Last week, I wrote an article on some Valve fans' (if "fans" is even the word) negative reactions to the announcement of Left 4 Dead 2, viewable here. In research for the article, I visited the chat room of the "L4D2 Boycott Group," which had (at that time) around 6,000 members. In the article, I made my personal opinion clear on the subject, as I don't think it's a serious crime for a company to charge for content that they spent good money and time on to create.
At the end of my editorial, I promised to get some quotes from Valve about the subject in order to give them a chance to explain the situation. As it turns out, Arstechnica has saved me a bit of work by doing that themselves. You should really click that link and read that article to get all your questions answered, but there are several important things that Valve's own Chet Faliszek addressed. The biggest one is that it would NOT be possible to add the content from Left 4 Dead 2 as DLC for the original game. It seems that Gabe Newell spoke a bit out of turn when he claimed that tons of post-release content would be coming to the original Left 4 Dead in his interview with VideoGamer.
So here's what I'm taking away from that Arstechnica article: Like the Valve guy said, if you change one thing it effects all the others, so even just a small thing like the update to the zombie modeling would be a massive update, and they had tons of things like that to deal with, so a full-blown sequel was the resolution they found themselves looking at. They MAYBE could've added in the new campaigns, but you can forget about the changes to the A.I. director, the zombie modeling, and other in-engine changes.
The Arstechnica interview solidified my original defensive position of Valve. The now 18,000 members of the L4D2 Boycott group need to chill out and reevaluate the situation. Valve is not being "greedy," they're not turning into EA, and they never "promised" free content with the original game. Gabe Newell said they'd work on new content, and they did (albeit not very quickly) but the situation changed. The mod community will remain untouched, and the original game will continue to be updated.
I'm trying to think of a way to correctly articulate WHY they don't owe you free crap, but I know that some delightful hooligans will just point back to that interview with Gabe Newell 6 months before the original game was released. Oh "he promised! He promised, you say." Valve is a COMPANY, not the kid next door. They're a business. Yes, they're are out to get your money, and if anything can be taken from their past practices, they're doing the best they can to make all their customers happy while they do it. Don't ever expect a BUSINESS to go into the red for you just because you've been "such a loyal fan." That's a position based in something other than reality.
So listen to me, angry Valve "fans": drop the righteous anger act. If you choose to pay for Left 4 Dead 2, you will be getting a full game, and if you only got 6 hours out of the first game you clearly missed the point. No, I am not "teh biased," I just looked at the facts and took the only reasonable side in this pointless debate. Chill out guys, and support Valve when they release the sequel; they're a great company and you're not their fans if you refuse to support them because you think you deserve everything for free.
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