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Robots Need Hats Too: TF2's Community Created Update

'Enhancements? For one's head? How unnatural!'

There are nearly as many Team Fortress 2 hats as there are snarky jokes about Team Fortress 2 hats. I see more hats in a day of browsing the Valvier parts of the Internet than I do in a year of going outside. But let’s face it: ours is a hatted man’s world, and so long as there are heads to be ogled and summarily shot, people will clamor for more carnivals of craftsmanship to cover them. You can probably see where I’m going with this. There’s a new Team Fortress 2 update, and it’s entirely player-created. Also, it’s mostly hats. These, however, are robot hats, and – as the wisest of all Benders taught us – that makes them exponentially more interesting. There’s also a video, comic, and all sorts of other post-update revelry. The break is not a robot, but it will do is best to emulate the experience.

Yes, they went with a “_____ Boogaloo” gag. Give ’em a break. Valve (probably) had nothing to do with it.

That’s the interesting part, actually. Sure, Valve is promoting the whole thing on an official basis, but it’s all the community’s handiwork. Every last bit. All 57 items, the video, the website, etc, etc, etc. Valve explained on the TF2 blog:

“This update is 100% created by the TF2 community. And when we say everything, we mean everything—the in-game content, the update hub website, the animated short, the comic, even the splash images in the Steam store.”

“Plus, in a first for the Team Fortress economy, all the creators of the Robotic Boogaloo Update have decided to share the revenue earned from the sale of RoboCrate Keys. That means that everyone involved will be profiting from this update, not just the people making hats.”

Woo! Now that’s teamwork.

Do not assume, however, that Valve’s leaving its flagship barrel of laughs/giblet explosions in its community’s impressively capable hands. Valve-created updates will continue right alongside the community’s, with nary a single toe stepped on or otherwise painfully annihilated.

It’s certainly an interesting decision, though not exactly a surprising one. Valve’s been incorporating player-created elements into its day-to-day operations for ages. This is just the logical next step. Somewhat comically, however, the big, warm, money-insulated hug comes during the same week as Nintendo’s decision to start claiming ad revenue on Let’s Play videos of its games. Oh gaming industry, you so non-standardized.

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Nathan Grayson

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