With the announcement of Left 4 Dead 2, the poorly titled sequel to last years zombie hit, a lot of people were made quite happy. It seems that you can't make everyone happy all the time, however, as over 6,000 people from the Steam forums have banded together to form the "L4D2 Boycott" group.

Admittedly, the usual Valve way of going about things is to support their games for free post-launch in spades, a la Team Fortress 2. Gabe Newell even said that such would be the order of business with Left 4 Dead in this interview with VideoGamer. However, the one add-on pack that has come out for the game took a LOOOOONG time in doing so, and it seems the reason for that delay was that the team was working on Left 4 Dead 2 the whole time.

The people who are members of the L4D2 Boycott group have a number of reasons listed on their Steam community page that detail why they're planning on "boycotting" the new game. The most valid complaints center around the fact that significant content for Left 4 Dead was promised, but never delivered, and that the community of the original game will get split. The other complaints are pretty lame and nitpicky ("I don't like the characters, I don't like the lighting, I don't like the music blahblahblah whine whine").

I ventured into the chat room for the L4D2 Boycott group for a little investigative reporting, a horrible place where most people chose to leave their caps lock on and say angry things. I introduced myself, asked a few questions, and found myself presenting the other side of the equation to a quite close-minded crew. "With the economy the way it is right now," I asked, "don't you think it'd be the proper thing to (as a fan) support the developer and buy their new game instead of just expecting another handout? It could be that they're having trouble sustaining that old model because of the present economic situation." This idea was immediately shunned by everyone in the chat. "They arent hurting for money," one user assured me. "They sold many many copies."

While it's true that Left 4 Dead has done well commercially, it's by no means the biggest-selling game on the block. Also, there hasn't been any new Valve games to come out since the release of Left 4 Dead. If it weren't for the release of Left 4 Dead 2, there wouldn't be a single Valve game to come out at all in 2009. In these current economic times, would it really be possible for Valve to survive by relying only on sales of old games?

These questions would have to be answered by Valve themselves, and I plan on getting some quotes from them in the near future. The situation definitely isn't as cut and dry like the L4D2 Boycott members would have you believe, and their could be a totally understandable reason that Valve is pumping out this sequel so quickly. We'll just have to wait and see.

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