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Valve cancels The Black Box

Valve cancels The Black Box

The Black Box will not appear on retail shelves when Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal and Team Fortress 2 are released.

Valve's Director of Marketing, Doug Lombardi, has told IGN that Half-Life 2: The Black Box has been cancelled.

Lombardi said the following:

"The Black Box has been cancelled. We're going to have one package, The Orange Box, available on the PC (US$49.99) as well as the 360 and PS3 (US$59.99)."

The Black Box was orignally going to be available for the PC only, with Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal and Team Fortress 2 included. The Orange Box also added Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode One into the box too.

He later added "Those who purchase the PC version of The Orange Box will get three separate Steam product codes: One for the three new games, one for HL2 and one for Episode One. This way a PC Orange Box owner can give away their Half-Life 2 or Episode One unused Steam product codes if they don't need a copy of those games."

It's an interesting move no doubt, but the sceptic in me says that it's a case of Valve pushing more end users towards Steam because it cuts out the publisher's royalties, earning more money for Valve. That's not to say I blame Valve for making the move.

Obviously, this news isn't going to affect anyone that was already planning to buy the games via Steam. For those that prefer having a real copy of the game in hand though, you're going to have to spend a bit more on The Orange Box and hope that someone wants to buy your HL2 and HL2: Episode One activation codes.

Which of the new games are you looking forward to the most? Tell us in the forums.

21 Comments

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Henk 21st May 2007, 09:21 Quote
Since I haven't completed HL2 yet (the "borrowed" version stops functioning mysteriously in the middle of ravenholm ;)), I only see this as good news. I get it all (for the time being) in one relatively cheap package

I guess this sucks though for those who already have hl2 and ep1 and aren't able to buy stuff through steam...
plagio 21st May 2007, 09:51 Quote
:D these borrowed versions always get stuck there.
I'll buy episode two via steam. If it was HL3 I would want to have the CD/DVD but since it's just an episode/expansion I don't care that much.
MrBadidea 21st May 2007, 09:52 Quote
Err, get the hell out?

We go walking into a store and buy a copy of either, all we're really getting are codes to get the gear off of Steam. They might as well do what EA did with BF2142 Northern Strike; DVD Game Box, open it up, no disc, no manual, just a piece of paper with a code to throw into EA Link to download your copy of Northern Strike. Afterall, its not like HL2 will work without Steam running as well, so I fail to understand how this works.

Oh wait, yes I do. Greedy. ****ing. *******s.
Hugo 21st May 2007, 10:07 Quote
Well knowing Valve, they'll at least have an install DVD in the box, I guess it saves a bit of bandwidth if your limited....
kenco_uk 21st May 2007, 10:10 Quote
Is this the best publicity they could think of for the launch of ep2?
MrBadidea 21st May 2007, 10:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
Is this the best publicity they could think of for the launch of ep2?

Wait, you mean its actually getting released? I thought this was yet another "srsly we iz behind on ze release. gief more time plx"
smoguzbenjamin 21st May 2007, 11:25 Quote
Download it off steam. It's the best thing you can do. I personally prefer Steam to DVDs, if I could I'd get all my games over Steam. Your games are in a centralised location and you can download and install them on any PC, so no more losing disks or whatever. Also, it's not terribly hard to go over to a friends, log on on your Steam account and show them the new game you bought.

On topic though, I'm waiting for episode 1, 2 and 3 to be done so I can buy a package deal. $20 per game is ridiculous, $60 is overpriced for a full game and as far as I can tell, Ep 1 wasn't long enough to be one third of a full game.

So I want to pay $40 for the three of them, or maybe even $50, but no more then that.
Dr. Strangelove 21st May 2007, 12:03 Quote
I might remember wrong but was the Black box not going to be bundled with the new Radeons? how will that go down, will people get the orange box instead?
Krikkit 21st May 2007, 12:06 Quote
This feels like a poor move, but it's sensible imho.

I'll probably still buy the orange box - I like to have a physical copy of things, and with an install disk you don't have to sit around eating up your own bandwidth downloading something, especially because the pre-load speed on Steam is fairly lame once half the world wants it.
capnPedro 21st May 2007, 12:47 Quote
I completed a "borrowed" copy of HL2, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was actually meaning to get the Orange box so that I would have Ep 1 as well (and HL2 too). So this doesn't affect me, but it still seems like some people will be getting a rough deal.

I don't know about everyone else, but I prefer to have a disc to install (and reinstall) from. I don't want to have to wait 4 hours before I can start playing after I've had to reinstall the game. Oh, and I like to have a manual in my hands to read. If I've paid for the game, I don't want to have to be using a PDF.

It actually makes me feel like waiting for Ep 3, then just buying that with HL2, Ep 1 and Ep 2 on physical media. Maybe not, I really want to play!
completemadness 21st May 2007, 14:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoguzbenjamin
Download it off steam. It's the best thing you can do. I personally prefer Steam to DVDs, if I could I'd get all my games over Steam. Your games are in a centralised location and you can download and install them on any PC, so no more losing disks or whatever. Also, it's not terribly hard to go over to a friends, log on on your Steam account and show them the new game you bought.
however if you buy them in the shops, you pay about as much

You get an install disc which means no waiting around for hours downloading HL2 Base textures, and in the future, you can still download the full lot off steam if you lose your disc, or you can install off the disc and update over steam, saving some hours
DarkLord7854 21st May 2007, 14:17 Quote
Sounds like it's more sensible to wait for Ep3 and by all 3 episodes for one low price :)
completemadness 21st May 2007, 15:47 Quote
yeah but then ep4 will be coming out, you will never buy it if you take that attitude

Also, i forgot to actually rant earlier, this is totally lame, people who actually have HL2 are being forced to buy it all over again
Hamish 21st May 2007, 16:25 Quote
only if you want the disc

makes no difference to me as i was going to buy on steam anyway :p
quack 21st May 2007, 16:25 Quote
Meh, I'll be getting Ep 2 through Steam so this news doesn't affect me in the slightest.
Satyric_saint 21st May 2007, 17:14 Quote
Greed! Greed! Greed! Greed! Greed! Greed! Greed! Greed! Greed! Thats all I hear from this whole thing. :( I have HL2 and HL2 EP1 I don't want to buy them again and I damn sure not going to download them From steam. (it takes to long, and I have sprint high speed) I tried that once with HL2 but after it gave me a 2day Download status I just got out my CD's and installed it and updated it in 25 minutes. Seems that Valve is starting to go the way of the almighty buck.
knuck 21st May 2007, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoguzbenjamin
Download it off steam. It's the best thing you can do. I personally prefer Steam to DVDs, if I could I'd get all my games over Steam. Your games are in a centralised location and you can download and install them on any PC, so no more losing disks or whatever. Also, it's not terribly hard to go over to a friends, log on on your Steam account and show them the new game you bought.

On topic though, I'm waiting for episode 1, 2 and 3 to be done so I can buy a package deal. $20 per game is ridiculous, $60 is overpriced for a full game and as far as I can tell, Ep 1 wasn't long enough to be one third of a full game.

So I want to pay $40 for the three of them, or maybe even $50, but no more then that.

with a montly 20gb download limit, downloading my games on steam makes me bust the limit without a doubt :-/
Emon 21st May 2007, 22:13 Quote
So wait, I'll essentially be paying for HL2 and EP1 twice, despite the discount? Lame.
DXR_13KE 21st May 2007, 23:01 Quote
i think i will get the valve complete pack...... it is rather expensive... but it has everything...... and i played HL2 via a borrowed version..... :D
cebla 22nd May 2007, 02:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnPedro

I don't know about everyone else, but I prefer to have a disc to install (and reinstall) from. I don't want to have to wait 4 hours before I can start playing after I've had to reinstall the game. Oh, and I like to have a manual in my hands to read. If I've paid for the game, I don't want to have to be using a PDF.

You can backup your games from Steam onto a DVD or USB drive or something and then you don't have to wait any longer to install. Also HL2 didn't come with a manual anyway (well unless you count that card with what buttons are set to what by default).
Omnituens 22nd May 2007, 22:04 Quote
i was thinking about getting the black box, but with staff discount it works out the same as steam price (going by Ep1 price)

so im just getting the steam version.
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