The now closed Left 4 Dead 2 boycott, which at the time of writing boasts 35,521 members, was like a “fight inside the family”, Valve has claimed.
The high-profile boycott first emerged following the game’s official reveal at July’s E3 game show. Its manifesto claims: “The announced content of Left 4 Dead 2 does not warrant a stand-alone, full-priced sequel and should instead become updates (free or otherwise) for Left 4 Dead.”
Reflecting on the boycott to VideoGamer.com in a recent interview, Valve writer Chet Faliszek said the press “wanted to make it an us versus them”.
“But it was more like a fight inside the family,” he said. “We have 3.5 million people playing Left 4 Dead 1. 40,000 said something. They are passionate about our games. They play our games. So we always take the feedback seriously, because we’re gamers as well, and these are people who are playing our games and will probably play our games with us. So we always want to make sure we’re listening and understanding the issues.”
Did the boycott hurt more than it would otherwise?
“There’s a little of that,” said Faliszek. “But honestly, that’s fair, because I don’t expect everyone to know the whole history of Valve. I don’t expect anyone to know who I am. I don’t expect anyone to know who Gabe is. I don’t expect them to have played Half Life. That would be arrogant to think that people know us that well.
“It was just that knowledge though of, okay, but you’ve played Left 4 Dead, you’re happy about that, let’s keep talking about that and going with that. We play it with you. It’ll be okay.”
With Left 4 Dead 2 due out on Xbox 360 and PC on Friday, Faliszek said “people are starting to understand now and understand what we were saying then”.
“It’s hard to express plans and designs that aren’t done to the point where you can show them yet. Even at E3, we had all this stuff, but we knew all these things that were going to be changed from what we were showing there. A good example is Rochelle. She’s drastically changed in her look from E3 to release.
“There are always refinements we always do, and we always knew we were going to have all this. But you’ve got to show the game at some point, and that’s what we did. We knew when we were first showing it that it was good and that we would be at this place now and be happy.”
Check out all the latest screens, trailers and previews at our Left 4 Dead 2 game page.