Representatives from Half-Life 2
developer Valve have revealed that the company has won a summary judgment against Vivendi Universal Games, in a suit regarding cyber café game licensing.
As revealed earlier in the year
the dispute centered around claims that the Sierra's distribution of Valve’s games in cyber cafes violated the publishing contract between the companies. Sierra is the Vivendi publishing label, and former stand-alone publisher, that is currently used for Valve products.
Vivendi lawyers in turn claimed that the Steam online delivery service would undermine the publisher’s retail plans, and for some time it seemed likely that the release of Half-Life 2
would be delayed until after Christmas, while the two companies fought in court.
However, the game was released this month, and the U.S. Federal District Court in Seattle has now ruled that Vivendi is indeed not authorized to distribute Valve games through cyber cafes.
In addition to this, Valve is now allowed to recover copyright damage, which is likely to strain the relationship between the two companies even further. What effect this will have on Half-Life 3
, which is rumored to be appearing far quicker than the gap between Half-Life
and Half-Life 2
would suggest, is currently unknown.
Valve founder and CEO Gabe Newell would only comment: "We're happy the court has affirmed the meaning of our publishing contract. This is good news for Valve and its cyber café partners around the world. We continue to add value to our program and we look forward to working with cafés to get them signed up and offering Valve's latest games to their customers."