Left 4 Dead 2 has become inextricably linked with moaning and boycotts ever since it was announced at E3. While some at Valve may have been surprised by the sudden backlash from self-professed fans, writer Chet Faliszek was reasonably well prepared.
"I once joked that we could put $20 in a box and charge $10 for it, and someone’s going to complain," says Faliszek. "And that’s just fine - that’s just the way it is.
"We never thought, 'We need to say that we’re going to keep updating Left 4 Dead,' because that was always our plan. Briefly before that [E3] we’d already posted on our blog about the updates that were coming. We didn’t think people would think, 'Oh wait, now they’re not going to do that stuff they talked about'. Yes, we are."
Faliszek adds that perhaps Valve could have made it more clear, but that people would probably have whined either way: "So, there’s that -- taking the leap to do that clearly. Honestly though, I don’t know if that would have made a difference. I think there are just a lot of people who didn’t listen to that."
Valve's biggest mistake was spoiling consumers. It's kind of humorous that, just because Valve didn't treat its customers like sh*t in the same way that many big publishers do, they are now receiving the most backlash just for acting like a game company. Perhaps the lesson here is to never be nice to people.
Either way, I'm still fairly certain that well over half those boycotters will be playing Left 4 Dead 2 when it releases, bending over and taking a nice big salty one just like always.