In an effort to give some very squeaky wheels some much-needed grease, Valve has flown two prominent Left 4 Dead 2 boycott leaders out to their headquarters to make them eat their words.
Despite Valve's attempts to placate the angry Left 4 Dead 2 boycotters by reiterating their intentions to continue supporting the first L4D, many remain unconvinced. "Facta Non Verba," they claim: Actions speak louder than words. Even actions like the upcoming Crash Course campaign aren't enough, either, which is why it looks like Valve has pulled out the big guns: The company has flown two prominent L4D2 detractors - Walking_Target and Agent of Chaos - out to its Bellevue, Washington HQ.
Oh sure, it's easy to imagine that sentence reading something like "has flown two prominent L4D2 detractors out to its headquarters, whereupon Gabe Newell met them at the door with a baseball bat and crowbar and a strong loathing for intact kneecaps," but no, that wasn't actually what happened. In fact, it seems to have been quite the opposite: The two were given the opportunity to meet with and question the L4D2 team in person, and to get their hands on the game and check it out for themselves.
The two seem reassured that Valve will not be dropping support for the first game. Their report says that 4v4 matchmaking will hit before L4D2 does, that Crash Course will be slightly delayed to "soon," and that the staff wasn't finished with the original four Survivors. But what about L4D2?
"[T]hings seemed balanced and 'tight' and did not feel like a rushed job. While we were visiting their offices we personally witnessed what can only be called a small army of artists, coders, mappers hard at work, which explains the rapid transformations in artwork that we've all seen," wrote Walking_Target.
"What we can say with confidence is that the quality of gameplay in Left 4 Dead 2 is not in question; and it will only get better (from what we understand, almost daily testing of game builds by most of the staff at Valve)."
The two boycott leaders may be on their way to becoming convinced, but does that same opinion trickle down to the rest of the detractors? Most certainly not: "As far as this advertisement for L4D 2 is concerned, this just disgusts me. This group is nothing but a shill and has lost every ounce of credibility," posted Steam user Keeshin (and that would be one of the more polite accusations, too).
Mr. Newell? I think it's time to break out the crowbar for the next ones. (And to, uh ... wash your shirt.)