Left 4 Dead 2 Boycott: The History and Its Downfall
Posted on Tuesday, October 27 2009 @ 11:42:24 Eastern
Back in June, Valve presented a trailer showing Left 4 Dead 2, the sequel to the ever popular Left 4 Dead. Naturally, you'd assume that the fans would be extremely excited to see a sequel. Only problem was that the sequel was announced to be released in November of the same year. Many people whined on forums everywhere, but a few people decided to take it a step further; form a group of Steam threatening to boycott the sequel if Valve dropped support for the first game.
The founders of group wanted Valve to keep supporting the first Left 4 Dead after the sequel was released since they and many others had felt like they wasted money getting the first game and a sequel was suddenly announced, plus they also feared that the community for Left 4 Dead would die with the sequel being released so soon. However, they never really said that they would immediately get people to not buy the sequel, but would only boycott if the first game lost update support.
Sadly, this fell on deaf ears to the fans that joined the group when it first started. Fanboys who were angry over the sequel joined for the sake of boycotting and not looking at why the founders of the group were doing what they were doing. As time went by without any update news from Valve, members of the group fed off each other's rage and trolling, something the founders most likely did not want to have on their hands. With a group that had nothing but angry and irrational fanboys, the group founders had a lot on their plate.
Around the end of the Summer, many web sites have started to take notice like The Escapist. Now if this was any other boycott attempt, no one would give a rat's ass, but apparently this particular group managed to get the attention of several places. Naturally, most of the people replying in the articles were just mocking the group, but the leaders still held strong while the other members just carried on their usual shenanigans.
By September, Valve personally invited the group founders to their headquarters and let them play test Left 4 Dead 2. When the group leaders came back, they reported that the sequel was actually coming along well and felt very improved over the first game and had also announced that Valve had more DLC planned beyond Crash Course. Sadly, this also fell on deaf ears as members of the group called the leaders complete sellouts and felt betrayed. One has to wonder why the members are angry by the leaders' choice to play test the sequel when the leaders never said they were going to boycott the sequel for the sake of keeping the community in L4D1 alive
Week 2 of October rolls around and the group leaders announce they are closing the group, due to feeling satisfied with how the sequel was coming around and was assured by Valve that Left 4 Dead 1 would still get new DLC. Naturally, the members complained again and one of the leaders then cursed out the entire group, basically saying F U to the people who did nothing but whine and moan over everything and asked them if they would reject a plane trip to Valve HQ for the sake of not buying a sequel.
That is the history. Why did the group fall apart? It was due to several major factors:
-The name of the group didn't really match the leaders' intentions. They wanted Valve to keep support for L4D alive after the sequel came out. The "boycott" would only come into play if Valve were to drop support for L4D. Perhaps if they renamed the group to something like "Support L4D", then perhaps different kinds of people would be joining and not butthurt fanboys. Not only that, but the word "boycott" is widely misinterpted by many rabid fanboys. When people boycott a product, it is usually because the company behind the product has done something unethical or something terribly offensive and by boycotting their product, the company would have to change regulations so that this won't happen again. When a gamer tries to get people to boycott a video game or a video game company because they didn't get what they want, then they appear as selfish and people either ignore him or make fun of him. It would be like me boycotting a resturant because I didn't get a free ice cream with my meal.
-Lack of control. With nothing but trolls and fanboys running amok in the group, the foundation and purpose of the group started to fall apart. Trolls were also attracted to the group and they either mocked them, bashed Valve, or both.
-Unpleasable fanbase. The members of the boycott group showed great displeasure when they found out that the leaders of the group play tested L4D2. To them, they joined the group with the sole purpose of boycotting the game, something the leaders did not say they would do unless Valve dropped support for L4D1. Even when the leaders said to the group that L4D1 was still going to have DLC, no one listened because they were too busy complaining about how the leaders became hypocrites. No one can be pleased.
-Making the group public. As we all know, most avid gamers are a whiny bunch. By making the group open to the public, the leaders opened the floodgates to the trolls and the whiniest gamers out there. On the internet, people assume whoever can shout the loudest is right and that undermined the group. By making the group private, the leaders could filter out the idiots from the normal people and perhaps the group would have lasted longer. In a public group, you're bound to have people get in flame wars with each other and invite others to do the same without restriction.
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