The hand of Hale giveth, the hand of Hale taketh away. And then it probably punches something. That wacky, violent Australian. In a strange move for a game that's built around the notion that people want to buy hats, Team Fortress 2 is retiring some of its headgear from sale, drops, unboxing, and even crafting. The only way to get them is through trading. I guess that'll include the Steam Marketplace as well. What hats, you ask? Well, unless you click this link, the only way to find out is to look below. There is literally no other option. I'd prefer you went below. I have a treat waiting for you if you do.
In the twisted fiction of the Team Fortress 2 universe, the hats were stored with jars of mayonnaise which spoiled. They were then eaten by raccoons. The stinky, rabies infected toppers are: Batter's Helmet, Soldier's Stash, Pyro's Beanie, Demoman's Fro, Football Helmet, Mining Light, Prussian Pickelhauge, Trophy Belt, and Fancy Fedora. All old, and probably not selling particularly well. So this is probably another experiment in seeing how much Valve can make from them in a short space of time, before dropping them from. It's not like they won't still exist: according to the FAQ hats any existing hats will be untouched.
Q: What is happening to this set of nine hats in two weeks?
A: These items will no longer be sold in the store, randomly dropped, unboxed as unusuals, or acquired through crafting.
Q: What happens to copies of these items that are already in my backpack?
A: All existing copies of the items will remain unaffected.
Q: What about older crates that have these items as a potential drop?
A: Crates that contain these items will still have a chance at unboxing them in normal quality only.
Q: How will I now acquire these items?
A: These items are still useable in trading.
Q: Will these items ever come out of retirement?
A: No. Once an item is retired it will stay that way.
Q: Will more items be retired in the future?
A: Advance notice will be given if any other items will be retired.
Interesting. I'm not sure what to make of it. The notion of restricting digital content just seems odd to me. I spent so long at the beginning of the hat craze craving the Fancy Fedora, that the thought of it being retired is slightly sad. I'm reinstalling the game to look lovingly at mine, then in five years I'll sell it to a new free-to-play player and retire on the funds. It might anger the Heavy, who loves hats.
Oh, yes! I promised a treat. Here's a Lily Allen/Littlest Hobo mashup that is best of all things.