The Half-Life 2 modification Garry's Mod is to be sold through Steam for $10, author Garry Newman's confirmed - with money split 50-50 between the mod team and distributor Valve.
Garry's Mod - or G-Mod - is a sandbox tool that allows you to manipulate objects within Half-Life 2's Source game engine, creating scenes and situations bound by the game's physics, either for fun or as part of some more purposeful diorama. It's grown to become one of the best-known amateur modifications to the game due to its versatility and creative potential.
However, in an interview with Steam Review, Garry admitted, "I was pretty much done with GMod. There was no reason for me to fix all the bugs (which required a whole lot of work). I planned to release a few bug/security fixes and leave it at that. This deal bought GMod back. There was a reason for me to work on it... the community wins that way."
According to Garry, the version known as 9.1 will become the initial paid release and will be supported by free updates to those who purchase it, while version 9.04 - the last prior to a rewrite - will become a free demo version. Players will need a Source Engine game (Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source or something else) to run it, says Garry.
The question being debated by fans is now whether moving to this model rather than accepting donations will be good or catastrophic for the mod's communities of followers. "PetitionOnline will probably explode," Garry told Steam Review, "but eventually I think everyone will see that this is a great move."