It’s The Zombie Apocalypse. Bring Friends.

Check!

Valve are being rather bold about their advertising spend for Left 4 Dead. $10 million, we’re told, quite a lot. Don’t they know that a gentleman doesn’t know how much is in his advertising budget? Anyhow, a lump of this money is being spent on TV spots, which are of course already on the internets. Of course posting adverts is just what they want us to do, so, er, we’re doing it ironically.

It’s something of a treat to see an advert for a game that doesn’t make you want to set your PC on fire and take up knitting. I wonder what someone who’s never heard of the game might think, watching that. There’s possibly a risk of zombie-fatigue in the general populace, but I think that might make things look intriguing enough to get past it. Sort of like how Charlie Brooker’s Dead Set couldn’t be a more traditional zombie story, but is done well enough for that not to be a problem.

106 Comments

  1. fishmitten says:

    I’m not a big fan of the song they chose, but that is a damn well-put-together ad.

  2. Rook says:

    I still think the box art is shit.

  3. Gladman says:

    Why? Everyone that plays PC games already knows it’s coming out, and are pretty excited for it. :/

  4. Donald Duck says:

    Nice ad. Makes it look like a Grindhouse flick.

  5. Y3k-Bug says:

    @gladman

    I’d assume its for the millions who have no idea it exists.

  6. Y3k-Bug says:

    EDIT: Its also moreso for the xbox 360 owners, as clearly evidenced by the EA branding at the beginning.

  7. I don't understand this comment system says:

    Yeah, if I was Valve I would be putting my logo up there instead of EA. Build up some brand recognition.

  8. Bhazor says:

    I kind of hoped Gabe would be smart enough not to pay that much money to get it on tv when they could have put it on youtube for free.

    Also I’m not sure how many people would spend £25 to £50 based solely on an advert.

  9. Rei Onryou says:

    I couldn’t be more hyped for this game. Hell I’d rip off my left thumb if it meant I could play it sooner.

  10. subedii says:

    EA are publishing the store version (PC and 360), that’s pretty much the extent of their involvement. Apparently they kept trying to involve themselves in other aspects of the project (design, advice, focus testing etc.) but Valve kept turning them down saying they had it covered.

    A part of me is very thankful for that fact.

  11. Cigol says:

    Is it Valve spending the money or EA? I’m guessing it’s EA considering their logo is so prominent. It’s a good advert but the pre-rendered look of it is obviously bogus. Right?

  12. (pun intended) says:

    @Gladman:

    It is incredibly easy to not keep up with gaming news. I’ve been playing PC games with some regularity since Doom and for a lot of that time probably couldn’t tell you what most of the big-name titles were at the moment, unless I or a friend was playing them. Our attention was usually just elsewhere. And while there are undoubtedly a ton of people chomping at the bit to play Left 4 Dead, there are also any number of infrequent PC gamers, non-gaming zombie movie fans, and poor, deluded console-only people that had no idea it existed.

  13. Butler` says:

    @subedii

    Haha, imagine the scene.

    EAguy “Hey guys, I’ve got this really great id-”

    Valve “Just… shut up.”

  14. Jahkaivah says:

    @Rook

    A LEFT hand with 4 fingers belonging to a DEAD guy, whats not to like?

  15. Sev3rity says:

    Im fighting the urge not to finish myself off while watching this… at work… once I get home its a different story…

  16. Down Rodeo says:

    Fantastic song, interesting choice though. Grounds for Divorce? Ah well, they are popular right now. And I still think this looks awesome.

  17. Cronus says:

    The video didn’t work for me. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but videos off of RPS seem to only work 50% of the time.

  18. Nick says:

    I like that song a lot, though I do wish there were more in it’s style on the album, I really don’t like that other one with the horribly dull refrain in a ‘Hey Jude’ fashion.

    Er, yeah, I like the ad too.. nice little humerous touches as so forth.

  19. Y3k-Bug says:

    @subedii
    Is there a link that says anything of that situation? I’d love to read about it.

  20. qrter says:

    “It’s the zombie apocalypse. Bring friends.” ..is a good line, I have to say.

  21. Ginger Yellow says:

    “I’m not sure how many people would spend £25 to £50 based solely on an advert.”

    In the UK, loads. Look at the charts some time. Apart from those Wii party games, the charts are dominated by heavily advertised and/or licensed games. You’re almost guaranteed sales if you advertise on the telly. Look at Juiced 2 – would that have sold anything at all if it hadn’t had blanket advertising? As it was, it was near the top of the charts..

  22. Simon says:

    what the hell, I had to put in my age to view this ad? Is the tv going to tell little kids to go away before it goes on? Is it only going to be showed on the Adult Channel? Bah

  23. subedii says:

    @Y3k-Bug:

    Don’t get me wrong, Valve said their relationship with EA was very good, it’s just that little snippet stood out to me, and to be honest, I’m glad that they didn’t get to have any say on the final product.

    ====================================

    link to gamasutra.com

    “We had been socialized to doing so many things ourselves, whether it’s box creation, funding our own development, etcetera,” he said, “that when we came to meet with folks about a distribution deal – and I use that phrase intentionally – we were looking for somebody to do a certain set of services that we didn’t want to do, or weren’t versed in, and nothing more.”

    All of those “distribution deal” conversations, Lombardi said, were fraught with extra offerings that Valve wasn’t interested in taking. “We’re like, ‘You know, we’re really comfortable doing those pieces of the business ourselves, and that’s what we want to do,'” Lombardi recalled.

  24. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    This trailer made me seek out Elbow. I now like them some. Trailer good. Me want play.

  25. Nimic says:

    I love Valve.

  26. Gorgeras says:

    It keeps happening. Games which I long intended to purchase have some fatal flaw revealed about them, discouraging me from shelling out.

    How did I only just manage to discover EA are publishing?

    There are some EA games which I make allowances for, prepared for the fact that there is going to be some disappointment in some murky place. But never for a Valve, Rockstar or Lionhead(who should have stayed the hell away from EA for the probably now dead Black&White series) game. They have a certain character that make them wonderful but fragile, containing risks that can’t be tampered with by filthy hands.

    Left4Dead now joins FarCry 2 and Fallout 3 on my list of ‘so close’ buys. I hope GTA 4 doesn’t get added. It’s my last intended purchase, although Bully is also under consideration if the damn thing actually appears somewhere.

  27. Y3k-Bug says:

    @Gorgeras
    Its not an EA game in any way, shape, or form. EA is just doing distribution, ie getting the game in stores. Valve made it, Valve paid for it, EA has zero say in what Valve can or cannot do with the game.

    Bully for PC? Thats been on Steam for like a week now.

  28. Alex says:

    Steam has a 1080p version for all of you with too much money to spend on monitors.

  29. dirksauce says:

    From the very first minute I heard that song, I knew it would somehow show up in a Valve product. There’s a part somewhere around the middle that is very reminiscent of “What Kind of Hospital Is This?” from HL:EP1.

    So yeah.

  30. RobotLiberationArmy says:

    Valve has had a deal with EA since the Orange Box. You know that, right?

  31. The Hammer says:

    Hasn’t it been since Episode 1?

  32. Doglog says:

    @Cronus
    Because it’s shitty gamevideos. Here’s what you want, from gametrailers:

    link to gametrailers.com

  33. qrter says:

    Hasn’t it been since Episode 1?

    Even earlier than that – the news stories concerning the EA/Valve deal are all more than 3 years old. From the Eurogamer news blurb at the time:

    “The first two products under the distribution agreement will be the newly-announced Game of the Year edition of Half-Life 2 (including Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life: Source) , along with a standalone Counter-Strike: Source (also featuring Half-Life 2: Deathmatch and Day of Defeat: Source). Both will be released in “winter” according to EA.

    Meanwhile, the Xbox version of Half-Life 2 will be distributed and published by EA, with a release date confirmed for October.”

  34. qrter says:

    Those first two are the boxed PC versions of GOTY HL2 and standalone CS:S, to be clear.

  35. Rhalle says:

    Lombardi is Valve’s Rasputin, and Newell doesn’t know it.

    He’s been bad for Valve the whole time he’s been there.

    Oh, and a Valve game advertisement with a big EA logo splashed on it? Say what you will about it ‘just being the publisher’, but I’ll say this: Game over, man. Game over. It’s a foreshadowing. You can count on it.

    I’m on the fence for L4D, too. I’m pretty sure I’ll be buying it; but I’ll be forcing down the consolized interface, the Source engine compromises and the ‘achievements’, all while hoping against hope that that sort of thing isn’t only going to get worse in future Valve titles, which it undoubtedly will.

  36. Nimic says:

    People who aren’t going to buy this game due to EA are laughable. This game has nothing to do with EA, except that they are publishing. If you buy from Steam (which I certainly have), you avoid even that.

  37. qrter says:

    If you buy from Steam (which I certainly have), you avoid even that.

    This is certainly true. EA would’ve rather seen Steam disappear as part of the deal, but that didn’t happen ofcourse.

  38. Tei says:

    I don’t watch TV anyway, and I already know L4D because some friend talking about it in ventrilo. What a no-waste of money, I suppose.

  39. Heliocentric says:

    Not publishing, just distribution of the boxes.

  40. Tricky says:

    Also, anyone doubting that a good TV ad will get people to buy your game need only look at last Autumn’s splash of ads for Assassin’s Creed – that was a huge factor in how many people bought that game.

  41. Tei says:

    Maybe I sould archive this thing in “Creating screenshot is a art in himself”. So this Ad is art, in a sense. It create “another game”, the idea of another game. I suppose the checkbox thingie is black humor, that is a bonus on my book. And there are double barreled shotguns. And I am firmly PRO shotguns.
    Anyway If you are into this type of things (weapons), has been probed and probed that the best weapon to fight zombies is a baseball. There are a really long and informative thread about the topic on the XKCD forums.
    But I digress.. we are talking about screensh^H^H.. a ad-video.

  42. Tei says:

    postdata:
    Firearms are almost useless against zombies. You run low of ammo fast and what?. no ammo= you death. Theres also the thing zombies are already death. You don’t want to kill zombies, you want to stop then from move. Even If you cut in half a zombie with a powerfull shotgun, you have created a crawling zombie, a dangeous one that will byte your legs.
    note: I miss the edit button :-(

  43. ChaosSmurf says:

    I really liked the music personally >.>

  44. Capon says:

    Love the eyes of the characters. Remind me a good bit of the TF2 crew.

  45. Premium User Badge

    MonkeyMonster says:

    The old guy’s voice – its father gregorius is it not… and apologies if this has already been discussed/mentioned/yawned to death/ripped off an eaten/AIM’d/grabbed by a long tongue and strangled/pulped by a big beastie.

  46. Serzus says:

    That’s a rather nice ad… Last week I spotted a billboard ad in Boston, which surprised me a bit… Not often games get space like that. Granted, it was right by BU, to the students of which they will probably sell many copies.

  47. Owen says:

    Winning the mercury has done Elbow so much good and fair play to them, they deserve it.

    Only selfish downside is that it’ll be a lot harder getting tickets to their gigs! :)

  48. Larington says:

    LOL @ the people who can’t tell the difference between a publishing deal and a distribution deal.

    For goodness sake.

    And I was beginning to think that EA publishing Dead Space & Mirrors Edge might finally trigger a time when people would give the letters EA a chance instead of just judging the whole company on its sports division. (SIGH)

  49. Richard Beer says:

    What Nimic said. If you’re getting all high-horsey about Left 4 Dead because EA are doing the physical distribution, you’re quite badly missing the point. Valve are using EA to do the things they don’t want to do. You think Gabe Newell is likely to sell out to EA given how much money he’s made doing the complete opposite for the last, like, 8 years? Get real.

    I’ve already pre-ordered this on Steam so my EA involvement is nil. Personally I’m very happy about that because I’m still a little bitter after buying Spore from their digital store and not being able to get a refund, but EA have nothing to do with L4D so who cares?

  50. subedii says:

    @ Larington:

    To be fair, I’m not going to avoid this title since I know that EA haven’t had any input on it. I don’t avoid EA titles in general. However, I have avoided Dead Space and I’m probably not going to bother with Mirror’s Edge, largely because of EA’s stance on install limits (not to mention the recent silliness to do with forum banning being linked to your online games). There’s plenty of other titles I can spend my money on. For me, those two titles mentioned have strangely resulted in the opposite effect.

    Anyway, back on topic, and at least I’m glad that nobody’s putting down L4D on the fact that it has running zombies. IIRC that was the case last time there was a post on this game. :)