L4D Sequel Met With Much More Than Indifference

Whatever your view is of these kinds of gestures - internet boycotts, petitions and such - Left 4 Dead might be the first critically acclaimed franchise whose announcement of a sequel was answered by nearly 10,000 fans pledging not to buy it.

Since the game was unveiled June 1 at E3, a Steam group called L4D Boycott (NO-L4D2) has assembled 9,742 members as of Saturday, and seems to be growing. Far from being enthused about a new game, they have nine complaints, most of which concern L4D2 obviating the need for, and undermining the value of, L4D1 - and just a year after the fact:

• Significant content for L4D1 was promised, and never delivered • Valve put little faith in L4D1 since they almost certainly started working on L4D2 right after release • The fact that L4D2 is nearly identical to L4D1 will decimate the community for both games • The announced date is not nearly enough time to polish content or make significant gameplay changes • The new character designs seem bland and unappealing so far • L4D2 is too bright to fit in with L4D1's visual aesthetic • The fiddle-based horde music is extremely disliked, though the differently orchestrated music is otherwise welcome • L4D2's release will result in a drop in quality and frequency for L4D1 content, even compared to before • The community has lost faith in Valve's former reputation for commitment to their games post-release

There are accusations and recriminations that Valve forum posts referencing the boycott have resulted in sanctions, removals, and banishments (or "points" accrued toward such action.) And you can tell a movement has hit its stride when it gets a Hitler-Downfall Meme video (which is, all things considered, kind of funny. Especially the bit about achievements).

When L4D2 was announced at E3, my first thoughts held cheap my copy of the first game. Even after reading McWhertor's extended impressions, I'm not really seeing how this sequel doesn't do something a series of DLC packs couldn't also accomplish. Maybe I'm not a game developer; so are a supermajority of L4D players, and so Valve will have to answer these questions right up to its release date, and then some.

For in all its justifications of L4D2, Valve is going to be faced with its own history regarding Team Fortress 2, one of the standard-bearers for how DLC can help evolve a game and sustain fans well after its release. Even if TF2 began as (and its updates remain exclusive to) a PC game, argumentatively, everyone will ask why the same thing can't be done with L4D, or at least its PC version.

That's about as down-the-middle as I can play it, because I do respect Valve's perfect right to do what it wishes with its own IP, and anyone in the industry would agree the success of L4D fairly demands a sequel. But doing it so soon, and in this form and context, one of the most respected and evangelized brands in gaming risks taking a dent to its reputation. The game we see in November must be night-and-day different from the original, and I don't mean new maps set in the New Orleans sunshine.


Comments

    if u dont wanna buy the game....dont buy it, dont shout it out to the world

      why dont shout?

    I can certainly understand their feelings, at first I was inclined to think that way too, but gradually I came to the conclusion that out of all the game development studios in the world, Valve have given me more than my money's worth again and again ever since the first Half-Life.

    As promised, Valve did provide additional content for L4D, their Survival mode. Whilst this may not have been a brand new campaign as some people had hoped, they did provide this content for free, despite the fact that most other developers would charge money for this content (Capcom for example, who charged for Resident Evil 5's versus mode).

    Furthermore, when I consider how many hours of play I've sunk into L4D compared to many other full-priced titles, its apparent that I've gotten great value for my money, and there's no good reason I can't play for many months more up until the release of L4D2 come November.

    The way I see it, with the amount of new content coming in L4D2, even with the more-or-less identical gameplay, it makes the most sense to make it into a whole new game to cover the development costs of that content. If anybody deserves more money for their hard work, it's Valve. You don't see anyone crucifying Activision for releasing Call of Duty sequels one year after another do you?

    Can we start a group that boycots L4D2 because we all desperately need Half-Life 2: Episode 3 instead? Seriously! I NEED a closure on that story.

      What upset me about this announcement is that it means HL2:Ep3 is even more of a wait :(

    I understand both sides of the fence. I love Left 4 Dead so a sequel (which would be bigger) or DLC (smaller in size usually and multiple of them to match the size of a normal retail game but also released apart) is welcomed IMO.

    I think people nowadays think games should and have to be in development for minimum 2 years. Valve's engine is OBVIOUSLY one they created and understand quite well so it wouldn't take long to develop a game using it for them.

    I think we are also forgetting that sequels (Final Fantasy anyone) were released a year apart back in the day and they are critically acclaimed and sold really well & that franchise still has a large fan base.

    Left 4 Dead IS NOT Half-Life - so that doesn't mean it has to sit through the development time Half-Life goes through.

    I think that all these boycotters as missing the fact that this is a GAME by VALVE.

    Valve make excellent games!
    I read somewhere (might have been this site, I don't remember) that this is the game they wanted to make from Left 4 Dead, which is why they started work on it straight away.

    I seriously don't care that it's TOO SOON OMG. I want more games from Valve. I'm still playing TF2, and sure, HL2:Episode3 would be nice.
    But this is a GAME FROM VALVE. It's practically guaranteed success.

    And also, being Valve, I'm sure they're used to having everything they do annoy fans somehow.

    Um. Left 4 Dead but better? They've got my money already.

    Now I think of it, 25% off for current owners of Left 4 Dead would severely decrease the butthurt.

    Well i think these guys have a point. Perhaps L4D2 should actualy be downloadable content for L4D1, or maybe a purchasable expansion pack so it doesnt leave L4D.. left for dead.

    I am a boycotter and im here to say were doing this because we believe l4d2 should not exist and now im here to tell u were at the 19k mark and r still growing closer to the 20k milestone.

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