The gaming internet’s heart broke in January 2020. I’m not talking about all of the game delays or the GameStops that have been closing. Rather, Valve confirmed that the Left 4 Dead series is, at the moment, still dead. While it seemed like Left 4 Dead 3 was referenced in some rumors, the company confirmed that it explored the idea, decided against it, and hasn’t been working on a new installment for years. To rub salt in the wounds, it also said it isn’t working on anything. But, it really should be for a number of reasons.
First, there’s the obvious. People still want and enjoy Left 4 Dead. As a series, it has provided a means of spending time with friends fighting zombies. Whether someone was alone or had up to seven other people with them, they could be guaranteed a pretty good time. When there was even a hint about Left 4 Dead 3, people went crazy online. Social networks blew up. A Reddit post confirming it wasn’t happening had over 10,000 upvotes on it. The series has a legacy and people are showing demand for it.
Another positive is that Left 4 Dead, as a series, is timeless. Both the original game and sequel are innovative, with the first introducing the movie-like survival experience with others and the sequel making more tailor-made opportunities. Each one is playable years later. They’re still challenging. Even if you already know how things are going to go, the sequel’s procedural alterations will make things feel different each time and keep up with your own improvements.
A Left 4 Dead 3 would be a foothold into new markets for Valve too. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are on the way. Getting a new entry back into development and on both of them would offer so many opportunities. We’re in an age of cross-play and cross-save now. This could be the sort of game that would unite the new consoles with PC players. It could become timeless, as the original games did.
It would put Valve in a good position for some positive PR. Let’s be frank; the company hasn’t been setting the world on fire with its games. Half-Life Alyx seems cool. But it’s a VR game instead of the Half-Life 3 everyone wanted. The same happened with Portal. We wanted Portal 3. We got Portal Stories: VR. Let’s not even get into Artifact, the November 2018 digital collectible card game that didn’t deliver upon the idea of expanding DOTA 2’s world.
Left 4 Dead 3 is something we need. It’d be the sort of game everyone could count on and enjoy. Especially on new platforms like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox One X. It’s just disappointing that Valve seems determined to ignore such bright and successful series, instead focusing on other sorts of titles. Here’s hoping that the flurry of interest surrounding the fake announcement and confirmation that nothing is going on perhaps convinces Valve that hey, maybe Left 4 Dead 3 should be going on.