Valve rewarding Left 4 Dead 2 playtesters (and everyone else) with early-release DLC

Community-developed campaign passes intensive community-testing

Valve's upcoming Cold Stream DLC for Left 4 Dead 2 aims to take the company's long history of community interaction to a new level – with a campaign, first begun by modders, being subsequently built and refined out in the community. Now that the DLC's nearing completion, it's only fitting that the community be involved in the testing process – so Valve has asked PC players to jump into the new maps and rack up as many completions as possible for stress-testing and bug-hunting. And the results were so successful, some of that DLC's being released ahead of time as a reward.

Valve's challenge to players: if 20,000 people earn the Stream Crosser achievement (which conveniently entails playing the Cold Stream campaign to completion) by Sunday July 10, players get the DLC's Dead Air map – one of the last L4D maps yet to be ported to the sequel – early. That task turned out to take players four hours. At time of writing, more than 60,000 players have hit the target.

“This is a great stress test on Cold Stream,” Valve effused via its Left 4 Dead Blog, assuring players that as promised, Dead Air would be dropping July 22 “at the latest.” There's still plenty of testing to be done on Cold Stream – the campaign's rich in graphical bugs to be caught and ironed out – so Valve encourages players to keep on testing until Sunday. Cold Stream can be accessed from the UI of the PC version of Left 4 Dead 2. Have you given it a shot?

Jul 7, 2011

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