Valve offers free Left 4 Dead 2 for erroneous Modern Warfare 2 bans

Developer wrongfully banned thousands of Call of Duty gamers in the past two weeks; company president offers mea culpa, free copies of Left 4 Dead 2 as recompense.

by

During the course of the past two weeks, Valve's anti-cheat software automatically banned as many as 12,000 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 soldiers on the grounds of bamboozlement. The Seattle game developer has since overturned (for non-cheaters) the decision and is offering free copies of the zombie-killing shooter, Left 4 Dead 2, as payment for time lost.

All's fair in love and war, except cheating.

"This was our mistake, and I apologize for any frustration or angst it may have caused you," Valve president Gabe Newell wrote in an e-mail to afflicted persons according to a Steam forum user user.

In addition to offering an apology, in the letter, Newell explained exactly why some gamers hoping to frag enemies in Modern Warfare 2 had their accounts banned.

"The problem was that Steam would fail a signature check between the disk version of a DLL and a latent memory version. This was caused by a combination of conditions occurring while Steam was updating the disk image of a game. This wasn't a game-specific mistake. Steam allows us to manage and reverse these erroneous bans (about 12,000 erroneous bans over two weeks)."

In addition to reinstating wrongfully banned virtual soldiers, Valve is hoping to win gamers back by granting all affected persons a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2, as well as an additional copy to gift to a friend.

Valve's anti-cheat software, Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC), was created by the company and was first used in 2002 to help clean out the bad apples in Counter Strike. Based on Valve's zero-tolerance policy, all bans are permanent. The technology has since seen revisions and has been employed in many games, including Team Fortress 2, Counter Strike: Source, and others.

Discussion

237 comments
kenmanius
kenmanius

In the meantime VAC is still worthless against mw2 cheaters. " We want to take them out in waves" they say. So you get 8 weeks of bulls@#t hacker hosts and 3 weeks of tranquility after they all get wiped and then the process just starts over again. Sigh.

aboy7
aboy7

What if you already own a copy of L4D2?

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

@Gelugon_baat A mind numbing shooter when you run on a linear path killing zombies with non-upgradable weapons. Sound familiar? Oh yeah cause Left4Dead was the same except it was fresh and new back then so people enjoyed it. I am not a moron who just enjoys killing zombies. I like my video games to challenge me more than just "dodge the jumping zombie".

bababoss
bababoss

good game full of action 100%

kais112
kais112

this happened to me and i was really happy it got removed and plus free copies of L4D2 are a bonus

Rakolazagiz
Rakolazagiz

Valve sure know's how to treat the community.

davidsworld3
davidsworld3

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

koolman01
koolman01

@Gelugon_baat is was during the hardcore days of zmod and there was a sever owned by like a bunch of kids and they had these retarded rules like u could not do certain things and so i was like come back to this game when ur balls drop

koolman01
koolman01

@Gelugon_baat true they could play on unvac servers cuz i am not going to lie i have bin banned from some on css so i just played on unvaced servers

koolman01
koolman01

@KrazzyDJ i have steam and u can sell the games u have for money

Akucapri
Akucapri

@eriktkire Tell that to pigheaded valve/steam.

Groby234
Groby234

This is gay so many innocent people b& but they get L4D2, great game. And thankfully, I wasn't b&.

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

LoL... the irony is unbearable... x^D

wiiplay1
wiiplay1

@mjc0961 Glad to see I'm not the only one with a sense of sarcasm. ;) But seriously, it's not Steam's fault. The problem is on your end. Don't blame them for your problems.

Jawehawk-DK
Jawehawk-DK

@Rottenwood My complaint isn't about Valve, giving out free games. It's about all the people on this forum, who worships Valve, just because they do this. It's about the Valve fanboys who thumb people down, just for saying anything negative about Valve, or any of their games. The people that say "Valve is the best developer ever", when there's plenty of other developers who are much more talented. That's not saying that Valve is incompetent, but they aren't all that great. They even split up the L4D community, by making a sequel. All those promises about keeping the original alive, suddenly dissapeared. But no one even notices it. My comment wasn't meant as an insult torwards you, but more as a reminder to not be fooled by Valve.

Jawehawk-DK
Jawehawk-DK

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Jawehawk-DK
Jawehawk-DK

@ChoiMein I never said it was a ridicules thing to do. In fact, I said it's a decent thing to do. My complaint with Valve, and their fans, are that Valve never seems to fully finish a game. If you've tried a L4D game, you should know. Not saying it's a bad game, but it's very unfinished.

UltimateRAGEX
UltimateRAGEX

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Ringx55
Ringx55

Wow, that is quite the gift their giving.

The_Mad_Hatter
The_Mad_Hatter

I agree with Alkpaz... we gamers need to band together

UltimateRAGEX
UltimateRAGEX

Valve's anti-cheat software can't stop JTAG xbox 360s :)

solidsnake726
solidsnake726

All companies need to take a note from valve's generous apology.

Paskiewicz
Paskiewicz

Ouch... L4D 2 is repetitive for that. =S

Alkpaz
Alkpaz

Valve isn't the "best" company, but it is a good one. Blizzard is also another "good" company. EA, on the other hand, I wouldn't even poke a stick at, but, like most gamers, I ignore the EA label when I buy a game like Mass Effect 2 or Dragon Age Origins with its DLC and all. (Bioware may still operate, but EA holds its tennis balls) Much like the C&C series. (although I hated C&C4 and its Tonka-Truck feel, I still enjoyed C&C3) Need I mention that we STILL continue to buy Need for Speed games?! So even though we may hate companies like EA or ValueSoft, we still buy the games in record numbers. (See: Rebellion and AvP 2010) If we want companies to change, we have to stop the madness and start "boycotting with gusto", as I see it now, this will NEVER happen, just like our reliance on oil for everything from our car fuel to plastic forks and clothes.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@Jawehawk-DK I don't think disagreeing about this singular issue means I have my head up Valve's ass. (Full disclosure: I use and enjoy Steam to get older games, and I played Portal and Team Fortress 2 quite a bit when they were new.) They made an uh-oh, and rather than issue an empty apology, they gave away a good game to make amends and do some damage control. In an era where everyone and their uncle is griping about DLC and DRM and another evil acronyms, simply giving away a good game for free is a shrewd move to slide them further down the 'good guy' scale. So yes, it's a P.R. move, but not nearly as nefarious as other posters here have suggested, such as Gelugon_baat's suggestion of corporate mind control. They're giving out 12,000 copies of Left 4 Dead 2, not dumping the Joker toxin into our national water supply. I highly doubt Valve's corporate branding fortunes will get much of an upswing from a relatively small number of downloads of a single game.

bodylotion
bodylotion

L4D2 can not be compared to MW2 because they are completely different kinds of shooters. The MW2 fanboys should be happy with a free copy of L4D2 which is still also a good game.

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

I guess this only affected PC players eh? I was worried because I thought this was happening on the console version too.

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

@Rottenwood Touché! haha

eriktkire
eriktkire

@Akucapri VAC ain't flawless because nothing in the world of computers is flawless. @mantis08 I don't think anyone would ever think of MW2 as an MMO... with its limited P2P setup... that's as far from MMO as you can get.

ChoiMein
ChoiMein

oh and btw for all of yous who think that these mw2 fans aren't getting their mw2 games back... valve even said (and it was IN this post on gamespot) "Steam allows us to manage and reverse these erroneous bans." sooo stop thinking that valve is just giving everyone L4D2 'instead' of MW2.... they're getting both... so next time just read a little bit, it'll do you some good...

ChoiMein
ChoiMein

@Jawehawk-DK really?? it may be a PR move, but they're a COMPANY... I don't remember the last time any company did anything that WASN'T related to PR... why do you think this is such a ridiculous thing? If this had happened with any other company you know what that company would have done?? Next to nothing... they would have reinstated the gamers (maybe) and then would have released some sort of press release stating what happened and apologizing... and that's probably about it. Valve went the extra step and gave something back to the gamers. Everybody involved in this wins... valve wins with new fans, and the fans win, with new games.. sorry to bust your bubble but if people want to praise valve for making a CORRECT PR move, then they have every right to do so.. and @Gelugon_baat .....Holy posts baatman...

Jawehawk-DK
Jawehawk-DK

@Rottenwood Please pull your head out of Valve's behind. Look at the comments, and see all the fanboys worshipping Valve for such a little thing. It's pure PR. Valve doesn't loose anything at all by giving out digital copies of L4D2. They do, however, gain more fans. I'm not saying Valve is a bad company. However, it's pretty ridicules that people call them the best developer out there. How many people are begging for a sequel to HL, yet nothing is comming. Both L4D games are fun, but feel extremely unfinished.

jarvool
jarvool

@rottenwood Best possible answer!

Flint247
Flint247

This goes to show you, actions speak louder than words. :D

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

@koolman01 Maybe that person can sell his / her copy / copies and earn some cash in return !!!

koolman01
koolman01

but what if that person has L4D 2 already what happens

xpepox
xpepox

i wish they would have banned me from that stupid game so i could get a free game.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@Ozzie234 I think the more pressing question is this: are the authorities aware of that girl being locked in my storage shed?

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

@Rottenwood Is that girl aware of you having her pic on this board? lol

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@mantis08 "So Steam "erroneously" bans 12,000 accounts from a rival company's MMO FPS, who btw isn't well liked among some gamers atm, and then valve apologizes and give out free copies of their MMO FPS? Sounds like a clever PR move to me..." Can't say I agree. Getting a decent-sized black eye in the gaming community for being overzealous, with the only possible gain being a couple of hundred devotees to a game you just gave away and therefore can't make any money off of? Not my idea of a 'clever' P.R. stunt, if it was one. Did you want Valve to give away another company's game? Because there might be some legal tangles there.

zeniftan
zeniftan

1 Statement and 1 question. Statement. It's awesome that they've chosen to fix this problem by giving their affected customers a BETTER game. Question. What do the gamers get if they already have L4D2 on their accounts?

zeniftan
zeniftan

1 Statement and 1 question. Statement. It's awesome that they've chosen to fix this problem by giving their affected customers a BETTER game. Question. What do the gamers get if they already have L4D2 on their accounts?

mantis08
mantis08

So Steam "erroneously" bans 12,000 accounts from a rival company's MMO FPS, who btw isn't well liked among some gamers atm, and then valve apologizes and give out free copies of their MMO FPS? Sounds like a clever PR move to me...

Topperfalkon
Topperfalkon

Yet afaik PB still haven't fixed the CoD4 kick for using the Steam Overlay...

kenken2g
kenken2g

This is a good move by Valve. Even though I wasn't one affected... Hell I'd be glad if I was lol

ActionManly
ActionManly

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]