You have to give it to Valve, the creators of Half-Life and the equally successful Half-Life 2 sequel, not only these guys develop great games, but their focus on detail and execution has really paid off.
It’s good being Valve, after all they have kept on capitalizing big on Counter Strike for the past few years despite of the fact it wasn’t their own creation. But hey, they did create the mod tools and put them out there for gamers to use and expand their game platform (at no cost). They later relaunched the original HL bundled with Counter Strike, since then other similar successful game bundles have followed up until now that they bring the Orange Box.
It’s a beautiful concept, really. Half-Life 2: Episode 2 took way too long to be finished, and Valve knew that. The episodic series momentum was gone for many, so now instead of launching a rather short good game for $30, they have packed it up with the long time coming vaporware-returning-from-the-dead Team Fortress 2, and guess what, it’s another great game. Not to be outdone with that, for the usual retail price of $50, they are giving away the original Half Life 2, the additional pack HL2 Lost Coast, HL2 Episode One, and a sneak peek next-generation FPS single player experience they call Portal.
The Orange Box was just released today through the Steam distribution system and should be available from retail stores as well.
Execution… have to give it to them. From the popularity observed during the Team Fortress 2 beta and the established base of Half Life fans, this looks to be yet another winner for Valve.