Poll Question 222 – Do you think Valve will ever sanction a commercial mod set in the HL universe?

1st May 2011

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

In the PP Discussion Podcast 002 I mentioned commercial mods, and the idea of a commercial HL mod popped into my head. I said I would make it this week’s Poll Question and here it is!

I am not saying that Valve should but I feel it’s a valid question.

Of course, once a mod goes commercial the quality level is expected to be the same as the games, but there have been a few that have that level – at least in my opinion.

As long as the mod doesn’t break canon, I would be in favour of Valve exploring the idea.

Careful readers may have noticed that I haven’t used “game” when referring to this question. That was on purpose because I could see calling them mods, would allow Valve to distance themselves slightly. These mods would still require a valid Source game to have been bought, which may increase sales in some cases, although I admit that’s unlikely.

Personally, I don’t think they will, although they could if they set some tight limits on what would be considered.

What do you think?

The Poll


  1. Rog

    I said no, but I guess it depends on the definition of a question.

    For a mod today based on the current iteration of Source SDK / Half-Life 2? No, I don’t think Valve is interested in anyone else telling the story that way.

    On the other hand, I’m beginning to suspect that Valve may release mod-lite tools for Portal 2, based upon some comments in interviews here and there. I could see them enabling modders to market small goodies like Portal co-op maps via Steam, so modders (& Valve of course) could actually turn a profit. That would be within the same universe.

    Of course, simply allowing it isn’t quite the same as a full sanction, is it?

  2. Herr_Alien

    I answered “No’.

    The entire HL universe would then be less coherent, much like stories made by a group of people, each saying a sentence. It makes sense from sentence to sentence, but the great picture is a mess.

  3. kennyist

    No again.

    It would be like what gearbox did with Blue shift and opposing force, Creating a new set of events or creatures that don’t fit, take race X for example, gearbox just created them so they could do something they wanted, but it has no place in the HL universe and arnt used again. Mods like this would just bring in more events ETC polluting whats already there with their own interpretation.

    Just as Herr_Alien said “It makes sense from sentence to sentence, but the great picture is a mess. “

    1. Remember that Valve would have the final say on any new elements.

      1. Herr_Alien

        In that case, I’ll change my vote from “no” to “one in a gazzillion chances’.

        The main issue is creative control, and for a mod team to strike close enough to what Valve wants in terms of storyline, and the details on how to unravel this future story, and to do it without being employed by Valve (meaning close to zero feedback during development) is very unlikely. One in a gazzillion.

  4. I say maybe because Valve has allowed third parties to create content for their games before. Gearbox was allowed to make Opposing Force, Blue Shift and Decay, though Valve have said they aren’t strictly canon because of some of the liberties that they took.

    Valve have also officially released third party campaigns for Left 4 Dead 2, though I don’t think they are strictly canon either.

    It’s probably highly unlikely but it could happen. Only Valve know what they want with the HL universe.

  5. Hec

    It will sanction is most likley if the modders deny to deal an econmic share agreement with Valve I think, just in case if is a really cool mod, that everyone want to play, but if its lossy and kind of poorly related I think then valve wouldn’t give a dam about that issue, because comparing valve to any indie modder going comercial, is like compare bill gates and microsoft with some rookie altern software developer that just has alredy been prompted from college, and if this rookie software developer begings to grow, surelly Gates, Jobs, or Zuckelberg some bigh fish on this cyber industry will try to inmediately buy it, or at least make bussines with him or her…..

  6. Valve are full of surprises. They’re officially endorsing L4D campaigns, supporting Black Mesa (or at least not shutting it down) and I wouldn’t be surprised if they did do this. But then it would have to be of a high quality.

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