Valve president Gabe Newell says that the company will continue to support the first Left 4 Dead even as it works on the surprisingly announced sequel.
I call upon the power of Quick Recap: At last week's E3, Microsoft unexpectedly announced Left 4 Dead 2, to hit shelves almost a year to the day after Left 4 Dead's release last November. Rather than feeling enthusiastic over a sequel to their beloved game, many L4D fans declared their disappointment, saying that the year-long sequel time was uncharacteristic of Valve and that it was a slap in the face of people who had expected the company to support its games long after release as it usually does: 25,000 of them have stated that they will not be buying the game.
Okay, are you with me so far? Good.
Speaking with Kotaku, Valve president Gabe Newell vowed that the company would continue to support and update L4D1 even with the sequel on the horizon: "Doing a sequel in one year is new for Valve. But providing ongoing support for our titles after the initial launch isn't - it has been part of our philosophy since Half-Life was released ten and half years ago ... we see no reason to change that and will continue to support the over three million customers in the L4D community."
"Some in the community are concerned that the announcement of L4D2 implied a change in our plans for L4D1. We aren't changing our plans for L4D1," Newell elaborated. "In addition to the recently released Survival Pack, we are releasing authoring tools for Mod makers, community matchmaking, 4x4 matchmaking, and more new content during the coming months for L4D1 ... We also agree with our customers that there needs to be an interoperability plan for players of L4D1 and L4D2, as multiplayer games are driven by the cohesiveness of their community."
Meanwhile, Left 4 Dead writer Chet Faliszek said that, while he understood the immediate "gut reaction" from fans after the reveal, he was confident that as people learned more about the game, they would understand that "none of the additions [in Left 4 Dead 2] are trivial."
Of course, taking a slightly more cynical bent, in the wake of the false Dante's Inferno protest at E3... at least one journalist has wondered if the whole boycott might not be one gigantic viral marketing publicity stunt. Personally, I think it's unlikely - if it were a viral marketing scheme, the 25,000 fans who have signed the boycott are certainly genuine; any deception would be coming from the leaders. And those genuinely angry fans, if finding out that they were being used as part of a marketing ploy, would ... well, be genuinely angrier. That potential powderkeg would be waaaay more than anything resulting from the whole L4D2 fiasco as is.
Am I the only one who can't write L4D2 without thinking it sounds like a Star Wars droid?