Valve and VU Games' legal battle ends
May 1, 2005 // 3:58 a.m.
Yesterday, Valve Software and Vivendi Universal Games announced that they had finally come to a settlement for their pending court case that was filed by Valve Software in August 2002. It is reported that the parties have resolved their differences out of court, and the settlement means that no further action will be taken by either party.
From the 31st August 2005, all current Valve Software titles that are distributed by VU Games in retail packaging, including Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and Counter-Strike: Source will no longer be distributed by the publisher. This signals a massive change in the future of games distribution networks, and it looks as if Valve are signalling a revolution the game distribution industry, and it would appear that the Steam network is going to be the exclusive distribution network for all future titles released by Valve Software, presumably starting with Half-Life 2: Aftermath later this year.
This is somewhat interesting, as Half-Life 2 is set to be released on Xbox at some point this summer. VU Games will not distribute this title in any shape or form if it is released after the 31st August deadline. It makes us wonder how Valve plan to distribute the title to Xbox owners when it is released.
Finally, VU Games has notified all of its licensed partners of the settlement, which states that only Valve are authorised to distribute Valve-engineered games to cyber cafes, and grant licenses to these outlets. This means that all current license agreements held by cyber cafes, whether written or oral, will become null and void at the end of August.