UPDATED: Left 4 Dead gamers angry at Valve for sequel

When Microsoft announced during their presentation that a sequel would be coming to the ever popular online shooter Left 4 Dead many, including yours truly, were quite surprised. Not because we didn't expect to see to a sequel coming, especially when the title has sold over 2.5 million retail copies alone, but because the game is barely seven months old.

Valve has and thrives on an amazing reputation of supporting their games for months after its release, in some cases even years (they still update and patch Counter Strike 1.6), and they are also known for taking their sweet time developing games as well, so why the release so early?

Valve's Chet Valiszek, his explaination, thought weirdly worded, was simple, they were not happy with the quality of the title (little confusing considering it carry's a Metacritic rating of 89): " "Left 4 Dead 1, like I said, had some of those fundamental things that we wanted to change about it, like the changes to the director, which took really long periods of time and a really long period of testing," he said. "And so, those changes fell in line with the long period of time it takes to create characters and everything else. That's why we're doing Left 4 Dead 2, right?"

He then went on to promise that this game was to be supported for a long time (like all Valve games are right?) with patches and downloadable content, but this is exactly where the frustration of so many stem from, they said the exact same thing for the title before it. Currently, in the "Left 4 Dead 2 Boycott" steam community group, lies just under 4000 members and growing by the minute. Their reasons for their anger?

    * 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

While some quarrels maybe seem a bit far fetched, they do raise some interesting concerns. One of their most vocal arguments is that it is just a money grab, and it is hard not to think otherwise. Valve, a company on strives on their reputation to its loyalty to its gamers, has yet to comment on the situation.

UPDATE: Looks like Valve has responded to the criticism. Valve's Chet Faliszek is asking that gamers give them a fair shake and compares this situation to the Orange Box situation, where gamers were forced to purchase a copy of Half Life 2 again and asks if that was a rip off (it was, what am I suppose to do with two copies of Half Life 2?). He asks gamers to read all of the information and at least play the game before posting criticism on the forums, and reassures them that most, if not all, posts on the forums are read by Valve. The boycott group now houses more then 22000 people now.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Apple plans to open data center in North Carolina

Next Story

Microsoft retail store revealed [Pictures]

48 Comments

View more comments

I just wish they would concentrate on getting Episode 3 out the door first and why can't they incorporate all these new improvements into L4D1? Bring us TF2-like post-release support please.

I'm more angry about the fact that L4D1 wasn't that worthy of a sequel to begin with, and we still don't have HL2:E3 yet. Seriously, Episode 3 should have been released twice over by now. It's becoming ridiculous.

spacer said,
I'm more angry about the fact that L4D1 wasn't that worthy of a sequel to begin with, and we still don't have HL2:E3 yet. Seriously, Episode 3 should have been released twice over by now. It's becoming ridiculous.

I gave up on the Episodes awhile ago. Bought the first and haven't bothered with the second.

Stop moaning and grow up, its not a big deal.

Just because Valve is good at what it does, just because once they don't, doesn't give the right to start moaning at them when all other companies don't ALL THE TIME.

Seriously..

I feel like I just participated in a kind of expensive beta-testing. Oh well, I guess it will just make for a better game experience.

m-p{3} said,
I feel like I just participated in a kind of expensive beta-testing. Oh well, I guess it will just make for a better game experience.

For the love of god, why? Every time something gets upgraded or sequeled, you feel like you were previously beta-testing it? Seriously?

Kirkburn said,
For the love of god, why? Every time something gets upgraded or sequeled, you feel like you were previously beta-testing it? Seriously?

It's more about the lying and failed promise of new content, rather than even just begin faithful to valve and hoping, we were TOLD we were gonna get new content.
Some bug fixes, making the tank swing hit all 4 survivors, adding two maps into the game that already existed, and adding a timer event script doesn't seem like "more machine guns, more levels, more survivors, a storyline, or even more infected". Seems to me the promise is coming in a $50 package.
Which is the ONLY reason I'm ticked, L4d1 is still a good game, but it's not what I thought it was gonna be.

SierraSonic said,
It's more about the lying and failed promise of new content, rather than even just begin faithful to valve and hoping, we were TOLD we were gonna get new content.
Some bug fixes, making the tank swing hit all 4 survivors, adding two maps into the game that already existed, and adding a timer event script doesn't seem like "more machine guns, more levels, more survivors, a storyline, or even more infected". Seems to me the promise is coming in a $50 package.
Which is the ONLY reason I'm ticked, L4d1 is still a good game, but it's not what I thought it was gonna be.


Right on! They released a game they knew would have to be tested and repaired WHILE we were playing- I don't count these "updates" as new content- as I see it, the only thing they've delivered on within the promises they made is the timer script. Kirkburn, I've played plenty of online games, and while I'm happy Valve did a lot of quality control post-release, this entire situation is the closest I've seen to a $50 beta test. I'll take Blizzard Entertainment's 12 years to Valve's 12 months any day. As with many of the other self-respecting computer gamers out there will also surely do, I won't be purchasing the new title unless I get a discount. Actually, I think I'll just save my money for Blizzard's newest... I've yet to have a dissatisfied moment whilst playing theirs over the past 8 years. Unlike any shooter I've so far purchased, L4D will only remain as a last-resort game for when I only want to jump off a cliff or pretend to accidentally shoot people in the back the entire round.

Kirkburn said,
So, rather than people calling me a fanboy for defending Valve's actions, I point ya'll towards http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/06/04...s-a-little-bit/

From reading that link, it reads like this new stuff could of been shipped as an expansion to the original game (to which I think people would be fine with) instead of a completely new game.

An expansion would also have gotten around the whole problem of "splitting the community" as it would be one game, with the extra stuff there if people wanted it.

The end of the day my beef is with all the options available for providing this new content (paid DLC, an expansion or new game) valve have chosen the one which is most harmful to the current fans. (Although they are a company after all and this way does provide the maximum profit)

The Dark Wanderer said,
From reading that link, it reads like this new stuff could of been shipped as an expansion to the original game (to which I think people would be fine with) instead of a completely new game.

An expansion would also have gotten around the whole problem of "splitting the community" as it would be one game, with the extra stuff there if people wanted it.

The end of the day my beef is with all the options available for providing this new content (paid DLC, an expansion or new game) valve have chosen the one which is most harmful to the current fans. (Although they are a company after all and this way does provide the maximum profit)


As far as I know, L4D1 and 2 will interact. Expansions aren't usually larger than the original game, though.

Guess I should be happy I bought it during their last sale for half of the initial price. I'll be very interested in seeing how this shapes up in the next few months.

Well i've had 30+ hours out of L4D and totally enjoyed it. It could do with a few more campaigns though, i would say 6 to 8 would be ideal.

I look forward to the next one even though the characters in it look crap!

They wana make more money, can you blame them? No one is forcing you to buy the sequel. We'll see how many are true to your word when it comes out!, if it is a success then obviously people wanted it!

I think that some game developers could adopt Blizzard's WoW developing style. They release game content and engine v1.x. After some time they release extra content and new engine v2.x which can play old content too (content can be upgraded with little patch/converter if needed). If Valve adopted that approach then you could play L4D1 content (maps, characters, video, ...) with new shiny L4D2 engine. Everybody would be happy.

Patchou said,
There is a critical difference though: you pay Blizzard every month for this.

If game content have some standard from the start and in-game video is done by using engine too (means you don't need to re-render video files) then cost of upgrade of content (recycling) is much cheaper and faster than creating new one. For example Valve could re-sell original HL1 content with HL2 engine to new generation of gamers (again and again). In long run this developing strategy could save a lot of money and make a lot of money.

Its very strange then things like these comes not from Valve (which have access to all internal resources and could make it better and faster):

http://www.gametrailers.com/user-movie/hal...with-hl2/148848

it is unlike valve to not offer more support for the game as they promised , but i have had 100+ hours of fun from a truly great game so i cant complain and look forward to the next one.

Also i looked at a few of the instigators of the complaints on the forums , some of them has over 200+ hours off gamer time . How can anyone complain at 200+ hours for �30 , some people need to get real.

edit - like to dd for those saying there is no story they are wrong . I like the way the story is told through titbits left throughout the levels . People on the forums have already posted silly amounts of details about the story and how the 4 campaigns link together.

Last time I checked, if a game is so well "prepared", then it means you shouldn't have to worry too much for support except for an occasional patch to support new Windows versions or graphic card maybe. Since when is it a crime for a company to move on to itx next project after it's done with one? I never expected Lucas Arts to keep on "supporting" Monkey Island and Sam & Max after it was released.

The main issue here may be gamers who became so used to half-finished games with 2 years of "fix the holes" updates who can't imagine buying a game anymore knowing what you see is what you get.

Left 4 Dead was released unfinished and buggy as hell. They fixed some things and added in the rest of the game later. It's still buggy and the extra content they said was going to be released was never released.

Ok. If that's true, then why did people buy thinking it will just be better later? seems very flawed logic to me. Also, from what I understand, people are angry because "they are also known for taking their sweet time developing games as well". They either are, and the game is fine as is, or they're not, and you shouldn't have bought the game in the first place.

I bought Mario Galaxy on Wii, it played perfectly fine from start to finish and I never assumed Nintendo would start releasing updates for it.

People are trying to compare Left 4 Dead to a single-player experience. It's not. It's built around multi-player, which as we all know needs constant "maintenence" and life injected into it. I've enjoyed L4D and am not bothered by L4D2 but I can 100% see the other side of the argument. Valve continues to (or did until recently) support TF2 by adding maps, characters, etc.

Commenting is disabled on this article.