TF2 Hats Raise $430,543 For Japan

Hats off to you lot. Obv.

Cripes. You may remember us reporting that as of some two weeks ago, Valve were selling a variety of hats and noisemakers in Team Fortress 2 with prices ranging from $0.49 to $100 (that’d be the one on the right, there) in the name of raising money forAmerican Red Cross’s disaster relief fund for Japan. Those items vanished from the game’s Mann Co. store on Wednesday last week, but Valve have today reported on the official Team Fortress 2 blog that fans bought a total of $430,543 and 65 cents’ worth of stuff. Good work, gamers!

To mark the occasion, I’ve arranged for Sambomaster to play us out after the jump.

Take it away, guys!


  1. Conor says:

    Truly a fantabulous amount! Here’s hoping that it makes a tangible difference!

    Also, I love that song since playing it in OSU!! TATAKAE!!! OUENDAN!!! 2! Excellent choice!

    • yurusei says:

      That game was the best and worst experience of gaming on the DS. It made you feel like king of the world when you hit the notes right, and a total failure when you didn’t . Thumbs up to that!

    • BAReFOOt says:

      *cheers on with the lead singer of the video*

      Wait… that’s not what he’s saying?;)

  2. Antsy says:

    Hats off to Valve and the folk that bought hats!

    • Adam says:

      Yea, great thing Valve did here. However I doubt that most of the gamers that bought the hats knew that their money was going for a good cause. But still, win, win, win.

    • Froibo says:

      Who buys a hundred dollar virtual item just on a whim exactly?

    • NikoChekhov says:

      Unusuals, mate.

  3. Rinox says:

    At first I thought “how many people would have actually bought the hats for charity instead of for their exclusiveness?”, but then I realised that I’m an old and grumpy misantropist and that it doesn’t matter WHY they did, as long as they did it. :-) Amazing result, quite staggering really.

  4. Navagon says:

    Impressive work, hat fans! Let’s hope this makes a real difference to those most affected by this disaster.

  5. AlabasterSlim says:

    I just sold all my collector hats on Friday. As a person that plays a lot of games, but doesn’t play TF2, I appreciate this hat-based economy that lets me sell some digital fluff for money, which then goes into buying more games.

  6. Valvarexart says:

    This is fantastic!
    Meanwhile, though, I saw some lesser companies advertise similar items, with “50% going to help Japan”. Now, that is what I would call disgusting.

    • rayne117 says:

      Jesus, calm down. It’s good they are giving anything at all.

      Think about what Valve paid to do here: 1) Make hats for TF2, 2) Sell hats on already-implemented virtual store.

      That’s it. No shipping, no acquiring any goods to be sold, no housing the goods in a warehouse, no paying warehouse employees. This isn’t to take away from the great work they have done here; it is to show it didn’t really cost that much compared to retailers that have to do things I listed.

  7. Malibu Stacey says:

    Great work VALVe & everyone who bought items!

    In other philanthropic news, Arcen Games (makers of AI War, Tidalis & the upcoming A Valley Without Wind) have raised in excess of $18k so far for Childs Play from the proceeds of the Children of Neinzul AI War expansion.

    Also in before “Hats/item store have ruined TF2, never playing again etc. etc. etc.” crowd.

  8. Rii says:

    Japan is so rich that they have cameras everywhere recording and putting a human face on the devastation, and so the world’s reaction is to give them even more money to ensure that their GDP/capita doesn’t drop below 100 times that of Eritrea. Good show, world.

    • Rinox says:

      Blame the media for being selective, don’t blame people for being generous.

    • stahlwerk says:

      How can external donations raise the gdp of a country? What is wrong with helping disaster relief organizations tackle a problem with large one-time amounts of money, so that their steady flow of donations doesn’t need to be detracted from their work in other areas?

    • Ricc says:

      No country, no matter how rich, can deal with the death of 30.000 people and billions of damage over night.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I think his point is there are countries that are suffering like Japan all the time and deserve aid a lot more than Japan do, but don’t get media coverage, so no one cares.

      And I disagree, Japan will deal with this, and quite possibly be stronger in the future because of it.

    • Rinox says:

      @ DrGonzo
      Of course there are. Of course Japan will deal with it eventually. But if Rii meant that there were people worse off than Japan and more in need of help, he should have said that he hoped those countries would be helped too, not harp on people being selfless. As I said above, don’t blame the people giving, blame the media/political agendas.

      It’s like people saying Bill Gates’ charity efforts are meh because he’s Bill effing Gates and can throw around millions like it’s pocket change. It’s an understandable reflex, and while the worth of the money may be relative to him, it’s not to the people benefiting from it.

    • Vague-rant says:

      So, lets all find the objectively most needy cause in existence and then give all donations to that. Just out of curiousity, is that definitively Eritrea? Because I will be very disappointed if theres a more worthy cause.

      I’m probably a simpleton, but I imagine suffering is suffering and helping people is helping people. Stop looking at the countries.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      @DrGonzo, @Rii

      You both do realize Japan donated millions to the US when Katrina hit, right? I doubt you did.

    • Rii says:

      Government to government assistance makes sense. Realpolitik, strategic relationships and the like. It’s the private donation drives that are nonsense. It’s like the east wing of a local mansion burnt down and all the other mansion owners in the city are chipping in to assist their unfortunate peers whilst thousands of homeless continue to wander the streets as they’ve always done.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Most of those countries that need aid, get aid.

      These disaster relief funds immediately after something like this are essentially kick-starting the relief operation. Most countries can’t just magic money out of the air to deal with something this huge, especially given that a bunch of the people who might organise the things locally have just been killed.

      The bigger issue is corruption, when that money simple disappears into some guy’s pocket, but that mostly effects less wealthy countries.

      A weird example is that Pakistan has its own space program, but apparently needs £665 million from the UK in Aid.

    • Rii says:

      To be clear I am in no way opposed to assistance in relief operations. For example, the unparalleled global logistics resources of the United States (seriously, the US must have as much airlift capacity as the rest of the world put together) can contribute significantly in ensuring the delivery of needed equipment and so forth. It’s not like you can put things like blood supplies or excavators to better use elsewhere either.

      To extend my earlier analogy: you rescue the people and put out the fire, you don’t donate to the ‘help rebuild my mansion’ fund, the millionaires can do that themselves. You could throw a dart at a map of the world blindfolded and be reasonably assured of hitting a nation more in need of $500,000 than Japan is.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      It’s not even remotely surprising that this is the case though.

      Japan – being a highly developed 1st world country so was already covered with the means to gather meda and the means to distribute it. Pictures of the disaster were pinging round the world whilst it was still happening – rather than some news crews turning up to film the aftermath. For fairly obvious reasons, people are going to care more about a situation they can see unfolding live before their eyes than one they can merely read about the next day.

      It’s a little unfair to criticise people for this – it’s just human nature. You could similarly criticise people for caring more about the plight of pandas than about some slug that lives in a bog. They’re both equally worthy of saving, but people are always going to favour the pandas because they’re cute and fluffy – complaining about it is just shouting into the wind.

    • The_Terminator says:

      And to be fair, even though Japan is one of the richest countries in the world, and quite possibly the single most prepared country when it comes to dealing with this kind of disaster, the scale of the devastation is just so huge that even the Japanese government is struggling to cope on it’s own.

      Without the help provided by other governments and charities like the Red Cross, the death toll would be massively higher than it is – and it’s already staggeringly high. No single government has the logistical capacity to respond to something like this quickly enough to save everyone who it might be possible to save; and no single government can handle the massive logistical challenge of getting shelter, food, water, and medical supplies to the hundreds of thousands of survivors who need it – at least, not on such short notice. Without the support of other organisations, this disaster would have been much, much worse.

      Besides, given the political situation in Japan, the government won’t want to let outside organisations handle anything which they can deal with themselves. The current government was on the verge of collapse before this happened; for the DPJ (who are the current ruling party), this disaster is an opportunity to regain the public’s favour – if they can handle it well by themselves, and prove that they are competent, and don’t need to rely on others to do it for them, then they could be able to stay in power for a while longer.

  9. 3lbFlax says:

    I was happy to buy a hat and then even happier to see so many other hats in play, though I felt kind of bad shooting any players wearing them. So I just played as an engineer and left this difficult ethical decision to my turrets.

  10. QuantaCat says:

    hats off to sambomaster. but noone will take the place of The Pillows..

  11. lazysuperhero says:

    Oh christ why must there be a trolls shitting on good deeds even on a heartening news article like this. For fucks sake stop being such dickheads. Keep the cynicism to yourself. There is never anything remotely questionable about engaging in charitable schemes like these to help people in need, no country no matter how rich can easily deal with such a devestating disaster.

    Stories like this one and others reporting on the gaming industry and gamers banding together to help out those in need make me proud to be a gamer. Keep up the good work anyone who does stuff like this.

  12. Mr Bismarck says:

    Meanwhile, League of Legends donated all money earned from sale of a special skin for their Akali character and sales of the Akali champion herself over a certain period and raised more than $160,000 for their Japan Relief effort.

    So yay gamers!

  13. tomeoftom says:

    Amazing news!

  14. Hoaxfish says:

    Betting we’ll see these hats on ebay or trading for a premium from those who bought them

    • Kaira- says:

      But you can’t sell/trade ’em, you’d have to sell your whole Steam account, which in turn could lead into ban and losing your games.

  15. kregg says:

    I thought this would be more appropriate?

    (For the hardcore internet men amongst us: link to

  16. LordCiego says:

    Thanks a lot for the song Quintin. Now i have to watch Densha Otoko again :/

    • Henke says:

      If you wanna watch Dense Otakus you’re in the right place!

      *boom tishhh*

  17. ChangSifon says:

    We all know that VALVe are amazing but …geez that are 430k …..and 65 cents :O

  18. Araxiel says:

    I thought the TF2 store is a scam. I was wrong…

    It’s a huge scam.