H-L 2 Expansion Slips

H-L 2 Expansion Slips

Valve has used GDC to announce that Episode One, the much anticipated Half-Life 2 expansion, has slipped and will not be released until May 31st.

Speaking to GameInformer at GDC Marketing Director Doug Lombardi, confirmed that the game has been delayed and will now be released on 31 May, retail and Steam, for USD 19.95.

To alleviate the pain that fans must be feeling at the news of a week's worth of extra waiting, Valve founder Gabe Newell gave us a glimpse of what to expect from Episode One. It appears that the storyline will continue immediately following the end of H-L 2 and Mr. Newell claims: You're on top of an exploding building, okay, so how do you not all die. It answers a bunch of those questions. It also raises some questions about what the G-Man's real role is in the Half-Life universe, so there are some surprises there for people. The expansion will also deal with Gordon's relationship with Alex while it will offer about 7 hours of additional gameplay, at least that's how long it took Gabe Newell to complete it.

According to Valve episodic content for Half-Life 2 is the next big step and Episode 2 is already well into development with plans calling for a new episode every 3 months although Doug Lombardi adds: ...we'll ship it when it's great. When asked about consoles, Newell, interestingly, claims that Valve has no definite plans and describes the XBox release of Half-Life 2 as the ...first big retail disappointment we've had in the history of the company.

According to its MD, Valve has no current console plans as XBox 360 is only a few months into its launch and PS3 has slipped. From the interview however, we do get the feeling that Valve will focus on X360, if only to sell its engine to other developers since Newell describes Epic as one of the stronger PS3 and PC competitors.

Newell also described some of Valve's plans for Steam which seem to include more free trial events adding, If you bought a copy of one of our games you can give five trials to your friends. You type in your e-mail address and then you'll see the first time that they play you'll have this little screen where you can say, "Oh look, he's playing. Oh, he hasn't played yet so I'm going to delete him and replace him with somebody else." And give your friends a chance to play. It's a multiplayer game. You get notified as soon as they start playing so you can jump in.

Valve's Managing Director also went on to promise more free weekend events such as the one that was recently used to promote Day of Defeat: Source.