Activision unscrews Valve

[UPDATE] Publisher to release Gun, Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, and Call of Duty: United Offensive on popular download service; all but one will be $20.

Last year, Valve struck a deal with Electronic Arts to have the publisher distribute the retail copies of its popular shooter Half-Life 2 and its sequels. Today, the Washington-based developer announced it is doing a deal with EA's archrival, California-based publisher Activision.

The agreement will see five titles from Activision's PC catalog be made available on Steam, Valve's popular download service. "Our agreement with Steam enhances our current online distribution model by allowing us to bring our games to the broadest possible audience," Activision senior director of business development Dave Anderson said in a statement. "As broadband penetration continues to grow worldwide, offering our titles digitally to the millions of gamers connected through Steam makes sense to us."

[UPDATE] Three Activision games offered on steam will be from the wildly popular Call of Duty series, which is developed by the now-internal studio Infinity Ward. Call of Duty 2 ($39.95), Call of Duty ($19.95), and the Call of Duty: United Offensive expansion pack ($19.95) will all be made available, as will the Western shooter Gun ($19.95), which was developed by NeverSoft.

Whenever Valve does open the digital spigot on the four Activision games, they will join an increasing number of third-party titles available on Steam. This week, Majesco's critical hit Psychonauts was made available on the service, and Ubisoft's Dark Messiah of Might & Magic will launch on the service later this month.

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67 comments
SragentThom
SragentThom

That has to be one of the most ignorant, arrogant, and all-out stupid comments I've ever heard. How would you feel if you felt months, sometimes years working long days and often nights on a game, only to find that people are stealing it. You sir, are a complete and utter idiot. Sorry for YOUR stupidity.

mailbox2112
mailbox2112

I think they should let you exchange a CoD 1 or 2 cd key for a Steam version of it.

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

Well the biggest advantage there is to owning the game on Steam as to the box set is that it is possible to put it easily onto a new computer if you buy one or have to wipe your HD ... only problem is well if Steam were to ever ... go down permanently ... there goes your game as well as many others. I being a steam user and supporter hope that never happens but heck i would be angry if i had spent 300$ in the past however many years on steam just to find that when it crashes im screwed that 300

BonelessBone
BonelessBone

In reply to Dominae You have to at least log in to your account while in connected to the internet. After that, you have to exit Steam. Therefore your account information will be saved, and when u connect offline, it'll let you play using the saved information. 1. Connect Steam while connected to the Internet 2. Exit Steam afterwards 3. Open Steam while offline 4. Ability to play offline is available using saved information.

Dasc00
Dasc00

**** WILL WE HAVE TO USE STEAM TO PLAY?????

smbius
smbius

Steam is alright but I like having the box in my hand...for the same price.

_Sam_
_Sam_

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

MegaManX9101
MegaManX9101

mmm.... Good thing that people are going with digital distribution.

IvanKavinski
IvanKavinski

You can play your single-player Steam games in "Offline Mode" and they work just fine.

Monstromo
Monstromo

CoD is not worth twenty bucks. It is a blatant rip off.

dominae
dominae

The problem is I can't play HL2 on my laptop unless I'm connected to the internet :-( [no playing it at work] I hope these titles won't have the online verification that the others do, 'cause I'd buy 'em in a minute. Oh, and digital distribution is awesome . . . . I despise those little paper sleeves most publishers use instead of cases . . . there is no effective way of storing those stupid sleeves. Just a thought.

nakke-
nakke-

Can't you install games standalone (without Steam that is) once you've backed them up, though? Very nice that more and bigger companies are going to distribute their games with Steam. New games shouldn't be $40, though, since the cost for them is obviously much, much lower to deliver a game. Something in the $20-30 range for new games and $10-15 would be much better (;

Master_Chief423
Master_Chief423

Wrong - If Valve ever should go down, - Protocols are in place, we paid for products and licenses, they won't screw the customer like that, and if they do, I'm sure there will be some sort of massive backlash. "Headline" Valve Head Gabe Newell found in the back of a trunk chopped up for screwing over 11 million loyal customers.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

If steam ever went down permanently due to valve going under, a lot of people will be without their bought games!

Britesparc
Britesparc

It's all very cool, and I support it wholeheartedly, and I suppose downloading games is better for the environment too! But it seems a bit pricey, and personally I like having a shelf filled with DVD boxes - it's much better to look at one's game collection than it be sat, abstractly, within a hard drive. So whilst I think it's a good thing overall, I don't think it's for me (although that said, I'd quite like to see some bigger games released on Live Marketplace - guess we need a bigger hard drive though, eh, MS?)

amogley
amogley

I think it is a bit of a scam really ... if you are prepared to shop around in budget bins you can pick up CoD and CoD:UO for half the price. But I have to say that I am pleased that Steam seems to be getting more support. Maybe the extra revenue will be used to improve the system and to resolve the problems that a lot of gamers still (allegedly) have with the service.

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

Looks like a lot of games become available on Steam. That's means Valve is making a lot of money and that they should make... Half Life 3!!(of course after HL2 Episode 2, 3 etc.)

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

NinjaFoot, I'm with ya. Until these companies pass on some of their savings from not having to print a manual, pay for retail space, shipping the games to stores, manufacturing discs, etc. to us consumers I will drive to the store and buy the boxed version. As Monstromo mentioned, prices for these downloadable games should be less than the boxed versions because the costs are so much less but so far that doesn't appear to be the case.

NinjaFoot
NinjaFoot

I still prefer buying my games in brick and mortar stores with the actual cd or dvd inside.

Atomic_Mutant
Atomic_Mutant

all CDs or DVDs do are acting as a physical key / verification of sorts. Most of the contents are installed on the hard drive anyways. Pirates are still having a field day with Steam based games, but it is good to see game publishers for one are embracing the internet as a viable means of marketing their games and efficient distribution. Only if the prices were cheaper, even as in bundle exclusives that online distribution strategy can accommodate with little effort. But I can only dream... It is significant that this large publisher for the first time is willing to rely on Steam rather than trying to shoehorn their own vision of content delivery service (like EA from what I see). Of course, there are other delivery services available now, but that further attests to, in my opinion, how attractive and effective Steam can be.

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

well i dont think people play unintd offensive still

DarkDamo
DarkDamo

hopefully i can register my COD/2 keys on steam

Karjah
Karjah

Go digital distriution. I'm all for putting games out there for purchase by digital means. But just don't try and sell us maps or add ons and claim not to be nickel and diming people. :) It's cool if you want to sell your games to us electronically. It's a nice option but you cross a line when you start selling small add ons for a price instead of rewarding the consumer and thanking them for choosing your product. To me when activision released Enemy teritory for free it convicned me that they were worth my dollar for other games beucase the quality of that free release was so high. My estimations would likely have been more strict having to pay a price for the title. Just saying here. Your more likely to sell me call of duty 3 for good money if you let the call of duty 2 maps go for free becuase you create customer loyalty .

ultimate_zero
ultimate_zero

Thats good and all, but I think activision needs to create new innovative games, some of their series are getting old.

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

imbacon
imbacon

The title of this article tickles me in a way an article should not.

ZuljinRaynor
ZuljinRaynor

Steam rocks so much now. I hope, although I doubt it, I can add my CoD, UO and CoD2 keys to my Steam Account and use it that way. That would be awesome.

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

cr8rmakr "Questions still remain. Will these downloaded games be able to get updates as they become available? Also, can I install these on my laptop as well as my desktop?" Yes, there are always updates for the games on Steam, coz Half-Life 2, as well as CS: Source gets them. Another thing to remember is that they're essentially PC games, which means that the files that are installed on the hard drive disk can be replaced by those in an incoming patch. Of course, some console games have them.

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

Wow, that was a surprise. And to slickr, STFU! People have the choice to either buy a game via a retail box or a digital distribution. Personally, I would be leaning towards the digital distribution for just about every game that doesn't have a A3 map/poster (some RTS games like Dawn of the Modern World, Empire Earth, Total War series), because digital downloads only fill up the hard drives, and their capacity are getting bigger, but the physical size's still the same, while with retail boxes, they'd fill up your rooms! Zing! Of course, there needs to be much better PDF/eBook reading devices sooner or later.

QualityJeverage
QualityJeverage

"**** them all, it's just another way to get your money. And while game companies are making millions and some billions(EA) some of you are even sorry for them, like they are not geting enough money! **** them and use cracked games, plus they are free!" That has to be one of the most ignorant, arrogant, and all-out stupid comments I've ever heard. How would you feel if you felt months, sometimes years working long days and often nights on a game, only to find that people are stealing it. You sir, are a complete and utter idiot.

slickr
slickr

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

highflyer800
highflyer800

as long as we can used are old cd keys on steam i don't care

HonkyBone
HonkyBone

You guys are complaining that the prices aren't dropping, which I can understand. But, look at the other side, this gives the companies more money, at least the prices aren't going up. You can pick up PC games at $40-50 while all "next-gen" games are going for $60+!!!

Moe_81
Moe_81

wow go valve so many games now is steam the next itunes

cr8rmakr
cr8rmakr

Questions still remain. Will these downloaded games be able to get updates as they become available? Also, can I install these on my laptop as well as my desktop?

Sociologist
Sociologist

I admit it! I hated STEAM, but finally saw the beauty of the service after transferring my account to 3 separate computers, (when traveling or what not), and having it remain active even though I didn't use it for 6 months. I realize that STEAM is the future of game distribution and now willingly embrace it, AS LONG AS THEY DON'T INCLUDE IN GAME DYNAMIC ADS LIKE THE SATANIC COROPORATION EA DID IN MY BELOVED BATTLEFIELD SERIES. Anyone who supports dynamic ads in games is naive at best, and idiotic at worst! There is NO WAY to justify dynamic ads in games UNLESS the game retails for 20-30 dollars less than full priced releases. So, pardon my rant, but STEAM is a great service, unless of course, they follow EA's footsteps, (which they may very well do if enough morons support and buy Battlefield 2142). Take Care of yourselves.... and each other.

TGammet
TGammet

Well, now I don't have an excuse anymore not to buy them (COD, COD:UO, and COD2 I mean)

GodsBusy
GodsBusy

@Monstromo I partially agree with you - Steam was not meant to be used as a place for you to download yesterday's games at today's prices, and it should not be a trend that continues (with the rare exception of a game like Psychonauts, which was awesome, but underperformed at retail, and I hope with Steam, they see more success.) But the idea that digital distribution should cause prices to drop is a fallacy. Digital distribution exists so that more of the money you pay for the game, goes to the company that actually made it. Why would they charge less money, when the whole purpose is to make more? Again, though, you are right that this is not what was foreseen for the Steam service. Steam was launched so that Valve, and those that used Source technology, could make more money off the games they worked so hard to create, and hopefully continue to do so in the future; it was launched to allow those games that may not have the opportunity to be picked up by a big publisher, to reach a wider audience. It was not launched to squeeze a few extra dollars out of old games, and games that did poorly.

gskehans97
gskehans97

i have all the them games there and all the Call of duty games are great!!! and yeah Gun...one of my favs!

GrimBee
GrimBee

Steam and call of duty? i can see an even greater increase in sales for this. Steam should have more titles on it, before its seen as a pathetic attempt at making pc games Online ONLY.. I hate being connected to the net all the time, its a shame i have to log on the net JUST to sign on steam to play some games. believe me, even though i turn off the sign in, it STILL asks...

jeebs213
jeebs213

while I have all of the Call of Duty games and have beaten Gun, that's still good to hear. Go Valve!

Monstromo
Monstromo

I still see trouble. The cost of a game on the digital download system should go down, but they don't. Rather, this distribution system actually jacks up the price of a game that can be purchased in a store or online for less. I hate this behavior of digital download retailing. Therefore, I can't support it. If they passed any saving onto the customer I could see it as a reasonable alternative. The truth is that they are taking advantage of the impulse buyers. And this is nothing like the original steam idea. Where you preloaded a game that was set for release in the future and then on launch day you got a key and poof you were in business. This is just slow downloading of old games at ridiculous prices. Steam is becoming Gametap.