Following more reports of retailers starting to sell boxed copies of Half-Life 2 ahead of its Tuesday release date, Valve Software has confirmed with regret that it will not be activating the software ahead of time - meaning that anybody who has been lucky enough to track down a boxed copy ahead of the release date will only be able to authenticate its contents over the Internet and start playing the game tomorrow.
"If you have purchased a copy of Half-Life 2, we are sorry you are still waiting to play," the Seattle-based developer told fans in a short statement released over the weekend. "This is not Valve's choice. [Publisher] Vivendi is insisting that the game has not yet been released, and has threatened that Valve would be in violation of its contract if we activate the Half-Life 2 Steam authentication servers at this time." Valve had previously said it hoped to activate the game ahead of November 16th if the street date was widely broken.
The developer then promised to update fans when the developer has more news, however it seems more or less certain now that it will be tomorrow before we get to play the game. Then again, having waited to play Half-Life 2 with various degrees of patience since March last year, what's another day, eh?