left for dead was a huge success for Valve, but if Gabe Newell had succeeded, the game might never have been made. In a new interview with the Kiwi Talkz podcast, game writer Chet Faliszek revealed that Newell isn’t a big fan of the zombie concept. According to Faliszek, Newell highlighted George Romero’s films, stating that they weren’t about real zombies and were more about concepts like racism and consumerism. Newell even went so far as to say that he found the zombie concept “cheesy!”
“I once went to dinner with Gabe and he was beating me up like this, if you watch zombie movies he’s like ‘night of the living deadit’s racism, dawn of the dead‘s on consumerism. [Romero] purposely made these films about things to talk about. What is your zombie story about? and I’m like ‘well, you know, it’s about working together, it’s the game itself, it’s the reflection of the game. You know, in the zombie apocalypse, what is what are you going to do?’ And then you know it would get more and more pushed because I remember he was just like ‘well, let’s not do zombies, zombies are just really corny.’ And at the time you didn’t like The Walking Dead TV shows and all that, so it was very cheesy. But, as a child who saw dawn of the dead at a midnight movie and I was like terrified, it wasn’t corny to me,” Faliszek said.
Obviously, Faliszek won the argument on left for deadand the game released in 2008, almost two years before The Walking Deadtelevision debut. left for dead proved to be a critical and commercial success for Valve, earning a sequel a year later. The success of left for dead and The Walking Dead helped propel zombies into popular culture, moving them beyond all “cheesy” stereotypes. It is interesting to think about which direction left for dead could have entered if Newell had convinced Faliszek to abandon the zombies. At the end of the day, Newell is probably happy to have lost this fight!
Are you a fan of left for dead? Are you surprised that Gabe Newell is opposed to the game? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk about all things gaming!