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I boycott the boycotters

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 | 01:55 AM | by
I conveyed my opinions on the Left 4 Dead 2 boycott via Twitter a couple of times in the past, but I still get the occasional person asking me what I think of the situation. Since people continue to be up in arms over the subject, despite the recent DLC to L4D, and in the face of Valve's planned $25m advertising budget for the sequel (which I take as a sign that all the "boycotting" and crying got these people absolutely nowhere), I figured I'd amuse you with my thoughts on the subject:

It's crazy stupid.

People nowadays have this notion, and I don't know where they got it from, that they are entitled to things for free. They aren't. I think I made a newspost about that once, so I won't go into it again, but that's basically what this "boycott" boils down to. People loved L4D. Valve jumped right on a sequel. People wanted the sequel, but since the original only came out a year ago, they took that as a sign that they deserved the new stuff for free, as an "addon". Nevermind that had updates for L4D stopped today, and another year had past, nobody would have said a word about "this should be DLC".

The short time span skewed people's views on the subject. Perhaps because they're idiots.

I understand their base arguments. They argue that Valve promised DLC. I see DLC delivered, I don't know what else you'd call the new map/game modes.

Boycotter's complain that L4D still needs bug fixes. Yeah, that might be true. It's still not a good enough reason that you should get NEW content for free or for cheap. And even if Valve decided to stop support for the original game (which they won't), you have to grasp the reality of a statute of limitations on this sort of thing anyway. You buy a game, sure you're entitled to get some bugs fixed etc... but not for the rest of your god damned life. At some point the company gets to say "Ok, guess what... we're going to work on new stuff now."

And if you've been playing the game for a year, then chances are these bugs still present aren't exactly a super hindrance to your enjoyment of the game. And on top of that, if you're still playing Left 4 Dead a year later, I think it's safe to say that you've gotten a ridiculous entertainment-to-cost ratio out of your initial $50. Like, to the tenth power with that shit. It's time to put that $50 to rest and accept that if you want another year's worth of entertainment, you're going to have to pay for it.

And you will, and we all know it. I wish we could track all of the boycotters via GPS, so that on release day we could watch 90% of them slink off to purchase the game just like everyone else. Because let's face it, your "boycott" will last up until the second that you realize it didn't get you shit, and you still want the game so you can partake in the fun everyone else is talking about having.

I don't think boycotts are stupid... I always say the consumer's most powerful message to businesses is their right to choose not to buy something. And that they should exercise that right if they see fit. And I support your right to not buy this game, but I still think this boycott is stupid, because it sounds so very hollow. I can't see any merit to it, and all I hear from it is "Waaah, I want my game for free!", because somehow you're under the impression that it doesn't cost these people money to make this stuff. Money that they're entitled to try and earn back.

Your initial $50 doesn't make these people your indentured servants for life.

Boycott: From the other side

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 | 03:35 AM | by
I've exchanged a few emails with Walking_Target, one of the leaders of the L4D2 Boycott, and he expressed some concerns that I was focusing too much on the vocal contingent of the boycott that is trying to get free content, and not enough on what he states as their primary issue here, and that is "promised-but-not-delivered support" from Valve.

And I understand that that is one of the main complaints here, however I still need to disagree with the entire thing.

What people are saying to me is "We didn't get the DLC and support Valve promised us", however nobody seems to be able to quantify exactly what and how much stuff Valve supposedly promised.

Right now, this looks to me like if someone were to say "Hey, I'll give you some money if you sign up for my newsletter", and you sign up, and the guy gives you $5, and you get angry because you were hoping for $20. Yeah, it sucks that you didn't get what you were hoping for, but the terms of the agreement were filled to the letter in my eyes.

I get that Valve said they were going to create DLC for the game. I see DLC delivered. Maybe not as much as you were hoping to get, but it's there, and since they didn't promise X number of updates (that I've ever seen) their portion of the deal is fulfilled.

I get that the game still has some bugs. I haven't seen any statement from Valve that it won't still try to fix them, that L4D is instantly kicked to the curb on L4D2 release day. However these aren't bugs that have prevented you from using and enjoying your paid-for-product. Annoyances you'd like to see fixed, sure. But the game isn't unplayable.

Hell, World of Warcraft recently announced that they're currently tracking and working on, like, a million bugs or something. You don't see players boycotting Starcraft 2 until these are fixed.

What I'm saying is, I hear you, boycotters. I have listened to and understand your issues from multiple sources, not only mainstream media. I hear you, I just happen to strongly disagree with you and your approach.