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Valve reassures retail over boxed product plans

Half-Life developer Valve has moved to reassure retailers that it will continue to distribute its products in boxed form despite the recent announcement of the end of its publishing deal with VU Games.

Half-Life developer Valve has moved to reassure retailers that it will continue to distribute its products in boxed form despite the recent announcement of the end of its publishing deal with VU Games.

"We are making arrangements to continue retail distribution of our products post August 31," Valve marketing director Doug Lombardi informed GamesIndustry.biz, going on to say that the firm "should have more details to share soon."

The news will mollify retailers who feared that a recent legal settlement between Valve and VU Games, which will see VU Games withdrawing all of its Valve-created products from August 31st, could signal a move to online-only distribution for the firm's products.

Valve has been a pioneer of online distribution through its Steam content delivery system, which was employed to sell last year's blockbuster PC title Half-Life 2 directly to customers - bypassing publishers, distributors and retailers entirely.

The end of Valve's relationship with Vivendi-Universal Games is also expected to see the Xbox version of Half-Life 2 moving to a new publisher, and while he would not be drawn on who is now set to publish the title, Lombardi did confirm that it will be making its E3 appearance on Microsoft's stand.

"Half-Life 2 Xbox is being internally developed at Valve," he explained. "It will be on display in the Xbox area of MS' booth at this year's E3, and is due for release early this fall."

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Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.