In a recent Reddit AMA, Black Mesa’s multiplayer level designer Joe R, revealed that the highly anticipated Xen levels for Black Mesa will be only coming to the paid version. Joe R claimed that it’s currently impossible to add these levels in the mod version of Black Mesa as Xen will be built on the new engine that powers Black Mesa Steam.
As Joe R wrote when a fan asked whether Xen will be eventually added to the free mod version:
“It’s impossible. In order to make Xen look the best it possibly can look, we need to upgrade the engine with new features. These new features will make it incompatible with the mod version.”
Joe R later shed more light in this:
“Since the paid version is on a newer engine, we aren’t able to back-update the mod version with some of the features of the paid version. That being said, we are looking into porting bug fixes onto the mod version that are found in the paid version.”
Black Mesa is an amazing Total Conversion for Half-Life 2, and is easily one of the mods that really deserve to be considered ‘paid’ mods. In fact, Black Mesa is the mod that Valve should use as an example for its ‘paid’ mods experiment.
The team behind it has done an incredible job, though it’s a bit disheartening that the Xen levels won’t come to its mod version.