Wednesday, October 29, 2003

LiVinGHeLL exisits!!!! He's at some non-descript university in Michigan:

Hrmmm....where have I been these last several months
Ahhhh....we're white and proud of it

Friday, October 10, 2003

Well...let's see...the last two weeks have been interesting...most gamers know that Valve LLC, the company who created Half-Life and owns Counter Strike and Day of Defeat was broken into by a malicious hacker who apparently made off with some portion of the source code for Valve's next big release, Half-Life 2. In the game world this is analogous to the Russkies stealing the plans for the Atomic Bomb before the bomb itself was finished.

It's a big deal...hundreds of thousands...perhaps millions of words have been written on the subject and the ramifications for Valve and the future of the Half-life franchise are in flux. It's not so much that it happened, it's not so much that some parts of the games source code are now exposed to hackers and's two things:

1) That some of the source code contained hooks to Valves on-line broadband content delivery system Steam. Those hooks could possibly be exploited by nefarious folks trying to steal credit card information. Just the possibility of that fact could drive hundreds of thousands of potential customers away from using Steam (for the doubters out there...Valve has sold literally a million copies of games based on the Half-Life engine so the potential to reach that many w/Steam is a distinct possibility)

2) The licensing of the Source Engine. How many gaming companies will spend money on an engine that could now be compromised? There is only one other company outside of Valve today using the source engine to produce a game but I'm sure there are others waiting in the wings (much like how the Quake engine was sold). The loss of potential revenue here cannot be calculated. If Valve rushes to clean up the violated code and reassures those customers in the wings that all is OK it might not have great impact. But if Valve spends too much time cleaning up the code they'll get behind the power curve of developing technologies and could find this engine outdated very quickly.

This is very much a "Big Deal". The economic future of Valve was tied to Half-life 2 and Steam...and now both may be compromised. I wish them the best and hopefully the perps will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.