At E3 last week, Valve announced a sequel to their hugely popular co-op shooter video game “Left 4 Dead.” (Watch the awesome trailer here.) You’d think fans of the game would be pleased to hear about this. You’d be wrong, this being the Internet and all. Within days over 15,000 players had joined an online group to protest the announcement. These fans are worried that LFD2 will take away promised upgrades to the existing game and divide the player base. “Fans” are complaining that there’s going to be a sequel to a game they like… While I’m sympathetic to gamers’ concerns of being fleeced by game manufacturers, this is a bit much for me. By the time LFD2 comes out, the original game will have been out for over a year. While this is a quick turnaround for a sequel, getting a year’s worth of play out of a game is nothing to sneeze at. Valve has promised to continue providing support and enhancements for LFD, even while developing the sequel.
The real problem here is that Valve is becoming a victim of their own success. The company has consistently provided some of the best bargains and highest quality games in the industry. Their OTHER mega-popular online shooter, Team Fortress 2 has been showered with new features, maps and more since its release in 2007. TF2 was released as part of “The Orange Box,” a group of five games pacakged together for the price of one. The Orange Box is probably the greatest deal in the history of video games, since all five games have been universally praised as excellent.
With such a history of generosity, Valve’s customers have grown accustomed to getting everything for free or nearly so. Now even with very little information about LFD2 and no idea about the price, gamers are upset. As long as Valve continues to do what they have promised to do in supporting their game, all those gamers are just whining.