Half-Life 2 has officially gone gold - in other words, been approved for manufacture - and will be released around the world on November 16th, publisher Vivendi-Universal Games has announced today, hopefully bringing us to the concluding chapter in the game's epic pre-release saga.
Earlier this month it looked like the much delayed game had been set back again after the publisher's legal wrangling with developer Valve Software took a turn for the worse. But now it seems that for whatever reason - be it the publisher's need for a cast-iron Christmas success, a resolution of their differences, or something else entirely - the legal issue will not stand between eager gamers and their prize.
The worldwide release will see localised versions of the first-person shooter shipping in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, traditional and simplified Chinese, Korean, Thai and Japanese simultaneously. The game will also have a subtitle option for the hard of hearing.
And while developer Valve Software has yet to explicitly confirm it, the assumption is that Half-Life 2 will be made available to users of the developer's content service Steam - which has been offering pre-order bundles since last week - on the same day that the game is available at retail.
Half-Life 2 has recently reviewed in a number of PC print magazines and has picked up scores generally in excess of 95 per cent - and in many cases has been heralded as the finest example of the first-person shooter since the original Valve Software title.