I never thought I'd follow up a segment on why the French suck with one on why one of my favorite games of all-time sucks, but life is funny that way. I found this post explaining why the Half-Life 2 Orange Box deserves a boycott and it really summed up how I was feeling.
Sadly, this is an utterly lost battle because the game is so hugely popular (and rightfully so) but the decision to cancel the Half-Life 2 Black Box flies in the face of every loyal PC gamer that has been buying these games at launch.
Should those people be forced to pay for Half Life 2 and Half Life 2: Episode One all over again just to get their hands on Half Life 2: Episode Two, Portals and the new version of Team Fortress? Valve says, "No! Of course not!"
In fact, many say that the "Black Box" was only canceled to avoid consumer confusion but PC gamers who already own the first two titles don't have to pay $50 for the "Orange Box". Instead they can spend $29.95 and get episode 2 by itself.
Oh, did you want Portals also? That's only $19.95!
The new version of Team Fortress? A measley $29.95
In fact, you can get everything that the Black Box was going to contain for the low, low price of only $79.85 — That's right, if you already paid full-price for two of the five games in the Orange Box and don't feel like paying for them all over again, you can buy the three items you don't have for only $30 more than the complete five-item set.
The Black Box was supposed to Contain Episode Two, Team Fortress and Portals for $29.95 — not $49.95 and certainly not $79.85 — Everyone else is getting a terrific deal with the Orange Box as the loyal PC gamers who picked up the first two games immediately on release can attest, but those loyal gamers — the ones who have kept Valve financially afloat while they spent all this time getting the new stuff ready, are being royally shafted.
We can only hope that this was an accidental oversight that will be corrected by Valve, because at the moment it looks like they are too busy dipping their wallets into the console gaming market — which would be fine if it wasn't done at the expense of the loyal customer base that has kept them alive through their long development periods.