Gamers' worst fears were confirmed this morning when Vivendi Universal announced that its eagerly awaited Half-Life 2 will not be released until April 2004.
In a brief statement to the French daily Les Echos, VU Games president of international operations, Christophe Ramboz, blamed the now-infamous source code theft for the delay. "A third of the source code was stolen," said Ramboz. "It's serious because it forces us to delay the launch of the game by at least four months--to April 2004."
Doug Lombardi, Valve's Director of Marketing, told GameSpot today, "We are still assessing the effects of the attack. At this time, we have no further details we can share regarding the theft [or] its impact on the release of Half-Life 2."
A Vivendi Universal Games spokesperson informed GameSpot that it would release a statement regarding the game later today.
The Half-Life 2 delay couldn't come at a worse time for VU Games. So far, 2003 has seen the publisher's relationship with Baldur's Gate publisher Interplay disintegrate, while its much-hyped Hulk game fizzled, just like its big-screen counterpart. Analysts cited Hulk's failure in the firm's $61 million operating loss in the company's two most recent quarters. However, the delay announcement today didn't greatly affect the stock price of VU Games' parent company, Vivendi Universal.
Steady stock prices are cold comfort to the millions of gamers who had hoped to help Gordon Freeman save the world--again--this holiday season.