Fans accustomed to Valve Software's tendency to support their games long after initial release were surprised and upset when the company announced Left 4 Dead 2
at E3 last week. The game is due a year after the original, a relatively short cycle that's uncharacteristic of Valve.
The announcement led some gamers to worry that the studio would be abandoning community and game support of the original (and still popular) Left 4 Dead
. But Valve boss Gabe Newell said that won't be the case.
"Some in the community are concerned that the announcement of [Left 4 Dead 2
] implied a change in our plans for [Left 4 Dead 1
]. We aren't changing our plans for L4D1," he told gaming weblog Kotaku
in a statement.
He said Valve would be releasing in the coming months authoring tools for mod makers, community matchmaking and "more new content" for the original Left 4 Dead
Newell added, "We also agree with our customers that there needs to be an interoperability plan for players of [Left 4 Dead
] and [Left 4 Dead 2
], as multiplayer games are driven by the cohesiveness of their community."
Left 4 Dead 2
project lead Tom Leonard told Gamasutra last week
that Valve initially started talking about how to update and evolve the original Left 4 Dead
, but the ideas became their own separate beast.
"As we started talking that through, it became clear that we weren't really talking about incremental updates; we were talking about a whole experience. And it would be hard to deliver that totality of experience in incremental bits," he said.
Leonard also said user maps from the original Left 4 Dead
can be "transported" to Left 4 Dead 2
. But all-new original content for the original game may be limited, as "the timeline for Left 4 Dead 2
is so sensitive, and the team has a head of steam right now for the game."
Left 4 Dead 2
is slated for November this year, one year after the original. Newell also told Kotaku, "Doing a sequel in one year is new for Valve. But providing ongoing support for our titles after the initial launch isn't - it has been part of our philosophy since Half-Life was released ten and half years ago," said Newell, who added that Valve wouldn't simply abandon the currently 3 million-strong Left 4 Dead
Upon news of the announcement, a group of particularly upset gamers started
the anti-Left 4 Dead
boycott Steam group, aptly named "L4D Boycott (NO-L4D2)".