A retailer in Australia is slashing the price of Back 4 Blood to a mere $1 in a last-ditch attempt to shift its remaining stock, revealing the dismal sales performance of Turtle Rock’s highly anticipated sequel to Left 4 Dead. Released in October 2021 by Turtle Rock Studios and published by Warner Bros. Games, Back 4 Blood invites players to immerse themselves in a world ravaged by a zombie apocalypse caused by an alien parasite known as the Devil Worm. Gamers must choose from 12 elite survivors known as Cleaners, band together in four-person teams, and combat the mutated hordes in order to safeguard the Fort Hope survivor community.
Back 4 Blood’s release was promising, but it fell short of expectations, which were set high by the legacy of its predecessor. Despite Turtle Rock Studios and Warner Bros. Games’ efforts to create a new and engaging experience with the game’s extraterrestrial parasite-induced zombie apocalypse, the title struggled to maintain its appeal. Interestingly, the game’s decline in popularity had an unexpected effect on its predecessor, Left 4 Dead 2, as it sparked renewed interest in the game.
However, the evidence of Back 4 Blood’s unpopularity is clear, as Australian department store Big W drastically marked down the game’s PlayStation 4 version to only $1 during clearance, an immense discount of approximately 98.9% off the original retail price of $89.95 AUD or $60.72 USD, only two years after the game’s release.
A photo shared on r/gaming by user NotToddHoward showed a Big W shelf stacked with Back 4 Blood copies marked down to just $1. The post’s title, “From the creators of Left 4 Dead Evolve,” references Turtle Rock Studios, the developer of both games. The studio, which was previously known as Valve South, also co-developed popular games like Counter-Strike: Zero Condition and Counter-Strike: Source. Turtle Rock’s major success was Left 4 Dead in 2008, and their subsequent release, Evolve, received mixed reviews and underperformed.
Following this, the studio mostly focused on developing VR titles until the announcement of Back 4 Blood in 2019. However, the game’s decline in popularity has led to retailers offering it at a steep discount.
When Back 4 Blood hit the market, it received mostly favorable reviews. However, many gamers found the game to be an inadequate substitute for Left 4 Dead 3, a title that fans had long anticipated but never materialized. Turtle Rock Studios was partially to blame for the high expectations, as they had marketed Back 4 Blood as a spiritual successor to the popular Left 4 Dead franchise. Commenters on NotToddHoward’s Reddit post suggested that Back 4 Blood was not a bad game but simply not what Turtle Rock had promised.
Despite fans’ desire for a new Left 4 Dead title, Valve has not announced plans to release one. It has been over ten years since the launch of Left 4 Dead 2, and fans of the franchise are still holding out hope for a new installment. Meanwhile, Turtle Rock has moved on from Back 4 Blood and is rumored to be working on a new project. Fans are optimistic that the studio’s next game will be more successful.