ATI Buys H-L 2 Bundling Rights for USD 6 Million

ATI Buys H-L 2 Bundling Rights for USD 6 Million

ATI's fourth quarter financial results report, confirms that the company was involved, along with Nvidia, in a bidding war over the "bundling" rights to Half-Life 2.

Judging by recent comments by Valve's Gabe Newell and announcements of upcoming ATI/H-L2 bundles we have figured out who won that particular war but page four of ATI's report also confirms the price ATI had to pay. The report explains that operating expenses increased by almost USD 10 million during the fourth quarter and claims that part of that rise was due to A non-recurring charge of about USD 6.0 million, consisting of incentive compensation and other charges associated with the signing of a development agreement; it makes sense then to accept that the considerable sum of USD 6 million was the winning bid to get H-L 2 and Valve's cooperation.

The question which most gamers are contemplating however, is what exactly did that money buy? Did ATI pay USD 6 million for the priviledge of offering their new XT boards bundled with a version Half-Life 2? Would Valve be so outspoken, in ATI's favor, if that deal had gone to Nvidia?

We wouldn't dare suggest that any developer can be biased by financial agreements, it is after all every creators desire to see his conceptual offspring enjoyed in the best possible way. What we do think however, is that the whole process of marketing a game of the caliber of Half-Life 2, was completely mismanaged by Valve, who may have taken the community's interest in the game for granted. This mismanagement has led to members of the community feeling confused about everything H-L 2, from hardware to distribution and from performance to multiplayer policy.

In fact it seems, and we hope to be proved wrong, that Valve have shifted the emphasis to the bussiness side of their project, neglecting the people who granted H-L 2 its status of one of the best games ever made, the gamers.