Left 4 Dead 2 Boycotters...Flown To Valve To Play The Game

A couple of the internet's squeakiest wheel—the Left 4 Dead 2 boycotters—have been singled out by Valve for special attention. And not the "hobbling sticks to the legs" kind, either. The "fly to Valve HQ" kind.

Yes, in an attempt to talk their super-fans down from the ledge, Valve arranged for two of the group's users—Walking_Target and Agent of Chaos—to pop over to Valve headquarters and get some hands-on time with Left 4 Dead 2. See if they could be persuaded to write some nice things about the game.

So, did it work?

Bet your Gabe Newell it worked.

Walking_Target wrote that "things seemed balanced and 'tight' and did not feel like a rushed job", and that "we can say with confidence...that the quality of gameplay in Left 4 Dead 2 is not in question; and it will only get better".

As you could guess, the reaction of the nutcases to the traitor nutcases less than positive.

God, what a remarkable group of people.

L4D2 Boycott [Steam]


    Sounds like they got paid off.

    Haha, of course a couple of internet tough guys are gonna cave in person.

    Admittedly I was kinda annoyed when they announced L4D2 so early, but since I stopped playing 1 a long time ago 2 is pretty welcome now.

    People being rewarded for being whingers on the interwebs. What _has_ the world come to?

    Valve makes the boycott rot at the head by making them insta-traitors through an offer they couldn't refuse. Brilliant!

    So basically, if you're a dickhead with a (pointless) axe to grind, you get rewarded?

    Sorry Valve, you failed on this one.

    Don't give in to terrorists! Especially pimply, virgin terrorists.

      Analysis of Left 4 Dead/Left 4 Dead 2 Business Model


      Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of Valve, discusses current status of gaming transition:

      "One of the things that we're doing is we seem to be in a transition between games as a package product and games more of a service. So if you look at Team Fortress 2, one of things that's really helped grow the community is the continuous updates, where we release new maps, new character classes, new unlockables, new weapons. And we tell the stories about the characters, like the meet the sniper, or meet the sandwich. And that ongoing delivery of content really seems to grow the community.

      "So each time we've released one of those for Team Fortress 2 we've seen about a 20% increase in the number of people who are playing online. And that number is really important because it determines how many community created maps there are, how many servers are running, and so on. So we'll do the same thing with Left 4 Dead where we'll have the initial release and then we'll release more movies, more characters, more weapons, unlockables, achievements, because that's the way you continue to grow a community over time."


      Left 4 Dead Released

      Following an intense 10 million dollar+ campaign to market their newly developed game, the demo for this game was released for individuals who pre-ordered the game ($45) on November 6th, 2008. A full public release of the demo came on November 11th, 2008. One week later, On November 18th, 2008, Valve (in conjunction with EA as distributor), releases Left 4 Dead ($50).

      Initial Support Response and Patches

      Left 4 Dead garnered a large fan base, and in response to playing (testing), Valve released 3 smaller patches on November 25th, December 4th, and December 5th, 2008. Around one month later, on January 14th, 2009, Valve continued heavy support for the game with a large patch fixing many game bugs, glitches, and adding in several game elements, such as the Infected HUD, Special Infected changes, and Director-AI changes. On January 15th, January 23rd, and February 5th, 3 smaller updates were respectively released, manifesting Valve's continued glitch and bug support. Also, on February 5th, the new DLC (Downloadable Content) named "The Survivor Pack" was announced, as well the SDK (Source Development Kit) which would be available sometime in the Spring.

      Continued Support and Growing Unrest

      After February 5th, rumors circled that this DLC, "The Survivor Pack" would perhaps be charged by Valve for a small sum. Finally, with confirmation from Valve, this rumor died; however, rising unrest in response to the DLC, including those that deem the new content that which should have been released on the original release day, begin to raise their concern. Split views were taken on whether the "Survival" addition to the game would add anything substantial to the game at all.

      On March 11th, March 12th, March 13th, and March 25h, patches were released fixing a myriad of different issues. Continued speculation on the forthcoming DLC is discussed on the forums. The absence of added weapons, Special Infected, Survivors, and other elements leave some in doubt.

      The Survival Pack Released

      On April 21st, 2009, the DLC was released. Response was mixed, but overall the general desire to play the two added maps (Death Toll and Dead Air) in Versus Mode, and play the new Survival Mode, helped bring fan appreciation for the DLC in general. Subsequent patches released on April 23rd, April 27th, and April 30th, all fixed minor balance and game issues. A developer tool-kit was also released later, allowing creation of custom maps and campaigns.

      Following the release of the DLC, player issues with the game arose. The haphazard inclusion of the final two campaign maps into Versus Mode, and their difference in playability (i.e. invisible walls, many glitches, etc.) proved to some players that this DLC included material which should had been released with the original product. Comments on the Survival Mode also pointed out that many glitches and low replayability value hindered this new mode greatly. In all, the DLC was welcomed and eagerly anticipated, but afterward it seems the fan base become increasingly unwilling to settle for what they thought was only a completion of the game, instead of added material, especially with the numerous continuous glitches and bugs found within the game that Valve has still not fixed.

      Left 4 Dead 2 Announced

      At E3 2009, a trailer for the new game Left 4 Dead 2 was announced. Immediately, speculation grew over the release of a new game so soon after the first one. After the details of what this new game would have, distrust sprang up amongst players, citing that most of the new things implemented in the new game are things that they have wanted in the original for some time. While it remains unknown to what extent there will be further updates and DLC's for Left 4 Dead, it is questionable as to why Valve has decided to release another game in the franchise only one year after the first. It is questionable because they have added nothing new to the original since the first DLC, the engine and graphics seemed to not have changed at all in Left 4 Dead 2, and the new material implemented could just as easily have been a part of a DLC or DLC's for the original game.

      Analysis and Conclusion

      It seems the model Valve is aiming for, no doubt influenced by their distributor EA, and their agreements with Microsoft (concerning the Xbox version(s) of the games), is to release DLC-esque material as one loaded package as either stand-alone games or expansions. This would enable them to garner a wider profit, assuming much of the original fan base accepts the larger DLC-esque stand alone games, and purchases these new games. In conclusion, the model seems to water-down the support and added material Valve will be distributing to their games, and instead allowing two things to happen: 1. Create multiple stand alone (or expansion) games that revolve within the same franchise (i.e. Left 4 Dead), yet have unique characters, weapons, etc. And 2. Release a comprehensive SDK for the mod community to allow further expansion of each game released. Thus, in all, the multiple titles released will allow for the greatest profit, while also allowing for the greatest amount of material injected into the franchise, albiet, not in major forms of heavy DLC's, but entire games in themselves.


      If you understand the statements made in the beginning by Gabe Newell, "So we'll do the same thing with Left 4 Dead where we'll have the initial release and then we'll release more movies, more characters, more weapons, unlockables, achievements, because that's the way you continue to grow a community over time." it seems as though Valve has forgotten this philosophy of growing a community. We will see if Valve continues to support Left 4 Dead with further DLC's and other updates, it seems unlikely given their recent announcement of another game entirely. It would seem easier if Left 4 Dead 2 folded into the original game, simply combining all the elements of the first with the second. One reason is that it is hard to simply give up 4 characters that the fan base has played as and gotten close to within the game (however sentimental that sounds), and second, it would probably be worth some nominal fee (subjective, but probably a maximum of $15-20) to simply install Left 4 Dead 2 as a DLC which adds into the original game. If, however, the full price of this second game is $50, especially for PC players (considering pricing Xbox games is slightly harder), then the model for which Valve is directing this franchise seems to be for lots of game material, and for maximum profitability.

      People argue that obviously Valve will do this, they are a corporation looking to make a profit. But, these people assume their own argument in that when saying Valve would obviously do this, they assume Valve should do this. I disagree. I think that, yes, probably a lot of people will buy this second game; however, what happens to the people who just bought the game because of the free weekend? What happens to the people who bought the game originally and are still waiting for what Gabe had talked about before the original was even released? I feel as though, in some part, Valve has lost members of its fan base because of this decision. Whether new details emerge to bring light to this developing situation... only time will tell.

      Last edited by arghes : 08-31-2009 at 08:37 AM.

    "“we can say with confidence…that the quality of gameplay in Left 4 Dead 2 is not in question; and it will only get better”."

    And the world sleeps safely, knowing that some geek has given his approval to a game that he loved enough to protest about online.

    In other news, Microsoft have awarded PS3 fanboys all around the world with free 360 consoles, for their "dogged determination, politeness in debate, and insistence on fair-mindedness and balance.".

    Good on Valve for once again proving they really know how to befriend an audience instead of alienating them. Instead of releasing boring PR statements or jusdt ignoring the boycott, they give the boycotters a chance to play the actual game and make up their own mind. This is so simple and so genius and has raised my respect for Valve even more.

    I LOL'ed when I saw this. Well played Valve, well played.

    LOL does Gabe look like someone who gives a shit?

    Boycotters: Would you like some cheese with whine?

    Seriously just STFU. L4D already had has much more support than a lot of other games. Be grateful.

    Just shows how awesome valve are imo.

    So basically Left 4 Dead 2 Boycotters sold out. lol.

    BTW nice shirt stains.

    Well done valve. What a pair of wankers.

    Sounds like a lot of whiny people who don't have a clue. :(

    Valve already support thier games more than other companies so you should count yourself lucky.

    Making games is hard work. Just because it's out the door in less than a year does not mean Valve are cashing in. It means they put more money and resources to work to get it done quicker.

    If you got over 10 hours of play out of it, then I think you got your moneys worth.
    Stop complaining because you want something for nothing. Support the company that brought you something awesome.

    Note - a lot of game companies are going out of business, many of them have made lots of great games. It is a hard industry to be in, so STOP WHINING ABOUT HAVING TO SUPPORT THEM!

    argghh. These people make me mad.

    Good shout Valve, Left for Dead one was amazing. Got my 1000 and took me 6 months of mental training/playing like a bitch til 3am.

    Loved it all and ahven't played it in a while so number 2 is very welcome.

    I think some people really need to check out the boycott group before making assumptions. I totally agree with many of their points, that Valve promised content and updates to L4D that they never delivered on when L4D2 was announced. They have since followed up on some of these, but I wonder if they would have done anything if not for complaint. As for those saying 'oh but it got better support than some games' valve made promises and didn't keep them. Their company image is built on customers satisfied with a high level of support for games, if they don't deliver on this then they go against company image.

    I also think its too early for a sequel as not only will it split the fanbase, but it's more likely to be expansion style content. I have yet to see anything new in L4D2 that makes it a whole new game. A couple of different weapons and zombie types and some new maps. Nothing the modding scene couldn't have come up with in a couple of months.

    As for the actual comments made by the boycott group, all they said was that L4D will continue to get support and that the gameplay was good. I still don't think its worthy of a whole new game, only an expansion. But seeing as I got L4D1 on the cheap I'll probably grab L4D2. Lets just hope there isn't a L4D3 in 12 months time with 3 new guns and 2 new zombie types for another $100, or this game will become like those ridiculous sport series that have a new game every year.

    The boycotters are just whiny bitches. If they feel they haven't got their money's worth from L4D, then they should PLAY THE DAMN GAME SOME MORE. For gods sake, the way these people whine is like they're expecting a new campaign from Valve every second week.

    Valve is a damn company, and how much money do you think they earn from giving out free DLC?



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