A release date for Half-Life 2 could be coming "soon" Valve's marketing director Doug Lombardi told Eurogamer last night.
Following confirmation yesterday from Valve chief Gabe Newell that a release candidate of the hugely-anticipated game had been delivered to publisher Vivendi-Universal on September 15th, Lombardi told Eurogamer "we don't have a release date from VU at this time, but we're hoping they will put out a release date soon".
Assuming Valve's internal testing crew has already ironed out the game's bugs, final VU quality assurance could be complete within a fortnight, putting estimates at the game's gold date at the middle of October.
With manufacturing and distribution normally taking two to three weeks to finalise, the game could be on track to ship in early November - possibly November 5th in the UK and the 2nd in the US. If VU leaves it any later it has the mouth-watering prospect of having an FPS duke-out with Halo, which ships the following week.
But at the time of going to press VU representatives were unavailable for comment, with retail sources in the UK claiming they have been already told not to expect Half-Life 2 to ship until next year.
But Lombardi poured cold water on these suggestions: "Nobody at VU has indicated to us that they are not shipping HL2 this year." And indeed, why would they miss the lucrative Christmas period for such a vital game?