Left 4 Dead is one of Valve’s more popular franchises, offering a unique take on multiplayer titles with its 4 player co-op play. But, in the decade that the first Left 4 Dead game released, there haven’t been many clones or even similar games of the type, which is strange. The CEO of Fatshark Martin Wahlund has a few good reasons for this, and as head of the developers of Vermintide 2, one of the few titles that is similar to Left 4 Dead, the explanation is worthwhile to hear!
Wahlund speaks to GameWatcher on why there aren’t a lot of games like Left 4 Dead:
“There are a few reasons. One thing is that people are afraid to go into Valve genres! It’s a daunting thing, we certainly were in the beginning, going up against the best in the world!”
It’s also tricky to do. The pacing system is hard, we’ve worked a lot on getting that right and balanced. Q&A is difficult too. You can play a game 20 times and only get a bug on the 21st go. For example on Vermintide just a couple of weeks before launch it crashed several times, because a Rat Ogre knocked over a bunch of rats including a Loot Rat into a barrier, which made the Loot Rat not be able to reach a certain state. It was a crazy, one-in-a-million thing that you can’t easily test for, which happens all the time.”
“Furthermore the AAA teams are looking at the big money-makers like Modern Warfare, and the smaller teams are probably smarter than we are and not trying to do one of the most daunting tasks in the industry and making a melee Left 4 Dead!”
Make sure to check the GameWatcher article, which includes a number of developers talking about the Left 4 Dead series.
Are you hoping for more companies to take a stab at the Left for Dead formula?