Humans are wired to react negatively to things that aren’t “business as usual”. Reaction to Valve’s announcement of Left 4 Dead 2 really was kind of expected, and there really is no reason why you shouldn’t question it. It’s a very odd move for a company that takes years to release titles and is known (with TF2) to have a strong long-lasting support for their games through free updates.
I myself will admit to confusion and a slight disappointment when I first heard about L4D2, but I cooled down after I thought about it. I started asking myself if my reaction would have been different if it were another developer. Then I began to think about the entertainment per dollar that the original game gave me, and suddenly the news didn’t seem so bad.
I totaled around 60 hours of gameplay for a $50 game (on PC). I don’t know about any of you, but that’s an exuberant amount of playtime. If you really didn’t play this much, then you either disliked the game, didn’t have the time, or you’re simply a lonely person. And if you disliked the game, then this news shouldn’t affect you at all. The game’s core mechanic and gameplay goals aren’t going to change with time.
If you did enjoy Left 4 Dead as much as I did, I don‘t see how you can‘t be looking at the outweighing positives. According to the E3 press releases, the game is going to ship with five campaigns, and is actually bringing a few noticeable changes.
But they haven’t even released Half-Life Episode: 3 and they‘re announcing L4D2? Cash-in!
Valve isn’t as small as you’d think. You’ve got to remember that Valve acquired Turtle Rock Studios and they’re the ones doing most of the development work for this game (as well as developing the original L4D). It’s the same ignorant complaint people had for Halo ODST. “Why isn’t Bungie making other games?” Well, they are. This game was handed down to a smaller more focused team.
A year is still too early for another a sequel.
Left 4 Dead was never a game about narrative. It relied on its gameplay for entertainment, and since that’s already established, there really only can be improvements and feature additions to the game. The reason we’re really upset, is because we’re so used to getting things as free updates from this company.
That isn’t to say you won’t be getting that. In a recent interview, rockpapershotgun.com asked Valve if there was a chance of new content coming to the original L4D.
“Yeah, there’s certainly a chance of that, and we’re not announcing any of the specifics of that today. Like I say, stay tuned, there’s more coming, there’s more information we’re going to talk about for the sequel, there’s more content coming for Left 4 Dead in the fairly near term, that I think will sort of add to this picture and hopefully change some people’s opinions of what’s happening right now.“
In that very same interview, Dough Lombardi revealed exactly how L4D2 came about, and reprised Gabe Newell‘s stance on “entertainment as a service“. Lombardi publicized that L4D2’s conception wasn’t a matter of them wanting to shove a sequel out before Christmas. The creation of L4D2 came from ideas being tossed out, and the appropriate ways to distribute them to the public. Smaller ideas better fitting for updates, are just that. Updates. The more grandiose ideas were/are being saved for the sequel as they’re obviously going to take time to develop.
Call me crazy, but that kinda’ seems totally fair to me.
But Team Fortress 2 gets all of these updates and it's a much older game. Why can't L4D2 just be a L4D update?
I hate to say, but Team Fortress 2 is a much simpler game to update. You get class updates sprinkled throughout the year, and a couple of game-type modes and maps added. That isn't the same as adding actual campaign maps, characters with thousands of lines of dialogue, or any other of the bigger updates being released.
Left 4 Dead isn't just a multiplayer versus game.
So you’re saying I should be excited and not skeptical?
I personally am. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have doubts. You should always have doubts, but sprinkle in some optimism; especially for a company that rarely seems to let its fans down. This obviously is something new, but we shouldn’t be so quick to jump down on Valve’s throat when we don’t know any of the specifics. This goes for any game.
I got my money’s worth from Left 4 Dead and then some. I’m perfectly fine with paying another $50 for an enhanced version with new content of a game I had a blast with. I loved the crap out of Fallout 3, and I’ve already paid $45 to expand my experience. This doesn’t seem much different.
I guess when you’re used to something, it hurts slightly more.
My name is Kyousuke Nanbu.
You’re just here to remind us that you hate Valve like you do in any post relating to them, aren’t you?