I boycott the boycotters

October 7, 2009 by Tim

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.


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