Face it, everytime you’re beginning to get ‘famous’ in a way or another, everyone starts to ask you what’s your opinion on everything. I’m not too fond on giving personal opinions in public, but hey… this is a blog after all. So, stop sending us e-mails, here’s our opinion.
With the recent announcement that Valve would be releasing Left 4 Dead 2 just one year after the first one, we’ve all been a bit shocked. Frankly, I was the first to shout a big ‘WTF’ and call it a prank when Geoffroy told me about it. We honestly thought that people at Valve had lost their mind, changed their business strategy and just realized there was tons of money to make there and that they just had to jump on the occasion, vomiting at the face of early adopters, all-time fans and modders just like a boomer would do.
Honestly, I felt ‘betrayed’ by this announce for a few reasons.
- First, Left 4 Dead was sold for a ridiculously high price for what it was. I mean, 50€ makes $70 for a quickly polished but unfinished mod where Team Fortress 2 cost a third of this price and is supported for free since its release. It seems like Valve forgot the reason why the TF2 model works so well (or so it seems), which has nearly quadrupled in size since it was launched (It started with 6 maps, it’s now on 24). They mention that 20 new weapons is too much for a free DLC, but that’s exactly what the TF2 team has done, and it wasn’t only re-skins.
- Second, there was only four campaigns with only two of them available in versus mode, that was pretty cheap for 70 bucks, even if I almost played it a million hours since it came out.
- Then, I thought about all the quality custom content that would be released a few months after, that same content WE are trying to add to the game but for which we’re still all waiting for an official support 7 months later (matchmaking anyone?).
- But more importantly, what about their constant preaching about what is a real customer service and how you should make games? Isn’t it Gabe Newell himself who declared this:
‘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.’
Gabe Newell on VideoGamer.com a few months ago.
Now, what’s the situation? We got this barely interesting survival mode that basically makes a whole game mode with the worst parts of the original game (personal opinion). Well, sure it was free, but that was just the right price for what it was. Then we got 7 achievements linked with it, which are totally impossible to unlock for me because the game keeps resetting my medals count. And we got the two missing campaigns in versus mode. Now where are the new campaigns? Weapons? Unlockables? Survivors? Zombies?
Most people feel betrayed because they already felt that they paid largely enough money for a game that was half-finished, or even because they payed for it while keeping in mind that there was going to be a TF2-like support behind the price, and that’s my case. Trying to gather people into a community is a good thing, but making them pay the full price again for something you said was going to be free while preventing everyone from making their own custom content is really shooting yourself in the foot. I looks like Valve is preventing people to make user-content hopping that more people would buy their own.
Now, let’s face it again, we’re all going to buy this Left 4 Dead 2 (well, I guess), but Valve’s reputation seems to be going down again and again after each of their recent moves. First there was this HUGE price increase with the stupid 1€ = $1 conversion on Steam (remember kids, it’s still 1€ = $1.41 today), then Left 4 Dead came out half-finished, and now they’re lying to customers luring them to buy their stuff. What’s next? Of course we’re not hating them, since we’re all day-one fans of their work, but somehow, it still feels wrong. As Doug Lombardi said on Rock Paper Shotgun, we should just trust them a little bit… but with this full price tag coming along with what seems like just a few minor changes to the game (honestly, who cares about adding a frying pan as a weapon), this is not going to be easy. Let’s just wait and see how it turns out.
P.S.: No one’s against a Left 4 Dead 2 by the way, as long as they finish the first one. On the other hand, everyone knows they’re not a charity company, but when you make promises, you should try to respect it.