I Hate Sequels

October 14th, 2009 - Isaiah

Left 4 Dead was a ground breaking achievement in the co-op horror survival genre. Successfully fusing together some of the best elements of both single player and multiplayer games together. Creating one fantastic experience that was only dampened by the games lack of content, many bugs, and overpriced tag upon release.

However, most everyone who bought the game believed that a ton more content and fixes would be added to the game through free updates, justifying the purchase price. There was no reason to think otherwise. Valve had always been known for supporting their games far past the release date. Team Fortress 2 had become a prime example of this.

Gabe Newell even confirmed this in an interview with videogamer.com saying “So we’ll do the same thing with Left 4 Dead where we’ll have the initial release and then we’ll release more movies, more characters, more weapons, unlockables, achievements, because that’s the way you continue to grow a community over time.”

It was also obvious that there where a lot of problems that Valve needed to address in the game. Like matchmaking, server mods, and exploits just to name a very few. So it is a bit of an understatement to say we were all shocked when Valve revealed the news that a sequel was coming out only one year after the original’s release, and before all the current problems with L4D where even fixed. This made a lot of people feel greatly betrayed.

Even if you waited like me to buy the game when it was on sale. Which apparently most everyone did. You still know that a sequel so soon after, will make the original obsolete, and split the community up. It also feels extremely dishonest to me, to have discount sale events that are not (like with TF2) designed to breathe new life into a game, but instead (like with L4D) designed to suck what money left you can get out of a dieing product.

I love Left 4 Dead, but like with TF2, all the problems that exist in the game ruin the experience for me. Why would I want to pay for a new one that will force me to stop playing just like the others? I don’t know what is worse, a game that is terrible from the start, or a great one that gets butchered or abandoned.

2 Responses

  1. Jake M Says:

    I thought about this for a while, and I realized this. When valve released L4D, they expected it to be like CS:S or the Orange Box. The games would explode and be super-popular on the PC, and the xbox titles would sell a few copies then die off.

    But then L4D took off on the 360. Talk to any 360 gamer, and L4D will be in their top 5 games. Of course, L4D also became huge on the PC market, but most of valve’s income and community was from the 360 market.

    That left valve with a problem. To date, almost none of the TF2 DLC has been released on the 360 (correct me if I’m wrong, I thought they released a pack or two, but definitely not all of it) And, they ran into the wall that with any DLC they release, microsoft forces them to charge for it.

    So Valve had to choose between sticking with their smaller PC market and releasing regular DLC, like TF2, and jipping their larger 360 market, or going with the road 360 players are more accustomed to, and release a sequel a year later.

    In short, this move makes a lot more sense from the Console side of the market than the PC side of the market, and I don’t think Valve foresaw how huge L4D would be in the Console market.

  2. Peavy Says:

    Thats a good point, both of you have good points. But I am still confused.

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