14 years is a long time. Nearly two generations of consoles have come and gone. It’s also how much time Black Mesa, the mod turned full-blown remake of the original remake of Half-Life, has been in development. That said, the long road to proper release looks like it’s finally coming to a conclusion for developer Crowbar Collective. Black Mesa is set to leave early access and launch fully in March 2020.
Black Mesa’s upcoming exit from Steam Early Access was announced in a Steam developer blog post from Crowbar Collective Project Lead Adam Engels on February 24, 2020. In the post, Engels reflects on all of the time and effort that has gone into Black Mesa and thanks the Black Mesa team who made the game’s full launch on March 5, 2020 possible.
“Through luck, hard work, and maybe a bit of ignorance we didn’t shy away from our goal of bringing this game to completion,” Engels wrote. “We are proud of what we built. We think this upcoming 1.0 release is the best, most polished, and most fun version of the game yet. The anticipation and excitement around our project is beyond flattering.”
Though Engels was proud to say that the game was coming out of early access on Steam, he admitted that realistically, the game isn’t airtight and should never be expected to be, even as the team supports it following launch.
“Black Mesa is a video game, it is our video game, and it has its strengths, and its flaws,” Engels explained. “As Leonardo da Vinci said, ‘Art is never finished, only abandoned,’ and while we plan to fully support this game after 1.0 with bug fixes and more, it will never be a perfect game. This is not to downplay, or make excuses, but as the person who drafts most of these media posts, I think it is important to break away from the marketing and the ‘hype.’”
Even so, it would seem Black Mesa is arriving at a major milestone. After entering Steam Early Access in 2015, and a wild journey even before that, Crowbar Collective has every right to be happy. Their remake of the original Half-Life has been met with anticipation and love from the community, garnering an Overwhelmingly Positive status in user reviews. With this 1.0 launch, 14 years of development finally gets a bookend, even as the team prepares to support and update the game post-launch.
Black Mesa is still available in Early Access on Steam now and its 1.0 launch will be coming on March 5, 2020.