Valve Software is offering free copies of Left 4 Dead 2 to the 12,000 players it erroneously banned from playing Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 via Steam over the last couple of weeks. Apparently, non-cheating gamers were being flagged as cheaters due to a "combination of conditions" that occurred while Steam was updating the disk image of Modern Warfare 2. The bans had caused hue and cry among owners of the game who posted about the issue in online forums.

Nevertheless, Valve has ultimately owned up to the error and offered some sort of compensation. Players affected by the software glitch received an apologetic email from CEO Gabe Newell explaining that the error wasn't something inherent to Modern Warfare 2, and said that erroneous bans have now been reversed and accounts have been restored. In addition, the company has also given two free copies of Left 4 Dead 2 to all affected players, one of which can be gifted to a friend through Steam. That said, if you already owned a copy of the popular zombie shooter I guess there's not much in it for you other than the gift of giving.