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Valve and Overkill working on Left 4 Dead, PAYDAY: The Heist crossover

There are two Valves. There’s the company that owns and operates Steam, the best digital distribution service for video games yet created, a business whose core tenets have come to define the medium’s transition from disc-based media to pure downloaded information. Then there’s the Valve that makes inspiring, polished first-person games better than almost every other studio out there. The first Valve is a constant presence in the gaming world, whereas the second is like an anarchist Santa Claus, sporadically appearing after years away with new gifts.

Sweden’s Overkill Software, the crew behind last year’s respected co-operative shooter PAYDAY: The Heist, let loose some precious insight into that illusive Valve’s upcoming plans. It isn’t details on Half-Life 3, but it is word that Overkill is collaborating with Valve on a brand new project. “New” is always an exciting word to hear in conjunction with Valve.

Overkill director Ulf Andersson released this statement on the studio’s website on Monday: “As perceptive gamers will have noticed, several hints have recently been dropped into PAYDAY: The Heist, which has led to various rumors. We are excited to be able to confirm that an in-depth collaboration between Overkill and Valve is currently in production.”

“We are working on a very cool blend of PAYDAY and Left 4 Dead. I am sure it is so exciting that it will have some players check into the hospital before we are done.”

Now that’s how you tease a game. It comes after other teases alluded to by Andersson in his statement. A patch released for PAYDAY earlier this month leaked goods into the game like a table full of Left 4 Dead’s iconic health packs. Whether this collaboration will just yield new content for PAYDAY or a whole new game is unknown.

PlayStation 3 owners should be especially encouraged by Andersson’s tease. PAYDAY is only available on PC and PlayStation 3 meaning that this collaboration will be the Left 4 Dead series debut on Sony’s machine in any capacity.

More likely than not, this collaboration will involve a new expansion for PAYDAY that includes some of Left 4 Dead’s eight characters and possibly some of those pesky zombies that seem to get so much work these days. Given the studio’s familiarity with the platform though, maybe Overkill is cooking up a PlayStation 3 version of Left 4 Dead using the Diesel engine rather than Source. Stranger things have happened.