Might Team Fortress 2 Go Free To Play?

By John Walker on June 20th, 2011 at 12:07 pm.

But neither of them is wearing a hat!

While there are rumours flying around about Valve’s DOTA 2 project being the first in-house game to embrace the free-to-play model recently made possible on Steam, there seems to be (scant) evidence that another title could be beat it to the accolade: Team Fortress 2.

Which would make perfect sense. The game, rapidly approaching four years old, currently only costs £7, and is frequently dropped down to much less, and even free. Valve has sold over 480 billion copies, and it’s reasonable to argue that the game’s time as a sold product is nearing its end. But of course there’s also hats. Because everyone in the world except for me has gone insane, buying aesthetic content for games has become a big business, and even the players are getting rich from this nonsense in TF2. YOU CAN’T EVEN SEE YOUR CHARACTER WEARING THEM. Ahem.

Now some evidence I don’t begin to understand seems to suggest that Valve could be considering relaunching the game with a free-to-play model. One of those clever/mad sorts who trawls through the registries of Steam has spotted a new entry titled, “Valve TestApp440 – Test 1″ (along with a low violence equivalent). They then thought to check out which number 440 applies to in Steamland, and it just happens to be TF2. (DOTA 2 is 490.)

Under the “Subscriptions” section of whatever the heck that window is are the billing options. And what’s checked for Mysterious-o-App 440? It’s “No Cost”.

Clearly this is all wild speculation at this point. But it’s a move that would make excellent business sense. With everyone on the planet who’s likely to buy it already owning it, and extremely successful in-game revenue model, why not try to capture the remaining potential audience who just aren’t prepared to fork out for it? Somehow even these people will probably be prepared to pay for hats.

Of course, there’s plenty of other ways for TF2 to make money. With unequalled post-release support, TF2 has seen extraordinary volumes of free updates. Just bewildering towers of new content, with never a penny charged. It wouldn’t be unreasonable at this point to start attaching a small fee to any further content that gets put in (although I don’t doubt for a picosecond that plenty of entitled types will find it unreasonable enough to make death threats). There are so many ways to make money from TF2 without charging an initial fee, I think not adopting a F2P model at this point would be madness.

Thanks to oldage9 for the tip, and NeoGaf’s Drkirby for the effort.

__________________

« | »

, , , .

95 Comments »

  1. robotco says:

    i just bought TF2 a couple months ago. i’ve never had to pay a subscription for it? is it april fool’s day?

    • Bodminzer says:

      But you said you bought it. These rumours are saying that soon people won’t have to.

    • robotco says:

      i guess i’m out of touch with the lingo. for me, free to play still means buying it once and then not having to pay a subscription. i thought that was a little weird considering TF2 isn’t like an mmo or anything.

    • Iain_1986 says:

      free to play still means buying it once

      free to play … buying it once

      free … buying

      0_o

    • lurkalisk says:

      ‘Free to use’ equals ‘free to acquire’ not!
      It may not be the phrasing anyone would use, but you need only pay to acquire the game, at the moment. To play it, you need not pay a single krone.

    • Jam says:

      You are indeed then. Free to play means the game is free to play, initial cost included.
      Otherwise you could say Alan Wake is free to play, or watching a film at a cinema is free to watch.

    • LionsPhil says:

      They are indeed being language revisionists. “Free to Play” emphasised a distinction from monthly-subscription MMOs—it’s whole existence is that this aspect of it is notable, else every freeware game would be lumbered with this clunking set of words.

    • meatshit says:

      Regardless of what the marketing people’s intentions were when they coined the term, free to play has always been associated with games that were completely free to play in some limited form. That’s the way most people use the term, and that means that’s the definition unless you’re one of those silly people that believe definitions are prescriptive instead of descriptive.

    • LionsPhil says:

      This has nothing to do with marketing, nor with language pedants, and you are being obnoxious for even trying to dismiss the argument by suggesting that.

      It has to do with a term actually being useful. If “free to play” gets redefined to just mean “freeware”, we then need to come up with a new term for “it doesn’t have a monthly subscription, despite an expectation from the genre or such that it would”.

    • The Hammer says:

      Non-sub?

    • Sonicberry says:

      @LionsPhil

      You can just say, “There’s no monthly subscription.” Branding a game like Guild Wars, which has the traditional gatekeeper of an initial monetary transaction in order to experience the MMO, as “free to play” just does not make any sense. The “old” definition, if it ever existed in any coherent form, sucked.

      Oh, and all “free to play” games are freeware, but not all freeware are games.

    • TollTheRavens says:

      What I’ve come to see “free to play” as is that you can play it for no cost, but you can pay for certain aspects if you choose to. It’s free to play, just not free to play everything. Look at League of Legends, or any of those (generally) crappy free MMOs. You can play without paying a cent, but you gain bonuses, more content or longer playing time if you drop some cash.

  2. Chris Evans says:

    I too am not a fan of the hat crazy in TF2, that is what put me off it really. It does make sense for the game to go F2P though. Pay for hats and character customisation and people will be sorted.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I AM HIJACKING YOUR POST, SORRY.

      Did anyone notice the clickable pigeons on the TF2 website? The ones that link to pictures of a hospital, a waiting room, and a medical classroom?

  3. Noun says:

    I hope Valve is giving something really big for players who bought the game.

    Not just some random hat.

    • Tomm says:

      Are constant game updates over the last 3 years not enough?

    • Noun says:

      The new free players get those too.

    • John Walker says:

      Yes, but you may have paid £20, not £7. Should you get a special present? Or what about if you bought a Barbie’s Magic Dreamhouse in 1998 for £40, but now they cost only £20? Should Mattel send you some flowers?

    • MajorTomG says:

      I don’t see why they should have to give paid-up customers anything else. They offered the game to us at a certain price, we decided that it was a fair deal and accepted the offer.

      I got the game as part of The Orange Box. Arguably, gaming deal of last decade. I’m not going to get all uppity about them giving it away for free, 3 years later.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      My guess is that they’ll give badges to the people who bought the game, like they gave to the people who played before all the hat business started.

    • Tomm says:

      @Noun For my £13 (or however much I paid for it), I’ve logged over 500 hours in the last 3 years, that’s something the free to payers don’t get.

    • Iain_1986 says:

      I really don’t get this whole sense of entitlement gamers seem to have over the products they buy and their lifespan, you never seem to get it anywhere else.

      When you buy a car do you feel it should be immune to depreciation or you should get something from the manufacturer? When you buy a DVD and then they put it on sale for less, should you be given back the difference you paid? Maybe I should go through the current list of abandonware that I bought back in the 90s, call up all the developers and ask for my money back…

    • Thwap says:

      Seriously, TF2 is a game which was/arguably-still-is worth a release on its own, at full price.

      The sense of overwhelming internet entitlement, it burns!

    • Jams O'Donnell says:

      Ohhh, so that’s where those flowers came from. Mystery solved. Thanks, John.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I’d *like* something cool for being a player-and-owner-since-back-in-the-day, but frankly as it is I feel like Valve are going to send me a £250 bill for having too much fun any day now, and I’m just going to hang my head and meekly pay up.

      I’m not sure what I paid for TF2 originally – €20 or €10 – but either way it comes to less than one British penny per hour played.

    • Kdansky says:

      I got 350 hours of great game out of my 20 bucks. I consider that money very well spent.

    • Jams O'Donnell says:

      @MikoSquiz

      They did reward long-time players. I have my Primeval Warrior badge. That I got despite not being in the beta, or paying for the game. Also, I got the Black Box even though the Black Box was never released. Madness!

      (or ATI bundle including the Black Box that Valve honoured even though the Black Box was canned)

    • shoptroll says:

      I’m sure they will hand out something special for people who’ve been around long enough, unless they think those anniversary badges are enough.

      I wouldn’t expect anything other than an e-peen stroke. Just feel smug that you got to play the game before the unwashed freeloading hobo masses decided to flood the game ;)

      —-

      I completely agree that this would be the right move for the game. There’s been a lot of polishing updates lately (ie. updating kill icons and the like) and the beta has been kinda stagnant in terms of updates as well. Valve’s awfully busy for this time of year (Portal 2 DLC, L4D2 DLC, DotA 2, now this?)… don’t they know people go on vacation and can’t be shackled to their computer playing their latest bits from the Steam stream?

      Knowing Valve, they’re probably re-launching TF2 as F2P in addition to DotA 2, which is just going to melt everyone’s mind.

    • badoli says:

      You get a free pile of unexperienced noob-cannon-fodder!

    • oceanclub says:

      “I hope Valve is giving something really big for players who bought the game.”

      Like the last 4 years of gameplay? :)

      I mean, the game’s four years old, and I paid the equivalent of $18 (a third of the Orange Box price back when it seems Steam billing even us Europeople in dollars). I don’t really feel hard doneby if they now release it for free.

      But a special hat for original purchasers _would_ be nice.

      P.

  4. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Another piece of circumstantial evidence is that Valve has been using TF2 as a testbed for new ideas for years now. Stats collection, in-game store, bots and training modes are examples of these. It’s not surprising that if they plan to do a free-to-play game that they test the infrastructure with TF2 first.

  5. airtekh says:

    If they do go this route, I hope the updates stay free.

    Even if they don’t, I would still probably pay for a decent map pack or two.

    At this point, I’m starting to feel a little guilty about the astonishing value for money I’ve gotten out of this game.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      There’s an option in the Mann Co store to buy “stamps” for community-created maps included in official updates. These stamps will give money directly to the mappers as well as activate a particle effect on a special hat when you play on a map you’ve bought a stamp for.

      As for new maps from Valve, they make their money back from sales of the game and hats. Plus TF2 is a great promotional tool for Steam in general, since you need Steam to play TF2.

    • Dhatz says:

      and thats the problem, i dont want a f2p that enforces a PoC intrusive redundant software. From f2p I only play BSGO.

    • Mistabashi says:

      What language was that? Certainly not the English I know and love…

    • LionsPhil says:

      Stuff like stamps are a way better idea. A TF2 where you have to actually buy map packs to play them at all is one where server rotations regularly cause bunches of players to leave.

      You know, like when Granary rolls around. (Worst. Map. Everrrrr.)

      I mean, I assume “extra content you pay for” doesn’t mean, like, weapons, because TF2 already has that. Even ones that are straight-up advantages, cost the world to craft, and are not likely to drop. Grenadier’s Softcap to complete the +20% sentry damage reduction, I’m looking at you.

  6. iamaelephant says:

    Wow. I seriously DO NOT want to play on servers with free-to-play newbies. Seriously.
    I’m not some elitist uber-pro who doesn’t want to play with new players. But opening a game up completely free for everyone is just asking for abusive, annoying idiot kids to come ruin my day. I can’t imagine the racket through the microphone when this goes free. Shudder.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      That’s what “mute player” button is for. I already use it a lot.

    • qrter says:

      Isn’t there an option to host a passworded server in TF2?

    • iainl says:

      We won’t all be complete Newbies. Some of us were just dumb enough to buy the Eggs Box Three Hundred And Sixty version of the Orange Box, and never quite justified buying the same game all over again for a decent control scheme, regular updates and a generally far better experience.

      Of course, when I put it like that, I surprise even myself with the level of my dumbness. Oh well. I might as well wait a little longer and see if it’s going to be free soon.

      Although my PC copy of Portal was free, too, and that didn’t require any Steam update shenanigans.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      IMHO online gaming needs a userbase matchmaking evolution.

      There should be SOME scope of figuring out skill levels and pairing together people on a similiar competence level based on their level stats. That way grief-ers (? sod knows, the people who steal the powerups only to waste them, shoot their own team or block doors etc) and quite plainly people who suck get to play with OTHER people who suck (which the match internally can offset), whereas people on a clan like level get to enjoy a superior, ultratight gaming experience with unparalleled coordination and excellence.

      IMHO there is nothing whatsoever wrong with being elitist. You invest your time and skill and you should be rewarded with people who do the same.

  7. Stick says:

    Heh. Other companies have to pay marketeers for attention. Valve just adds obscurely named code and hey presto, publicity by detail-oriented speculatrons.

    TF2P? Eh, sure, why not. It’s not like I’ve payed more than once, and I’ve certainly gotten my money’s worth.

  8. Jesh says:

    Valve has sold over 480 billion copies…

    Really?

    Thats a whole lotta snacks for Gabez…

    :D

    • John Walker says:

      Yes, that’s definitely the real number.

    • Dusk777 says:

      480 billion? Really? I take it you’re exaggerating as that’s about 80 copies per person in the world?

    • Polysynchronicity says:

      I myself own over 3 million copies of TF2.

    • Carra says:

      Well, the average disc breaks after two months. Thus everyone needs to replace their copy now and then.

      Good thing for Valve that half the world is still on dial up.

  9. Ovno says:

    Surely this is just free2pay hats isn’t it?

  10. Monchberter says:

    More TF2 players is a good thing. Almost everyone i know who has ever played a game on the PC owns the Orange Box (a huge chunk of them just for Portal). I think the market for people buying TF2 has probably gone, but it’ll help me convince those friends who have consoles for your CoD’s and Halo’s that PC gaming has it’s big hitters too, and they can play for free.

    It’s a good move, and TF2 is probably the best poster child for free to play that there ever could be.

    • Pobblepop says:

      I read ‘big hitters’ as ‘big hitlers’ have we had a big Hitler in gaming yet?

    • Shrewsbury says:

      What about in Wolfenstein 3D?

  11. jack4cc says:

    This would be every cheaters wet dream, unlimited tries without having to pay for a new version.

    • Monchberter says:

      You mean you’d go through the hassle of getting your account VAC banned, then getting a new steam account just to troll TF2?

      (Yes, I know the answer from the more dingy corners of the internet will be “yes”)

    • Cross says:

      Yes.
      The free weekends were always free cheating wildcards.

  12. mickiscoole says:

    This tweet happened around E3:
    http://mobile.twitter.com/elahti/status/78327968132378625

  13. Unholy Mushroom says:

    I have an issue with a constant stream of trivial DLC items. 5€ for a pack of weapons wants to be an impulse buy, but then one starts considering if those items are really useful, if the price is right, goodbye impulse.
    New maps have a clearer value, but amusingly enough, in Valve’s store they are given donations, not purchased. Since a game’s population shrinks with age, what’s the point of splitting it further among have-maps and have-nots?
    The only expansions I regularly buy are those for A.I. War. The game has constant maintenance, the exp. offer enough new content. Finally, A.I. War is not a multiplayer game in the same way as TF2, BF or the likes. You don’t feel behind the curve if you’re missing the latest pack.

    • LionsPhil says:

      The one that amuses me is that I paid a relative pittance for TF2 (Orange Box sale last Christmas, hooray).

      For quite a while before the Saxxys, the featured item on the store when you launched the game was thirty quid’s worth of hats. I wouldn’t be surprised if people’s “impulse” Mann Co purchases quickly tot up to more than they paid for the game in the first place. Enough times over, and/or with enough people doing that, and Valve have effectively got the income of release a moderate sequel for their updating efforts.

  14. bill says:

    Isn’t it already?

    I got it free with Portal and I’ve never had to pay for it. And steam sales have regularly had it at essentially free.

  15. Legionary says:

    No thanks, it’ll only end up with the game ruined by microtransactions.

  16. slpk says:

    OH god, No. Just think of an endless free weekend… #ohgodno

    • Tomm says:

      It could just be that the registry entry refers to an upcoming free weekend?

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Especially considering the Steam Summer Sale is rumoured to be kicking off tomorrow.

  17. I LIKE FOOD says:

    TF2 died with the silly hats. I moved on.

    • Jam says:

      Reallly? I continued playing on the basis that they’re (but for a few) purely aesthetic and don’t impact me in any way. I still enjoy the game.

    • LionsPhil says:

      TF2 is an overhealed heavy. Valve have to do more damage than that to actually kill it.

      I really wish they’d take out trading while games were in progress, though. Save that for warmup, or off-server, now that the latter is supported. Or at least make freaking autobalance not count people standing around in bloody spawn dragging hats about. Gnah.

    • Sigh says:

      I moved on as well.

      There is still a great game buried somewhere within all of the Games 2.0 nonsense, but the focus has changed enough to trigger me uninstalling it from my drive. I think the last straw for me was when I joined what seemed like a vanilla server only to have some announcer screaming that there was some magical item drop hidden in the level every minute and watching as players scramble for the drop like six-year-olds at an Easter egg hunt.

      I am glad that some of you still find enjoyment in it, but you can certainly have hipster item-trading kiddies.

      Steam > Trade Fortress 2 > Properties > Local Content > Delete. :-)

  18. Out Reach says:

    Title Writer totally missed out on the pun “Team Fortress 3/free” or something along those lines.

  19. adonf says:

    I guess I have to try this game before the F2P hordes jump in…

  20. Sigh says:

    This is nice news and all, but I am waiting for when they unroll the Team Fortress 2: Elite service.

  21. rocketman71 says:

    Oh, god, no. Just no. This just means more hats and more bugs in the rest of OB games while introducing them.

  22. wzraven says:

    480 billion copies? Billion? Seriously?
    So, basically, every human being on the planet Earth owns ~68 copies of TF2?
    Wo-o-w, you almost got me.

  23. lonewolf80 says:

    I really hope this doesn’t happen. Making Team Fortress 2 Free2Play would introduce so many hackers, and Valve will have absolutely no way of controlling the, since they’ll just rejoin if they get banned.

    • Sigh says:

      I don’t think anything will change. Currently hackers just re-buy if they get banned…same with Counterstrike Source. I suppose that being free will expedite the process somewhat.

    • gwathdring says:

      I don’t think it would mean MORE hackers. I think it would mean fewer hackers giving up. Which is also a problem, but it is a less short sighted way of framing the same issue compared to worrying about the moral fortitude of those new free players.

  24. ScubaMonster says:

    Since it was in the Orange Box, I kind of considered it to basically be free in the first place.

  25. WebFusion says:

    I think the only major issue will be how to stop the [relatively small number of] serial cheaters. We have about half a dozen of those who always seem to acquire another TF2 account and come back to use their little multi-hack tools. IP banning helps in some cases, but there are a few determined ones who love to grief, and apparently have the disposable income to do it. If you remove that paywall, then what is to stop them from rapidly increasing their efforts?
    Another issue will their little trading system. There are already hundreds of players that own 50+ TF2 accounts that they use to idle for item drops….what (if anything) will Valve do to prevent an explosion in the number of useless accounts?
    I really don’t care if TF2 goes free or not – as long as those issues are addressed.

    • Admirable says:

      Yeah… I seem to remember Robin Walker or maybe big GabeN saying a while back that the main reason they still charged for TF2 was because the cost of buying the game again was the only punishment they could inflict on cheaters.

    • gwathdring says:

      Hmmm. That is an interesting point. I hadn’t thought about that side of the whole “Free to play means more cheaters” argument. Taking that into account, it wouldn’t have to be that free players are more likely to be cheaters–the cheaters and hackers already playing the game wouldn’t ever get kicked out.

  26. HerpNDerp says:

    1. It seems more important to me that other people see the changes on your avatar than you seeing them yourself. I never really saw the point of customising characters only you can, can see, unless the customisation is wild enough to be entertaining.
    2. Concerning free content for tf2… I think you are severly misinterpreting the value of this. Just because valve does not directly charge for the extra content, it does not mean that free updates to tf2 have not earned them piles of money. The success of tf2 (and valve) is in part due to the astounding value and quality of their games. I remember when I got HL1. It was absolutely amazing, but what kept me playing longest was TFC and CS. This planted a seed of admiration for valve in me. As I grew, the games grew with me. Had these games ever required additional payments I would not have given them a second look. This was not at all due to a sense of entitlement. I did not feel valve owed me extra content, but I certainly appreciated it.
    Now, much of my appreciation for valve revolves around the fact that they provide an amazing gaming experience for a very reasonable price. Would I pay more for TF2? Sure, perhaps 5* more. However, many other people would not. The community would not be the same. There would not be so many willing g to create, or buy the micro-transaction aspects that TF2 is so strongly entwined with now. TF2 has served as a flagship for steam for years. Portal 2 seems to have been the first thing to eclipse it, though it appeals to a wider audience.
    Basically, Valve *may* have got some easy direct cash if they sold content packs for TF2. They would have lost out in the long run though. I for one would have never started paying for extra content like maps. I was used to free content developed by people passionate about the game from my history of TFC and CS. Now it seems Valve also had that passion. They were not spinning new content just to make more money (as it appeared, as I said, in the longrun I think they earned more with the free content updates), but because they loved the game they made.
    This is exactly why I hate companies like EA and Activision, but love Valve. In the end it does not come down to me being cheap, but it comes to the fact that I will happily give more money to someone who sells me a lovingly crafted product than someone who is trying to sell me a product that is obviously designed with only their profit in mind.
    This does not apply to everyone. Customers vary. Some love the yearly release of formulated bunk EA churns out, and will snap up every content pack, lest they are not able to fully experience the game. Why should all games appeal to the same group though? Do you really think Valve should turn their backs on the players their games appeal to? How can you suggest Valve change their pricing strategy following the success they have had with the current strategy?

    tl;dr It would not be unreasonable to start charging for additional content, but it would be stupid.

  27. Robin_G says:

    Well, they are already kind of having their cake and eating it too at the moment by retaining a sticker price and having an overpriced cash shop. They might as well go whole hog and ditch the purchase price. I just hope it doesn’t lead to an influx of cheaters or otherwise undesirables.

    • gwathdring says:

      This idea is fascinating to me. It’s a virtual extension of discrimination against immigrants. It’s utterly fascinating. You paid 5 to 20 more dollars/euros than some of the free players will have if this goes free to play. If you haven’t bought any items, you may ultimately have paid less for the game than some of them would end up paying. What makes you a superior sort of customer? Let alone a superior sort of human being?

      I’ve played some free to play games, and at least one game during it’s transition to free to play. I really didn’t feel a difference. Servers were more populated by all kinds of players, yes including the annoying sorts. I’ve met some damn obnoxious people in premium games, to boot. Counter Strike has a bit of a mess of a community with a hodge podge of professional gamers, hackers, leering imbeciles, and average gamers … the end result isn’t something I like very much. There are players and servers in TF2 pretty much since the game started that I haven’t enjoyed being around. But back when I played Soldat, I had a lovely old time. Sure there were hackers and racist remarks, but for the most part it was fine. No worse than premium multiplayer games I’ve tried. I will say that TF2 has some damn fantastic people, and the part of the community I prefer to hang around is stronger and more friendly than in a lot of games I’ve played.

      Now, maybe I’ve been lucky. Maybe free to play really does make communities less enjoyable. It probably makes them different even if it does so in ways that don’t bother me. But even if there is truth to this oft-spouted idea, I am convinced the spouting often comes almost entirely from hearsay and out-group bias. I think any truth in it sets in after the out-group bias, if ever.

      I realize that was not the point of your post and this may have been better placed in reply to someone else. I also want to make clear that I legitimately find it interesting–I don’t blame you and other who say it for any phenomenon at work, and I recognize that for some people it is not the work of a phenomenon but a rational response to their personal experiences. But it is a familiar sort of opinion to me, reminiscent of well-meaning but misguided grievances with immigrant populations in the real world … and in any case that cultural symmetry interests me a great deal.

  28. wazups2x says:

    I sure hope not. I prefer to actually own my games.

    • Sigh says:

      I sure hope not. I prefer to actually own my games.

      ~~~

      I sure hope not. I prefer to actually license them as long as I still have an active internet connection my games.

      Fixed.

  29. gwathdring says:

    This gets people using steam (as do Free to Play games) and opens up the in-game TF2 store to more people who otherwise wouldn’t cross the $5 to $20 barrier required to access it currently.

    Sounds like a solid plan to me. If the numbers are right it might not even need something like pay-for updates to make it work out.

  30. Mac says:

    Is there anyone who doesn’t already own TF2 and wants to play it?

    It’s been in so many sales it’s hard to believe so …

    • iainl says:

      Yeah. Well, I do own it, but on crummy console with terrible controls. So I’d kind of like to play it properly, while at the same time nto get my newbie arse handed to me – a whole load of other cack-handed incompetents joining at the same time would be great. And I can’t quite bring myself to buy the same game twice, anyway.

      Says the man with far too devices that can play Crazy Taxi.

  31. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    I do have to agree with some of the other grappling with this terminology issue.

    Occam’s Razor, Mr Walker. Not “Free To Play” so much as “Free”.

  32. Dreltox says:

    Turns out it was a Free Week! :O

  33. Saucy says:

    TF2 is dead to me anyway. I don’t care any more tbh. Everything was fine until that random drop shit started, when I try to play the game now after not playing it for months. People have much better weapons than vanilla weapons which is unfair and imbalanced.

    TF2 is digging it’s own grave.

  34. alonalon777 says:

    hey, what bout the people that bought the game 2 days ago? really? goes free, i want my money back…
    or something for the ppl who bought the game would be good, aslong as its not a freaking hat, something that you cant game in-game…

  35. Daniel Klein says:

    Quick thought-dump from me here:

    * Charging for updates in future: bad. Valve likely know this. The game has so much history that you have truly calcified expectations now. Start charging for things that used to be free? Lose a lot of your core audience.
    * If their in-game micro transaction system is successful, it makes tons of business sense to drop the box price to zero. You want to lower the barrier to entrance to zero to reach as many people as possible with your micro transactions. Plus free game that receives free updates equals good will, which translates into higher sales on your in game currency.

    So in short: if TF2′s in-game store is actually successful, going full on F2P while still providing tons of free updates makes a lot of sense.

  36. Aluschaaf says:

    Aaaaand you were correct, they just went f2p. Hooray for the onslaught of uncivilised masses!

    • Torgen says:

      Like the 100 sales the last couple years at $3.00 or less were keeping anyone out…