Valve boycott L4D campaign, Gabe & Erik fly to Brisbane.
Proving that everyone at Valve do indeed have a incredibly massive, if not warped sense of humour, A fly Gabe Newell stunt has resulted with Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson to be flown to remote Brisbane, Australia, in order to playtest Shotgun Sunrise and call off their potential boycott.
The required sum for the tickets was donated within 3 days with this response from Gabe Newell:
The English language lacks the words to express the level of excitement Erik and I feel that you and your friends have pulled this off. Give us some time to organize our affairs, as we are trying to ship a product, and then we’ll let you know the time and date of our arrival. Give our best to Robin’s mother, as she is apparently a neighbour of yours.
Gabe & Erik
The history of the stunt, from the Fly Gabe Newell Blog.
In June 2009, a Steam group was created to boycott Valve Software's upcoming sequel, Left 4 Dead 2.
In September 2009, the leaders of the group were invited to Valve's headquarters to play the game for themselves, whereupon they decided it was awesome after all.
Although I personally have been privileged enough to have conversed with Valve's CEO, Gabe Newell, many times by email, and even to have been sent a signed, cardboard X800XT from him (he's a pretty awesome dude), I have not once - not one time - been flown to Valve to play their games early!
I therefore sent him an email. For context, I have recently been working on a Left 4 Dead 1 campaign.