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.

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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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