In a word, yes… someone did this over a year ago when the world saw a mod for Half-Life 2 called Black Mesa. Did you forget it? You may have, but it was a huge step in the direction everyone had expected from Valve when they showed us that Half Life 1 would be remade with the Source engine. What we got from Valve was the same old content with little updates that was modified to work with the new engine.
What we wanted, however, Black Mesa gave us as a free mod for Half-Life 2…
I bet that brought back a bit of interest, didn’t it? Appearantly, Valve felt the same way because while previously it was announced this mod was coming to Steam, it was announced a few days ago, this is going to be a paid version. According to their own forum entry about this, the team never planned on making this game anything but free, but made the choice to go this route for better support and control of Source and because, frankly they found themselves needing the financial support.
Honestly, Im not entirely sure how I feel about this. On the one hand this is a mod for Half Life 2, and seeing mods go on to be stand-alone games is nothing new to us (free or paid), but I think the biggest reason I am uncertain is the same reason I haven't tried it yet…. I know the last level is missing.
The group said the paid version will be out very soon and for a low price, but when and for how much has not yet been determined. Still, I think I’m personally more interested in the release date of Xen to finish the game then I am in it’s launch on Steam, personally. For now, I'm taking a wait and see approach, but there is no denying that if these guys can get a more flexible grip on the engine by making this mod a paid for a stand alone game, then this may be the definitive version of the original Half Life instead of the one released by Valve.
We will be watching.