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Valve and Vivendi Part Ways 55

Posted by Zonk
from the raise-your-hand-if-you're-surprised dept.
IGN has news that the long running suit between Valve and Vivendi has finally been resolved. There has been some sort of settlement reached, the immediate result being that as of August 31st Vivendi will no longer be distributing Valve titles. From the article: "Valve has not announced a new publishing partner, or whether the company will now solely rely on Steam for distribution. A new publishing agreement would almost certainly be needed for the Xbox version of Half-Life 2 scheduled for release later this summer."
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Valve and Vivendi Part Ways

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  • WOW (Score:2, Informative)

    by UnHolyRam (732327)
    There's a shock. As if anyone couldn't see this happening. Now I wonder how many people will take this chance to start bashing steam once again
    • Re:WOW (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Nos. (179609) <andrewNO@SPAMthekerrs.ca> on Friday April 29, 2005 @02:58PM (#12386450) Homepage

      I think this is great news (even though we've been expecting it for awhile). The nice thing is that now Valve can actually focus on their issues with Steam with all their resources as opposed to trying to deal with Vivendi. Hopefully this will also start a new erra of games being released without the silly rules of publishers getting in the way. HL2 probably would have been cheaper via steam than in the store if it hadn't been for Vivendi.

      I for one would be more than happy to download (and burn myself) all the software I purchase if it meant saving some dollars. Not only that, but the actualy software company would probably see a lot more of the money for their software in this type of a model.

      Congratulations Valve!

      • Even if Valve went without a publisher, do you really think they would charge that much less for their games? $50 has long been the standard price, and they won't tarry far from that path. After all, they are a business, first and foremost, and will make as much money as they can. It is inherent to what they do.

        Also, they are going to get a publisher. Think about who buys games. Mostly teenagers. Now think about how people buy games via Steam. They buy with a credit card. I don't know about you, bu
        • by Guspaz (556486)
          Fact is they NEED a publisher, if only because of the XBOX port of HL2.

          But a few things about getting a new publisher:

          1) Vivendi had a lot of control over HL2 because they put money in at the very start (HL1).
          2) Tons of publishers will compete to publish Valve's games, and Valve can set any conditions or terms they want
          3) STEAM's price was not much less than retail only because of contractual obligations to Vivendi. Similarly, Vivendi forced Valve to delay HL2's release via STEAM until the retail release
      • Yes, I'm sure all of the lawyers who were in the negotiations with Vivendi can now happily get back to coding on Steam and answering questions on their forums....?
    • people only bash things worth bashing (aka everything). if you don't want to be bashed, please remove yourself or your precious from existence.
  • Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bluephone (200451) <grey@@@burntelectrons...org> on Friday April 29, 2005 @02:49PM (#12386341) Homepage Journal
    "A new publishing agreement would almost certainly be needed for the Xbox version..."

    Why can't Valve self-publish? Granted I know little about this arena, so I may be speaking directly from my posterior, but it doesn't seem hard. A disc press makes up 500 bazillion DVDs, and they usually do the case for it too, you provide the art. Then contract to a printer to print the boxes and manuals. Box and ship to wholesaler houses.

    What does a "publisher" do except manage all that and take a good chunk of money for it? Sure for smaller firms they bankroll the project, but Valve probably has a few bucks to do this themselves. They put out a recent game that seems to be somewhat popular with the kids...

    • One word: (Score:4, Informative)

      by kaellinn18 (707759) on Friday April 29, 2005 @02:55PM (#12386419) Homepage Journal
      Advertising.

      As well off as Valve is, I don't think they have the experience or the connections to run the kind of advertising blitz that an experienced publisher can.
      • Three more words: Shelf Space & Distribution.

        Shelf space is precious, and existing publishers have the relationships with the big box stores that are required to get space for the box. It may or may not be a problem for as high profile game as HL2, but most self-publishers get relegated to a tiny wire cd rack in a forgotten corner of the store if they get into the store at all.
        • Re:One word: (Score:3, Informative)

          by rsmith-mac (639075)

          but most self-publishers get relegated to a tiny wire cd rack in a forgotten corner of the store if they get into the store at all.

          Just because Valve is an independent developer doesn't mean they'll be an independent publisher too. It's highly likely they'll have an agreement with another publisher like id does with Activision or Irrational Games had with VUGames for Freedom Force 2. In both those cases, the devs are contracting out the publishers to do specific work; VU got paid to promote and shelve FF

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nebulochaotic (880087) <jgraves.gamealchemist@com> on Friday April 29, 2005 @03:13PM (#12386624) Homepage
      Because it is for X-Box, not PC. In order to release a title for a console system, complicated contracts and agreements must be made between the console maker and the publisher. You can't just press DVDs for X-Box and sell them. Not only would they not work, they would be illegal to sell. Valve would likely have a difficult time getting microsoft to allow them to self publish the game for X-Box.

      This doesn't even consider the shelf space purchasing and advertising that is likely needed for a big budget release as this.

      These are the sort of considerations that are killing the garage game industry; except for PC games, it is now almost impossible to distribute games without a publisher.
      • I'm pretty sure that Microsoft would make a deal with Valve, if only to make them an X Box or XBox 360/2/Next/whatever exclusive.

        Valve and Id are probably the only two developers that have that kind of clout these days.
        • Valve and Id are probably the only two developers that have that kind of clout these days.

          Close, but I'd include Square-Enix on that list as well. I was thinking maybe Blizzard as well, but a brief search showed they are a subsidary of Vivendi. Any others?

          • by uzor (787499)
            Yeah, but in all the recent buyout/selloff attempts for VU's games division, the main reason (IIRC) VU keeps saying no, is that the buyers just want to buy Blizzard, and not the rest of the drek. If they have that kind of interest outside in the corporate world, if they ever did get tired of VU, they could probably negotiate a similar exit strategy to Valve's.
        • Ugh. Just the thought of Half-Life 3 being an X-Box exclusive triggered my gag reflex. Half-Life 1 & 2 are two of my favorite games of all time, I'd hate to miss out on the third one (and any other future sequels) due to another Microsoft assimilation. Grr.

          Damn you Microsoft, you took Bungie away from me, don't even thnk about taking away Valve too!

          • Damn you Microsoft, you took Bungie away from me, don't even thnk about taking away Valve too!

            Meh. Halo turned out to be a very average FPS. It might have been ground breaking had it been released on-schedule for the PC, and only the PC.
            • Exactly my point. I had loved every game Bungie put out up until the buyout (okay, Oni sucked, but that didn't actually come out until after the buyout, so I'll excuse it.) Since then all they've done is the two Halo games, which, while I'll confess to having never played either, I have never seen or read anything about them that makes me want to run out and play them. They seem to me to be, exactly as you said, very average FPS games, saddled with the additional handicap of having to use X-Box controllers

              • Halo has a few merits, but not many. The Warthog is loads of fun. Only being able to carry two weapons is realistic and makes players think more about which weapon they take. Some of the graphics are impressive, despite the game's age.

                However, I recommend you stay away from Halo (except maybe the demo) because of the following: Most levels are very repetitive. The weapon balance is horrible. The frickin' shotgun is more accurate at long range and a better anti-aircraft weapon than the assault rifle. I can
        • Why would microsoft care if the Valve made games for xbox only? As it is now unless you're using an emulator you have to be running a microsoft OS to play valve games.
      • Here comes the GIAA.
      • Funny you should mention this. A set of homebrew GBA games are being released on cartridges as we speak. 2004Mbit Development Competition [gbadev.org]. I don't know if it's legal, but I think it's pretty cool.
      • The discs would probably not work because of digital signing, but thanks to court cases such as Sega v. Accolade, it would not be illegal to sell them.
  • Microsoft as publisher for atleast Halflife2 xbox.
  • Maybe they'll team up with Activision next? It's not as is they've not done anything together before [activision.com]...
  • by knight37 (864173) on Friday April 29, 2005 @03:41PM (#12386919) Homepage Journal
    Please don't let it be EA
    Please don't let it be EA
    Please don't let it be EA
  • by Rahga (13479) on Friday April 29, 2005 @03:58PM (#12387117) Homepage Journal
    Damn you, Angelina Jolie! Is nothing sacred?
  • Yaaaaay! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ElAurian (133656) on Friday April 29, 2005 @04:12PM (#12387267) Homepage
    Lucas carved out a new freedom in film-making, Google defined their own industry and vowed to do no evil, now Valve has its own opportunity to define a new way of distributing computer games.

    Onya Valve!
  • Hurrah for Single Player games that require internet connections to play, and require Steam while not listing this minimum requirement on the box! THANKS!

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