life engine, Gunman Chronicles expands on all the amazing effects and frighteningly realistic artificial intelligence that made Half-Life the undisputed king of first-person action games.

Developed by Rewolf Software, Gunman Chronicles is set in the western spiral of the galaxy, five years after a horrifying alien infestation. The adventure leads players to four unexplored planets with an amazing variety of habitats for enemies, features 40+ hours of gameplay, new customizable weapons allowing for 32 variations of arsenal, original sound and music, and 30 new monsters to wage heart-stopping battle. In addition, Gunman Chronicles includes multiplayer modes for up to 32 players via LAN and Internet connections.

Founded in 1997, Rewolf Software is a digital entertainment group comprised of artists, designers, and programmers from around the world, who met online.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. http://www.sierra.com/ is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, a global leader in interactive content, and is one of the world's largest publishers of education, entertainment and home productivity software. Its divisions, Blizzard Entertainment(r), Coktel, Knowledge Adventure(r), Sierra(tm) and Flipside.com(tm) are famous for releasing critically acclaimed and award winning titles. Havas Interactive has operations in the US and in Europe and is a subsidiary of Havas, the publishing and information division of Vivendi, a world leader in mass market multimedia communications.

SIERRA ON-LINE ANNOUNCES HALF-LIFE(r): BLUE SHIFT PC RELEASE

All-New Episode for "The Greatest Action Game of All Time" To Ship in June

March 29th, 2001


BELLEVUE, WA (March 29, 2001) - Sierra On-Line and Gearbox Software announce today Half-Life(r): Blue Shift, the newest episode in the award-winning Half-Life franchise, will ship to retail outlets around the world in June. Half-Life: Blue Shift allows fans of the franchise to interact with new characters and explore restricted areas of the Black Mesa Research Facility. The game's website, featuring a trailer for the game, went live today at the following URL, www.sierrastudios.com/games/hl-blueshift/.

Blue Shift is an all-new single player episode surrounding the Black Mesa security guard introduced in Valve's classic action thriller, Half-Life. In development by Gearbox Software, creators of the critically acclaimed Half-Life(r): Opposing Force(tm), Blueshift also contains the Half-Life HD Pack, which automatically upgrades the weapons and characters of all the games in the Half-Life saga with new high definition content.

"Blue Shift was created for Half-Life fans everywhere and we're very pleased to be able to bring it to the PC," said Randy Pitchford, Director of Gearbox Software. "In addition to the entirely new Blue Shift episode, the package also includes support for online play and the Half-Life HD Pack, which brings all Half-Life games to the next generation of graphics technology."

Half-Life: Blue Shift allows fans of the franchise to explore areas of the Black Mesa Research Facility where even Gordon Freeman never gained access. Half-Life: Blue Shift is a stand-alone product that does not require Half-Life to play. And in North America, Blue Shift will be sold with a full version of Half-Life: Opposing Force, winner of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Action Game of the Year Award.

Half-Life combines great storytelling with intense action and advanced technology to create an impressive, realistic world where players need to think smart to survive. Created by Valve LLC, Half-Life has won more than 50 Game of the Year awards from publications around the world, was named "Best PC Game Ever" by Imagine Media's PC Gamer magazine (November 1999), and has sold over two million copies worldwide on the PC.

Founded in January 1999, Gearbox Software is a team of veteran 3D game developers collected in Dallas, Texas. Half-Life: Opposing Force was the company's first offering to the gaming community and is the recipient of the prestigious 2000 Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' PC Action Game of the Year. More information about Gearbox Software can be found at www.gearboxsoftware.com.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. www.sierra.com, a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal Publishing and part of the Vivendi Universal Games division, is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is renowned for releasing critically acclaimed and award winning titles that represent a wide variety of computer entertainment on both next generation console and PC platforms.

Half-Life Dreamcast Cancelled

June 15th, 2001


Sierra regrets the cancellation of Half-Life for the Dreamcast due to changing market conditions.

HALF-LIFE NAMED BEST PC GAME OF ALL TIME

Award-Winning Action Thriller from Valve and Sierra Tops PC Gamer's All-Time List, Again

August 31st, 2001


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bellevue, WA (August 31, 2001) - Half-Life(r), the blockbuster game developed by Valve LLC and published by Sierra, was named "Best PC Game Ever" in the October 2001 issue of PC Gamer. For the second time in a row, the world's best-selling PC games magazine tips its hat to Half-Life.

"It would have been easy to look at some recent spectacular games or back at the classics but Half-Life has done it all," said Rob Smith, editor in chief of Imagine Media's PC Gamer magazine. "In the years since its release, Half-Life hasn't just changed the way first-person action games are made and played, it's changed the gamers' expectations of what a game should be, or can be."

Half-Life has won more than 50 Game of the Year awards from publications around the world and has sole over 2.5 million copies worldwide. Blending action, drama, and adventure with stunning technology, Half-Life creates a frighteningly realistic world where players need to think smart to survive and telling friend from foe is no longer a simple matter of humans vs. monsters. Gamers are given opportunities to wreak havoc--in true action-game fashion--but they are also challenged to explore and strategize.

"It is ironic, given this award, how much Half-Life has grown over the last two and a half years thanks to the internet community," said Gabe Newell, president and founder of Valve Software. "From the support of the Web sites, the Cyberathlete Professional League's adoption of the platform, the huge number of servers (15,000+), to all the great mods that have shipped or are in development, the overall experience of a Half-Life player is much better than when it first shipped."

Speakeasy.net Announced

Speakeasy.net, Valve Software Launch 11 City Half-Life TV Network First-ever PC Game Broadcast Network built to support 80,000 Simultaneous Viewers

December 5th, 2001


Seattle - December 05, 2001 - Broadband ISP Speakeasy.net and Kirkland based game developer Valve Software announced today the first ever launch of a fully national broadcast network of live video game coverage. The inaugural use of this network will give tens of thousands of viewers from around the world the best-possible spectator experience for the $150,000 Counter-Strike World Championships this week in Dallas, TX. The World Championships represent the largest of such competitions ever and is produced by the Dallas-based Cyberathlete Professional League.

Speakeasy has partnered with Valve Software to support the largest broadcast installation ever using Valve's Half-Life TV server software. The software allows for anyone with a broadband connection and PC to connect to a live game and watch their favorite teams play as if they were playing along side them. Teams from Seattle to Sweden are flying in to compete in the four-day event; thousands more will stay home and watch the competition unfold live on the Speakeasy Network.

"Broadcasting the CPL finals to 80,000 viewers is an incredible achievement and a huge advance in our efforts to bring competitive gaming, and gaming in general, further into the mainstream," said Doug Lombardi, director of marketing at Valve.

Spectators will be able to tune in to a live broadcast of the match simply by using their PC and installation of Half-Life, and will have the option of 11 different locations to choose from to guarantee the best experience.

"We have customers that running cable from their PC to a large screen TV just to watch this," said Edward Bender, Director of Online Gaming for Speakeasy.net. "I think this event will definitely get more people to recognize competitive gaming as a spectator sport."

Counter-Strike, the number one online action game in the world, is a team-based multiplayer game built atop Valve's award-winning game engine. Valve released the multicast spectator technology (a.k.a. Half-Life TV) as a free update earlier this year.

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero To Ship Q2 2002

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero To Ship Worldwide Q2 2002 Gearbox, Sierra and Valve Ready Follow Up To The Number-One Online Action Game

February 12th, 2002


BELLEVUE, WA (February 12, 2002) - Sierra Entertainment, Inc., a studio of Vivendi Universal Publishing, and Valve, LLC today announced a Q2 2002 release for Counter-Strike: Condition Zero(tm), an extensive new product that introduces single player and co-op gameplay modes to the number-one online action game in the world*.

A new stand-alone product, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (CS:CZ) extends the award-winning Counter-Strike multiplayer game with new maps, weapons and more, while simultaneously introducing new technologies, an extensive single player campaign, and cooperative play.

Texas-based Gearbox Software is co-developing CS:CZ with Valve - the same partnership that produced the best selling Half-Life: Opposing Force and Half-Life: Blue Shift SKUs. For CS:CZ, Gearbox has created an extensive single player campaign that includes over two dozen new missions and takes players to several fictitious regions of conflict around the globe. In addition to the single player campaign, players will be able to set up cooperative games via Internet and LAN connections.

Counter-Strike(tm) is the number-one online action game in the world. After a one-year public Beta, Counter-Strike was commercially released in Fall 2000. It has sold over one million copies worldwide, been named Game of the Year by several gaming publications, and is the headliner at competitive gaming tournaments around the world.

"Gamers of all kinds should get very excited about CS:CZ - it's by far the most complete and addictive action experience seen to date," said Adam Fossa, brand manager for Sierra Entertainment. "The robust single player experience will introduce an extremely compelling new style of action gaming. This, combined with the introduction of new cooperative gameplay modes and advanced engine technology, plus new multiplayer weapons, maps and models, make Counter-Strike: Condition Zero an incredible new offering for the most popular online action game of all time."

"Working with members of the original team to produce CS:CZ has been an incredible experience for Gearbox," said Randy Pitchford, president and director of Gearbox Software. "As very active CS players, we understand the challenge and care needed to create a compelling single player experience. Counter-Strike: Condition Zero represents a new and complete collection of all Counter-Strike gameplay, and we're very much looking to forward to unleashing it to the community."

*According to GameSpy Industries, based on stats found on http://www.gamespy.com

VALVE UNVEILS STEAM AT 2002 GAME DEVELOPER'S CONFERENCE

Broadband Business Platform Opens New Channel for Software Developers, Publishers and Service Providers

March 21st, 2002


San Jose, CA (March 21, 2002) - Valve, L.L.C. today announced Steam, a broadband business platform for direct software delivery and content management, at the 2002 Game Developer's Conference (GDC) in San Jose, CA.

Using Steam-enabled applications, consumers with a broadband connection can purchase and start their applications faster than if they install them from a CD. Users can access their applications from any PC simply by logging into their Steam accounts. Steam's replication and configuration management tools will eliminate the hassles of dealing with patches and updates. And by eliminating the overhead of physical goods distribution, developers will be able to leverage the efficiency of broadband to improve customer service and increase operating margins.

At its core, Steam is a distributed file system and shared set of technology components that can be implemented into any software application. With Steam, developers are given integrated tools for direct content publishing, flexible billing, ensured version control, anti-piracy, and more.

In one of the largest ever studies of computer gamers, Valve polled more than 1 million of its active online consumers. The results showed over 75% of this group have moved from dial-up to broadband. (See: http://valve.speakeasy.net/survey/)

"With an average of 3.4 billion player minutes per month, Valve's entertainment properties are larger than Friends, the #1 TV show," said Gabe Newell, managing director, Valve, L.L.C., in his GDC Business and Legal keynote presentation. "With the rapid proliferation of broadband connectivity throughout the world, and as gaming, and all software, developers continue to extend their products' functionality via the Internet, it became very apparent that a platform for delivering new services and offerings is needed."

In addition to delivering its games on this new platform, Valve is currently working with other software developers, device manufacturers, and service providers to migrate their wares, drivers, and service to Steam.

"The performance and improvements to operating efficiency are tremendously exciting," said Alex Garden, CEO of Relic Entertainment. "This is the right way to go about taking advantage of broadband for next generation applications."

Alex Garden also demonstrated a test version of Relic's upcoming PC title, Impossible Creatures, running on top of Steam at GDC.

"One of the keys to an excellent gaming experience is ensuring that the most up-to-date hardware drivers are installed on the user's system. New drivers can offer more performance and access to new features and functionality," said Dave Rolston, Vice President of Engineering, ATI Technologies Inc. "We will use the tools Steam gives us to create an automatic driver update and configuration management facility to deliver the most current and complete graphics drivers directly to the user, and ultimately add to an immersive and outstanding gaming experience."

Steam is designed to support a wide variety of models for hosting, billing, and support. Allowing for any number of partnerships and implementation, Steam was built as a modular platform.

"Broadband is the natural successor to optical media for delivering a wide variety of applications," said Nick Petti, Vice President of AT&T Business Services. "AT&T is excited about being a part of this evolution as a provider of multiple services to content developers and publishers."

Currently, there are over 75,000 Steam beta testers. This beta, which is being hosted by a growing number of global service providers such as Speakeasy.net and Gamespy.com, will be scaled to over 1 million consumers later this spring.

"Since Valve approached us nearly a year ago, Speakeasy has been very excited about the new opportunities Steam presents," said Michael Apgar, Speakeasy's CEO. "Speakeasy has become the leader in the broadband market for gaming and interactive services by providing a variety of custom service packages, tailored for every type of consumer. Steam will allow us to take that successful approach further by enabling us to deliver exclusive content on demand to anyone with a broadband connection; thereby expanding our market reach exponentially."

The Steam SDK is available now and includes an integrated set of communications tools as well as Valve's Graphic User Interface (V-GUI). Together, these provide built-in support for a variety of services such as instant messaging, configuration, and server browsing.

For more information, visit www.Steampowered.com.

Founded in 1996, Valve develops entertainment software titles such as Half-Life, Team Fortress and Counter-Strike. Half-Life, Valve's debut title, was first released in November 1998 and has won over 50 Game of the Year Awards, was named "Best Game of Ever" by PC Gamer, and has sold over 3 million copies worldwide. More information about Valve is available through the company's Web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

VALVE ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR UPCOMING AMD OPTERON(tm) PROCESSOR

64-bit Counter-Strike Linux Server Provides Performance Gain for World's #1 Online Action Game

March 6th, 2003


San Jose, Calif. - March 6, 2003 - Valve, L.L.C., creators of Counter-Strike and Half-Life, today announced immediate availability of a 64-bit version of the Counter-Strike dedicated server using the upcoming AMD OpteronTM processor. Counter-Strike has the largest service footprint of any game on the Internet, with 35,000 servers generating over 4.5 billion player minutes per month.

"These server operators are extremely sophisticated, and were some of the earliest adopters of Linux," said Gabe Newell, Valve managing director. "We expect them to be leading-edge adopters of the AMD64 platform. AMD's approach to 64-bit computing looked great on paper, and it's nice to see that with real processors and development tools that it fulfills that promise. Every PC developer should be looking to get their server code and development tools running in 64-bits right away."

In a straight port of code highly optimized for x86-32, Counter-Strike dedicated server tests with both 32- and 64-bit versions revealed a 30% clock-for-clock gain, and is expected to show further performance gains in future upgrades.

"Valve Counter-Strike servers with 64-bit computing can offer customers a better overall gaming experience, and AMD processors will enable this performance boost," said Barry Crume, director of server segment product marketing, Computational Products Group, AMD. "With 64-bit dedicated servers using AMD Opteron processors, Valve will offer online gamers increased reliability, improved stability and greater throughput."

About Valve Founded in 1996, Valve develops entertainment software titles such as Half-Life, Team Fortress and Counter-Strike. Half-Life, Valve's debut title, was first released in November 1998 and has won over 50 Game of the Year Awards, was named "Best Game of Ever" by PC Gamer. Valve's portfolio accounts for over 8 million retail units sold worldwide, and over 88% of the online action market. More information about Valve is available through the company's Web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

VALVE'S DAY OF DEFEAT(tm) GOES GOLD, PREPARES TO INVADE RETAIL SHELVES EVERYWHERE

April 22nd, 2003


Santa Monica, CA - April 22, 2003 - Gamers get ready to finalize war plans and ready the reinforcements as Valve's Day of Defeat(tm) has gone gold. The multiplayer action-packed WWII game pits players in Axis vs. Allies squad-based combat in Western Europe at the height of the war in 1944. Day of Defeat is powered by Valve's Half-Life® technology and is the first title to be published by Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) under its new strategic partnership with Valve. The game is rated "T" (Teen - blood and violence) by the ESRB and carries a suggested retail price of $29.99. The title is scheduled for release this May.

About Valve
Founded in 1996, Valve creates entertainment software titles, including Half-Life®, Counter-StrikeTM, and Team Fortress®. Valve's portfolio accounts for over 8 million retail units sold worldwide, and over 88% of the online action market. More information about Valve is available through the company's Web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

About Activision, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted revenues of $786 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's World Wide Web site, which is located at www.activision.com.

VIVENDI UNIVERSAL GAMES ANNOUNCES PLANS TO LAUNCH THE MOST ANTICIPATED PC ACTION GAME OF 2004

Half-Life® 2 to Ship to Retail Outlets Globally This Holiday Season

October 18th, 2004


LOS ANGELES (October 18, 2004) – Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) today announced that Half-Life® 2, the sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed PC titles in gaming history, will ship to retail outlets around the world in November. The Company confirmed that Half-Life 2, developed by Valve Software, has gone gold with a planned retail street date of November 16, 2004. The countdown to the highly anticipated retail street date has begun around the world, as VU Games completes plans to ship localized versions of Half-Life 2 simultaneously in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Korean, Thai and Japanese.

"Half-Life 2 has surpassed our expectations in every sense – its high-quality graphics, ground-breaking physics and immersive first-person shooter gameplay set a new standard for PC action games," said Bruce Hack, CEO of VU Games. "Half-Life 2 will go down as one of the best-selling PC titles, and we are thrilled to deliver this ground-breaking title to the worldwide gaming community this fall."

Hailed as "...the best game ever made" by PC Gamer, Half-Life 2 earned a top-rated review score of 98, the highest score bestowed by the magazine in more than six years. The game has received numerous accolades for its technical excellence, captivating story and addictive game play, including more than 10 awards and nominations at the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo. In addition to being named "Best PC Game" by 1up.com (Ziff Davis) and Gamespy.com, the title also received a "Technological Excellence on PC" award from IGN.com. CNNMoney.com stated that "Half-Life 2 will redefine what gamers expect from their games visually – and the gameplay is a lot of fun as well."

The global anticipation for Half-Life 2 has reached unprecedented heights, as consumers around the world mark their calendars to buy the game at retail on November 16th. The Half-Life 2 product will include Counter-Strike: Source. VU Games will also release a Half Life 2 Collector's Edition that will include Half-Life 2 in DVD-ROM format, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life: Source, a free limited edition t-shirt, and a Half-Life 2 Prima strategy guide book.

The original Half-Life game was launched in 1998 under VU Games' Sierra Entertainment publishing label. It earned more than 50 game-of-the-year awards and has been heralded as one of the best PC first-person shooter games of all-time.

About Half-Life® and Half-Life® 2

In 1998, Half-Life revolutionized the game industry with its combination of pounding action and continuous, immersive storytelling. Valve's debut title was named "Best PC Game Ever" by PC Gamer and launched a franchise with more than eight million retails units sold worldwide. In 2004, Half-Life 2 will take the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original to new heights of realism and responsiveness. Half-Life 2 opens the door to a world where the player's presence affects everything around him, from the physical environments to the behaviors – even the emotions – of both friends and enemies. The player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist, Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted and its population dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people – people he cares about – are counting on him. The intense, real-time gameplay of Half-Life 2 is made possible only by Source, Valve's new proprietary engine technology. Source provides major enhancements in the advanced facial animation system, physics, graphics and AI. Half-Life 2 will be available for the PC.

About Vivendi Universal Games

Headquartered in Los Angeles, VU Games is a leading global developer, publisher and distributor of multi-platform interactive entertainment. Its development studios and publishing labels include Blizzard Entertainment, Sierra Entertainment, Fox Interactive and Massive Entertainment. VU Games' library of over 700 titles features multi-million unit selling properties such as Warcraft®, StarCraft®, Diablo® and World of Warcraft® from Blizzard Entertainment®; Crash Bandicoot®, Spyro The Dragon™, Empire Earth®, Leisure Suit Larry™, Tribes® and Ground Control®.

EA AND VALVE TEAM UP TO DELIVER HALF LIFE TO GAMERS WORLDWIDE

July 18th, 2005


Contacts:

Tammy Schachter
Electronic Arts
650-628-7223

Doug Lombardi
Valve
425-889-9642 x160

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Redwood City, Calif. and Bellevue, WA – July 18, 2005 – Electronic Arts, the world's leading interactive entertainment company and Valve®, the award-winning studio behind the blockbuster franchises Half-Life® and Counter-Strike™, today announced that the two companies have entered a multi-year agreement to deliver a collection of Valve games to players worldwide. The first two games to be released under this agreement are Half-Life 2: Game of the Year and Counter-Strike: Source™ for PC, both launching this fall. In addition, Half-Life 2 for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, currently in development at Valve and targeted for release in October, will be published and distributed worldwide by EA.

"At EA Partners, our mandate is to seek out the world's top studios and game franchises, build partnerships, empower the development teams and help get these great games to more people in more countries than ever before. We consider Half-Life and Counter-Strike to be two of the best game franchises of all time," said Tom Frisina, Vice President and General Manager, EA Partners. "We could not be more excited to have the opportunity to help deliver these outstanding games to players around the globe."

"EA is the worldwide leader in bringing best of breed games, for all platforms, to market," said Gabe Newell, Valve's founder and president. "Valve games have sold over 18 million units at retail since Half-Life shipped in November 1998. By combining EA's unparalleled operation structure and distribution channel with Valve's award-winning development teams and games community, we've established an awesome combination for delivering great products to console and PC gamers around the world."

Half-Life 2: Game of the Year is a special edition release of the best-selling and critically acclaimed title that includes Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source, plus Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, and Half-Life: Source.

Counter-Strike: Source takes the world's number one online action game to new heights atop the Source engine with brilliant graphics, enhanced versions of the classic CS maps, all-new CS maps, offline skirmish play with AI bots, and more. It also includes Half-Life 2: Deathmatch and Day of Defeat™: Source.

Half Life 2 for the Xbox system defines a new benchmark in console gaming with startling realism and responsiveness. Powered by Source technology, Half-Life 2 for Xbox features the most sophisticated in-game characters ever witnessed, advanced AI, stunning graphics and physical gameplay.

For more information about EA please visit http://www.ea.com and for information about Valve, please visit: http://www.valvesoftware.com

HALF-LIFE® 2: EPISODE ONE AVAILABLE JUNE 1

Valve Launches First of an Episodic Trilogy

May 22nd, 2006


Bellevue, WA, May 22, 2006 - Valve®, developer of the blockbuster series Half-Life® and Counter-Strike™, announced Half-Life® 2: Episode One has gone gold. Episode One is the first in a trilogy of episodes that will conclude by Christmas of 2007.

Half-Life 2: Episode One advances the 15-million unit selling franchise and launches the first in a new, three-part series that leads far beyond City 17. Half-Life 2: Episode One does not require Half-Life 2 to play, and will be available via Steam® and at retail stores in North America for just $19.95 on June 1st. Also included in Episode One is a first look at Episode Two, which will ship by year's end.

"Given the rapid changes in PC gaming, we expect episodic games will have the same impact on single-player gaming that Counter-Strike had on multiplayer," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "The frequent releases of upgraded technology and new content works better for both consumers and developers, and is one of the key reasons Counter-Strike grew to be 80% of the online action market. We decided that a follow-up to Half-Life 2 delivered in 18 months with our first episode was more in tune with what our customers want than waiting 6 years for another monolithic product."

Episode One offers a new single player experience created by Valve, and is designed to be four to six hours in length. Stepping into the hazard suit of Dr. Gordon Freeman, you face the immediate repercussions of your actions in City 17 and the Citadel. Alyx Vance and her robot, Dog, will accompany you in your efforts to aid in the human resistance's desperate battle against the totalitarian alien menace of the Combine.

In addition to the new single player experience, two multiplayer games are included. And those who purchase Episode One will have free access via Steam (www.steamgames.com) to Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, the interactive technology demo that introduces High Dynamic Range lighting to the Source™ Engine, Valve's award-winning game technology.

Half-Life 1: Episode One Launches

Valve Launches First of an Episodic Trilogy

June 1st, 2006


Bellevue, WA, June 1, 2006 - Valve®, developer of the blockbuster series Half-Life® and Counter-Strike™, announced Half-Life® 2: Episode One is now available via Steamgames.com for just $19.95 and at retail outlets around the world.

The first in a trilogy of episodic games, Episode One reveals the aftermath of Half-Life 2 and launches a journey beyond City 17. Episode One does not require Half-Life 2 to play and also includes a first look at Episode Two, which will ship by year's end.

In addition to the new single player experience, two multiplayer games are included. And those who purchase Episode One will have free access via Steam (www.steamgames.com) to Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, the interactive technology demo that introduces High Dynamic Range lighting to the SourceTM Engine, Valve's award-winning game technology.

Half-Life 2: Episode Two, TF2 Details

July 14th, 2006


Bellevue, WA, July 14, 2006 - Valve®, developer of the blockbuster series Half-Life® and Counter-StrikeTM, unveiled Team Fortress® 2 and Portal, two new games to be included in its next release, Half-Life® 2: Episode Two. In addition, the studio announced its plans to deliver these products, plus enhanced versions of Half-Life 2 and Episode One, in one tremendous package for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

"By evolving our development process to an episodic approach, we're able to reduce risk from things such as schedule and funding and invest more in new types of gameplay," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "This allows us to produce innovative titles such as Portal and Team Fortress 2 and deliver them in a timely fashion to customers along with Episode Two."

Episode Two advances the 16-million unit selling franchise, as Valve's trilogy of episodic single player releases continues the award-winning story of Half-Life 2. Armed with new weaponry and vehicles, Dr. Gordon Freeman must race through a countryside riddled with an increasingly fierce Combine threat.

Team Fortress 2, an all-new version of the title that spawned team based multiplayer action games, features the most advanced graphics of any Source-based game released to date. Players choose from a range of unique character classes such as medic, spy, sniper, or engineer and must work together to complete a variety of tactical objectives.

Portal is a new type of single player game that changes how players approach, manipulate, and surmise the possibilities in a given environment in a manner similar to how the Gravity Gun changed our approach to how an object may be leveraged in any given situation.

Team Fortress 2 and Portal will be included with all retail and Steam versions of Episode Two for the PC. In addition, these products plus Half-Life 2 and Episode One will be available in one tremendous offering for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. New videos from Episode Two, Portal, and Team Fortress 2 will be released next week.

Left 4 Dead Announced

November 20th, 2006


November 20, 2006 - Turtle Rock Studios and Valve today announce Left 4 Dead, a co-operative multiplayer action game from the makers of Counter-Strike.

"By leveraging its industry-leading AI technology and years of Counter-Strike development experience, Turtle Rock is building upon the elements that make Counter-Strike successful and applying them to Left 4 Dead," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. "What Counter-Strike did for multiplayer action games, Left 4 Dead will do for co-op games."

Left 4 Dead is built atop the most advanced version of the Source Engine and introduces version 2 of Turtle Rock's artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology.

Left 4 Dead will debut on the PC in 2007.

Orange Box & Black Box Delayed

February 7th, 2007


Redwood City, Calif. –February 7, 2007– Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world's leading interactive entertainment company, and Valve®, the award-winning studio behind the blockbuster franchises Half-Life® and Counter-Strike®, today announced the naming and product configurations The Black Box and The Orange Box, two of the most anticipated action game offerings shipping worldwide in Fall 2007.

The Black Box will ship for the PC, and includes Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal and Team Fortress 2. The Orange Box will ship for the PC, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and Xbox 360™ videogame and entertainment system, and includes all the content of The Black Box, plus the original Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode One.

Innovative games included in The Black Box and The Orange Box include:
  • Half-Life 2: Episode Two -- the second installment in Valve's episodic trilogy advances the award-winning story, leading the player to new locations outside of City 17.
  • Portal -- a pioneering type of single player action game that rewrites the rules for how players approach and manipulate their environment – much like how Half-Life 2's Gravity Gun reinvented the way gamers interact with objects in the game.
  • Team Fortress 2 -- an all-new version of the legendary title that spawned team based multiplayer action games. The game's daring new art style features the most advanced graphics of any Source-based game released to date.
"In less than 18 months, we've shipped 10 new products to retail outlets with EA Partners," said Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve. "The Black Box and The Orange Box represent a new approach to publishing multiple products, on multiple platforms and we know through our experience that no organization in the industry is better equipped to successfully launch new product types on multiple platforms than EA Partners."

"Valve is one of the world's premiere independent developers and EA Partners is thrilled to help them bring the groundbreaking action games in The Orange Box and The Black Box to market as their publishing partner," said David DeMartini, vice president and general manager of EA Partners.

The Black Box and The Orange Box are targeted for release in Fall 2007. For more information, please visit www.steamgames.com

Preorder The Orange Box, Test TF2

September 11th, 2007


September 11, 2007 -The Orange Box-featuring Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2, and Portal, as well as the complete Half-Life 2 experience to date-is now available for pre-purchase via Steam, a leading online platform for the distribution of PC games. Those who pre-purchase the PC edition via Steam before October 10th will save 10% off the $49.95 regular price and get exclusive access to the Team Fortress 2 beta.

The Orange Box, penned by IGN as ".the package which could legitimately be called the deal of the century," features three highly-awaited new games by Valve: Half-Life® 2: Episode Two, the second installment in the Half-Life 2 episodic trilogy; Team Fortress® 2, the sequel to the game that put class-based, multiplayer team warfare on the map; and Portal, the game that blends puzzles, first person action, and adventure gaming to produce an experience like no other.

To bring gamers up to date with the Half-Life 2 universe, The Orange Box also includes Half-Life 2, the best-selling and highest-rated action game series of all time, and the episodic debut Half-Life® 2: Episode One. Customers who already own these titles will have the ability to conveniently "gift" them to a friend upon official release of The Orange Box.

Starting September 17th, those who pre-purchase The Orange Box via Steam can download and activate the beta release of Team Fortress 2 (TF2). This year's most anticipated online action game, TF2 delivers new game types, a signature art style powered by Valve's next generation animation technology, persistent player statistics, and more.

As a special bonus, those who pre-purchase The Orange Box via Steam will also receive a copy of Peggle Extreme. PopCap and Valve have teamed up to create a special edition of the game cited by MSNBC.com as one of the "Top 5 Most Addicting Games of All Time." This first ever collaboration is themed around content from Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 and Portal which will positively result in Extreme Fever!

Available at retail on October 10th in North America and October 12th in the rest of the world, retail copies of The Orange Box will be offered for an estimated price of $49.95 on the PC and $59.95 on the Xbox® 360 console systems. The 10% pre-purchase discount also applies to these versions at participating retail outlets.

For more information about The Orange Box, please visit www.steamgames.com.

Left 4 Dead DLC & SDK Plans

February 5th, 2008


February 5, 2008 - Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced a series of content and development releases for its latest title, 2008's best-selling new game property for the PC and Xbox 360, Left 4 Dead (L4D).

The first L4D DLC - dubbed the L4D Survival Pack -- is due for release this spring and introduces a new multiplayer game mode entitled, Survival, plus two complete campaigns for Versus Mode . A Critic's Choice Edition of the game is also heading to retail stores this spring, and will include access to all the content introduced in the L4D: Survival Pack.

In addition, for PC gamers and aspiring developers, the first Left 4 Dead release for the Source Software Development Kit (Source SDK) will allow the creation of custom Left 4 Dead campaigns that will be discoverable via L4D's matchmaking system. The SDK update is also due for release this spring, and is free of charge to all owners of L4D on the PC.

"Since Half-Life launched in 1998, Valve has made continuous efforts to expand the offering of its products beyond what's included on the day of launch," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. "With Half-Life and Counter-Strike, and more recently Team Fortress 2, we've learned that we're no longer making stand-alone games but creating entertainment services. With Left 4 Dead we're extending that tradition by creating additional gameplay and releasing our internal tools to aspiring developers so they may also create and distribute new Left 4 Dead experiences."

Left 4 Dead is a survival action game from Valve that blends the social entertainment experience of multiplayer games such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress with the dramatic, narrative experience made popular in single player action game classics such as the Half-Life series of games. Released in November of 2008, L4D has earned over 25 industry awards from outlets around the world.

For more information, please visit www.l4d.com

Team Fortress 2 Update Tomorrow

February 13th, 2008


Free Team Fortress 2 Update Coming Thursday

Tomorrow at 11 am PST all PC versions of Team Fortress 2, the class-based multiplayer action game named PC Game of the Year by Gamespy.com, will receive its largest update since the product was first made available on October 10, 2007, as part of Valve's best-selling Orange Box compilation.

The free update includes global optimizations for networking, graphics, and player statistics, plus improvements to Source TV for tournament viewing.

In addition, three of the currently available maps (Dustbowl, Granary, CTF_Well) have been iterated for enhanced performance and gameplay.

The release is headlined by the introduction of "Badlands," a new map that pushes control-point gameplay onto vertical landscapes.

Available free to all Team Fortress 2 PC gamers around the world automatically via Steam, there are too many features and improvements included in this update to list here. To view the full release notes and/or find out more about Team Fortress 2, please visit www.steamgames.com.

Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week

October 24th, 2008


October 24, 2008 –Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (Steam and Source), today announced a special promotion granting those who pre-order Left 4 Dead early access to the official demo.

Left 4 Dead is the new survival action game from Valve that blends the social entertainment experience of multiplayer games such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress with the dramatic, narrative experience made popular in single player action game classics such as the Half-Life series of games.

Early access to the demo begins Thursday, November 6 on both the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC. This pre-order promotion applies to all Steam PC pre-orders and all Xbox 360 and Windows-based PC pre-orders from participating retailers in North America. The demo will feature single player and co-operative modes, supporting 1 to 4 player games.

On November 11 the demo will be made available to all Xbox 360 and PC and gamers, with no obligation to purchase. The demo concludes on November 18, when Left 4 Dead will be made available at retail outlets across North America and worldwide via Steam.

This pre-order promotion is scheduled in concert with the previously announced $10 million consumer launch campaign that spans television, outdoor, print, and online advertising.

"Every time someone plays Left 4 Dead, we witness the most overwhelmingly positive reaction that we've seen from any of our games," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "This gives us tremendous confidence in the product and why we've taken the game on the road, produced this pre-launch demo, and invested more advertising dollars on the title than any prior release from Valve."

Playable in single player, co-operative, and multiplayer modes, Left 4 Dead is one of the most anticipated releases of 2008 and winner of numerous pre-launch awards, including Best of E3 from multiple outlets.

For more information, please visit L4D.com or www.steamgames.com

Left 4 Dead Gold, Pre-Loading Now

The Infection Begins Next Week

November 13th, 2008


November 13, 2008 - Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (Steam and Source), today announced its upcoming zombie thriller, Left 4 Dead, has gone gold and is now pre-loading to those who pre-purchased the game via Steam.

Left 4 Dead is the new survival action game from Valve for the PC and Xbox 360 that blends the social entertainment experience of multiplayer games such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress with the dramatic, narrative experience made popular in single player action game classics such as the Half-Life series of games.

Those who pre-order the game via Steam save 10% off the regular price and may pre-load the game so they are able to play at 12:01 am EST on November 18, 2008 when the game is made available.

The pre-order discount is also available for both the PC and 360 versions at participating retail outlets.

Playable in single player, co-operative, and multiplayer modes, Left 4 Dead is one of the most anticipated releases of 2008 and winner of numerous pre-launch awards, including Best of E3 from multiple outlets. The official demo for the game is available now through November 17 for the PC and Xbox 360.

Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week

February 11th, 2009


February 11, 2009 - The recently announced Left 4 Dead Downloadable Content (L4D DLC) will be delivered to Xbox 360 and PC gamers free of charge.

Due for release this spring, the DLC for 2008's best-selling new game property on the PC and Xbox 360, is dubbed the L4D Survival Pack and introduces a new multiplayer game mode entitled, Survival, plus two complete campaigns for Versus Mode (Death Toll, Dead Air). A Critic's Choice Edition of the game will be heading to retail stores this spring, and will include access to all the content introduced in the L4D: Survival Pack.

Left 4 Dead is a survival action game from Valve that blends the social entertainment experience of multiplayer games such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress with the dramatic, narrative experience made popular in single player action game classics such as the Half-Life series of games. Released in November of 2008, L4D has earned over 25 industry awards from outlets around the world.

For more information, please visit www.l4d.com

STEAMWORKS MAKES DRM OBSOLETE

Suite of Services Expands With Customer Executable Generation (CEG), Support for DLC, Matchmaking, and More

March 24th, 2009


March 24, 2009 - Valve today announced a new set of advanced features delivered in Steamworks, a complete suite of publishing and development tools that are available free of charge to developers and publishers worldwide. Headlining the new feature set is the Custom Executable Generation (CEG) technology that compliments the already existing anti-piracy solution offered in Steamworks. A customer friendly approach to anti-piracy, CEG makes unique copies of games for each user allowing them to access the application on multiple machines without install limits and without having to install root kits on their PC.

The new features also include support for in-game downloadable content (DLC) and matchmaking. The in-game DLC support allows developers to deliver new content as they choose (paid or free) from inside the game itself, allowing users to make immediate purchases and experience the new content in the same game session. The Steamworks matchmaking now includes the robust lobby system shipped and tested in Left 4 Dead.

"Delivering this extension of services on Steamworks first anniversary, demonstrates our commitment to continually develop the platform to better serve the community working with these tools," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "As we roll out these features, we continue to look for new ways make PC games easier to create and better for customers to experience."

Steamworks was launched in early 2008 and has already shipped in products distributed at retail and electronically with major PC releases such as Empire: Total War, Dawn of War II, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, and Football Manager 2009.

Left 4 Dead 2 Announced

June 1st, 2009


June 1, 2009 - Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2), the sequel to the best-selling and critically-acclaimed co-operative multiplayer thriller.

Coming exclusively to Xbox 360 and PC, L4D2 promises to set a new benchmark for co-operative action games and become one of 2009's marquee titles.

"A large part of how Left 4 Dead became 2008's top-selling new IP on Xbox 360 and the PC was the custom-tailored gameplay made possible by the AI Director," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "With the knowledge gained from creating the original, new technology, and a passionate team, L4D2 will set a new benchmark for cooperative action games."

Set for release on November 17, the title adds melee combat to enable deeper co-operative gameplay, with items such as a chainsaw, frying pan, axe, baseball bat, and more.

Introducing the AI Director 2.0, L4D's dynamic gameplay is taken to the next level by giving the Director the ability to procedurally change weather effects, world objects, and pathways in addition to tailoring the enemy population, effects, and sounds to match the players' performance. The result is a unique game session custom fitted to provide a satisfying and uniquely challenging experience each time the game is played.

Featuring new Survivors, boss zombies, weapons, and items, Left 4 Dead 2 offers a much larger game than the original with more co-operative campaigns, more Versus campaigns, and maps for Survival mode available at launch.

Supported by a $10+ million marketing campaign, Left 4 Dead has sold over 2.5 million retail copies since it was released in November of 2008. Left 4 Dead 2 is targeted for release on Xbox 360 and the PC on November 17, 2009, and will be launched worldwide with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign across TV, Outdoor, and Online.

"Left 4 Dead was backed by our most aggressive advertising campaign to date, and resulted in a top 5 showing on two platforms during holiday 2008," said Doug Lombardi, VP of marketing at Valve. "Left 4 Dead 2 is a larger game and will be supported with even more consumer and retail advertising programs than the original."

Left 4 Dead 2 will be featured as the cover story on PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazines this month. For more information, please visit www.l4d.com

L4D Crash Course This Month

Zombie Blockbuster On Track To Top Valve's All Time Sales

September 23rd, 2009


September 23, 2009 - Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced that Crash Course -- the second downloadable content (DLC) update for its co-operative zombie thriller, Left 4 Dead (L4D) -- will be made available worldwide on September 29 on Xbox 360 and PC.

Crash Course delivers new single-player, multiplayer and co-operative gameplay to both platforms, and bridges the gap between the end of the "No Mercy" campaign and the beginning of "Death Toll" in the original game.

While containing both Survival maps and a Co-operative Campaign, the primary goal of Crash Course is to deliver a complete Versus mode experience in just 30 minutes, resulting in a streamlined version of the game's existing Versus campaigns. A recharge timer for infected teammates has also been added, and item spawn behavior has changed for more balanced gameplay.

VALVE ANNOUNCES $25 MIL LEFT 4 DEAD 2 AD CAMPAIGN

Zombie Blockbuster On Track To Top Valve's All Time Sales

October 5th, 2009


Oct 5, 2009 - Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced a $25 Mil consumer advertising plan for its upcoming action thriller, Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2).

"Based on the strength of pre-orders, Left 4 Dead 2 will be the fastest-selling product in Valve's history," said Gabe Newell, president of Valve. "Left 4 Dead 2 has consistently run at 300% of Left 4 Dead's numbers."

Last year, Left 4 Dead was the top selling new property for both the Xbox 360 and PC. Sales were driven by strong word of mouth, top reviews, and a $10 million advertising campaign.

"We'll be supporting Left 4 Dead 2's launch with a $25 million campaign," said Doug Lombardi, Valve's vice-president of Marketing. "Left 4 Dead 2 has already set the record for greatest number of pre-orders in our company's history, and we're still over a month out from shipping."

In the USA, the campaign will include Monday Night Football and UFC television broadcasts, roadside billboards, and popular lifestyle and gaming sites.

This year's European plan is also more aggressive than last year's, with television advertising in all the major markets appearing during sports and lifestyle programming, plus strong outdoor investments in more cities, as well as online and print advertising.

"Left 4 Dead 2 is expected to once again exceed everyone's expectations and be an industry best title on PC and Xbox 360 for the year," said David DeMartini, General Manager of EA Partners. "With Left 4 Dead and now Left 4 Dead 2, Valve has created one of today's most compelling video game experiences and leading entertainment franchises."

Coming exclusively to Xbox 360 and PC, L4D2 promises to set a new benchmark for co-operative action games and become one of 2009's marquee titles. Set for release on November 17, the title adds melee combat to enable deeper co-operative gameplay, with items such as a chainsaws, frying pans, axes, baseball bats, and more.

Introducing the AI Director 2.0, L4D's dynamic gameplay is taken to the next level by giving the Director the ability to procedurally change weather effects, world objects, and pathways in addition to tailoring the enemy population, effects, and sounds to match the players' performance. The result is a unique game session custom fitted to provide a satisfying and uniquely challenging experience each time the game is played.

Finally, with new Survivors, boss zombies, weapons, and items, Left 4 Dead 2 offers a much larger game than the original, featuring more co-operative campaigns, more Versus campaigns, new Survival maps, and a brand new competitive mode all available at launch.

For more information, please visit www.l4d.com

L4D2 Scavenge Mode Revealed

October 9th, 2009


Oct 8, 2009 - Valve, creator of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Scavenge, the fourth game mode to be included in its upcoming zombie thriller, Left 4 Dead 2.

Scavenge mode challenges players to compete in round-based games of up to 8 players (Survivors vs. Infected). The Survivors must battle both the Infected and the clock as they collect gas cans to refuel a generator located in each map. Every can the Survivors pour into the generator scores their team a point and adds time to the clock.

On defense, the Infected team plays as the boss Infected (including the new Spitter, Jockey, and Charger). They must keep the Survivors from fueling the generator by attacking them, destroying the gas cans, or running out the clock. During a round, each team gets an opportunity to play both sides, with the round going to whichever team successfully delivers the most cans.

Portal 2 Surprise Planned

June 1st, 2010


Aperture Science is pleased to inform you that we have partnered with Valve to announce the gala CANCELLATION of the June 14 Portal 2 event at the Regal Theater. The event will be replaced by a surprise. And even though the cancellation of the event certainly counts as a surprise, we are pleased to further announce that the cancellation of the event is not THE surprise. However, per International treaties regarding the definition of the word "surprise", of which both Aperture Science and Valve are signatories, the time, date and content of the actual surprise will only become available as you experience the surprise.

If you'd like to ask fruitless questions about the E3 Portal 2 surprise or, more fruitfully, schedule an appointment to attend a Portal 2 screening at the Valve booth during E3, please contact Valve's Special Envoy to Surprises, Doug Lombardi.

Thank you for <<RECORD SCRATCH!!!>>

PS: The surprising record scratch is also not the surprise.

VALVE ANNOUNCES MAKING GAMES IS HARD

June 9th, 2010


June 9, 2010 -- Aperture Science, doing business as Aperture Laboratories LLC, in partnership with Valve today announced the successful completion of an ethics-review-panel-supervised release date restructuring process. Portal 2, the sequel to the ground-breaking title that earned over 30 Game of the Year awards despite missing its original ship date, is now targeted for a 2011 release.

Representatives from both companies acknowledged that public safety concerns factored into the decision. They went on to say that even though Portal 2 will arrive slightly later than planned, all life on earth won't instantaneously stop as every molecule in your body explodes at the speed of light, which is what would happen should a rip ever appear in the fabric of Valve Time.

"Also, the game will be even better," they added, missing an historic opportunity to create the first product delay press release to mention that a product is being delayed to make it worse.

To ask questions about how close we all came to dying, or to ask futile questions about the previously announced E3 ***PORTAL-2-THEMED-FOR-GOD'S SAKE*** surprise or, less futilely, to schedule an appointment to attend a Portal 2 screening at the Valve booth during E3, please contact Valve's delegate to the EU's Valve Time Studies Group, Doug Lombardi.

Portal 2 Free DLC Next Week

September 29th, 2011


September 29, 2011 -- Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the free DLC update for its bestselling game franchise Portal 2 will be rolled out across all regions on Steam, Xbox LIVE and PSN starting October 4th. The free DLC, titled "Portal 2: Peer Review", is available to all owners of Portal 2 for download on PS3 and Xbox 360, and will be automatically downloaded via Steam on PC and Mac.

In "Peer Review", you and a friend will continue the story of loyal bots P-Body and Atlas as you puzzle your way through a mysterious new co-op test track and once again match wits with GLaDOS. The DLC also features a single player and co-op Challenge Mode, and leaderboards to compare Challenge Mode scores with friends and the Portal community.

To hold you over until the release next week, visit http://thinkwithportals.com/ for the final installment of the Portal 2 soundtrack Music to Test By.

Portal 2 is a hilariously mind-bending adventure that challenges you to use wits over weaponry in a funhouse of diabolical science. For more information on Steam, please visit http://www.steampowered.com.