So you log into Steam to get some headshots in in Modern Warfare 2, only to find yourself with a good news/bad news/good news situation. The good news? Valve is cracking down on cheaters by banning their Steam accounts. The bad news? Your account is one of them and you never cheated. The good news? You and a friend get a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2 for your trouble.
Shacknews (among others) reports that about 12,000 people were wrongly banned in this slip-up. Valve President Gabe Newell admits in an e-mail to those affected that “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)…. This was our mistake, and I apologize for any frustration or angst it may have caused you.”
I personally say kudos to Gabe for admitting it was his company’s screw-up and that it was not caused by Modern Warfare 2 or its publisher Activision. Even more kudos for giving out a kick-ass game to anyone inconvenienced by this and a buddy. But here’s where Newell’s team shows an almost Steve Jobs-esque brilliance: they’re getting upwards of 24,000 more people playing their online game just as its popularity is waning. One forum user on Shacknews notes “I forgive them, mainly because it gives me more people to play with in L4D2. That game, while still going relatively strong, is pretty thin on the user-front compared to it’s Golden Age.”
So well done, Valve. You’ve impressed me again.