According to British website the inquirer, the secret behind the amount of money invested by ATI on Valve's Half-Life 2 is finally out. It appears that the Canadian graphics company pushed about USD 8 million Valve's way for the privilege of associating its products with the Top MegaGame of 2004
This staggering amount of money was a combination of a variety of promotions involved in the ATI/Valve deal. USD 2.4 million was given to Valve in cash while an additional USD 1.2 million was spent on marketing for the game finally a further amount of USD 4.4 million was spent by ATI and partners in order to secure the bundling rights for H-L 2.
It is not certain if this deal breaks any records as nVidia is well-known for investing large sums in games as well but it seems likely that the deal proved profitable for ATI. The delays in the launch of Half-Life 2 prolonged the availability of voucher-containing ATI cards while we all know the success story that was the 9800/9600 series. Although we accept that the 96xx range was made up of fine products (probably the best available at the time) it still seems unlikely that a company would have been able to sell that many high-end boards without the H-L 2 association. The need of gamers to make the most of their H-L 2 experience and the voucher offer by ATI proved a deadly combination that did wonders to ATIs market share but also to its overall reputation in the graphics market.
The actual scale of the ATI/Valve deal and its success may even make the most cynical among you suspect ATI execs of the source code theft from Valve.