The Black Mesa mod caused a scene when it was announced, and caused an even bigger scene when it eventually came out. The mod is a modernised version of Valve’s original Half-Life and is a project that received Valve’s blessing. That blessing, it would seem, has just been made somewhat more resolute.
Black Mesa will be getting an official, retail Steam release. It already went through the Steam Greenlight process and has been available as a free mod, but now the guys behind the mod are going to get to make money off their work. Or is it “re-work”? I don’t know.
The Black Mesa team never intended to make money off the mod. How could they have thought that when what they were doing was re-working copyrighted material? “We never developed Black Mesa with money in mind,” the team leader posted in the official forums. “Our team is made up of average, hardworking people, and no one joined the team to make money. For us, Black Mesa is purely a labor of love. We believe this philosophy has significantly contributed to the overall quality and feel of the game.”
There’s no word as to when this will become available, but the mod has had to be reworked slightly because of a new Source Engine version. There’s also no indication of exactly how much it’ll cost other than “a relatively low price”.
It’s interesting that Valve is allowing this. Is it just the company being really nice, or should we be jaded and see it as Valve wanting to get a slice of the Black Mesa money pie, which, don’t forget, they’re entirely entitled to considering it’s their IP anyway.
Oh, and don’t worry, the free version of Black Mesa isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s getting some new content soon.
Fellow NAG Online writer Chris Kemp loved the stuffing out of Black Mesa – so much so that it’s in his list of Top 5 Games of this Generation. You can check that out over here. See Chris? I’m not afraid to send more page views your way… you overly competitive bastard. 😉