Black Mesa, the Source-powered overhaul of the classic shooter Half-Life, is getting a full retail release on Steam.
Most Half-Life fans will recognize Black Mesa as a fan-made effort to bring the great Valve shooter into the modern-ish era by way of the Source engine. It's not quite finished but it's really good, and it's also completely free. But today the team announced that the version of the game planned for release on Steam will cost money - but not very much.
"We never developed Black Mesa with money in mind. Our team is made up of average, hardworking people, and no one joined the team to make money. For us, Black Mesa is purely a labor of love. We believe this philosophy has significantly contributed to the overall quality and feel of the game," the project leader wrote on the Black Mesa forums. "Our decision to sell Black Mesa rests on two key points. One is we believe we can make the game even better by having full access to the Source engine. This lets us tackle and fix limitations instead of working around them. The second is because frankly, our team could really use the financial help."
The free edition of Black Mesa will remain available, and a brand new version of the freebie is actually slated to come out shortly after the paid release hits Steam. "Purchasing the Steam version of Black Mesa is more about supporting the team and our efforts than anything else," the project leader wrote. "However, the Steam version will include features that the free version simply cannot have. We will be paying careful attention to feedback, and you'll have a very real say in how the final game turns out."
The bad news is Xen, the final segment of Half-Life that's absent from Black Mesa, won't be added anytime soon. The team has spent the past year porting the game to a new engine in anticipation of the Steam release, forcing Xen to the back burner.
Source: Black Mesa