Robin Walker told Develop that the team has been toying with the idea ever since the Mann-conomy update, which introduced an in-game store to the title. The game will be monetized entirely by the various trinkets that can be purchased from the store. "We're not doing any kind of subscription, nor are we taking any features away," Walker insisted.
Valve is hoping that the free-to-play update will encourage a new audience to try the game, something that will also help veterans of the nearly four year old game. "The more players, the more available servers in your area, the wider variety of other players you'll find, the greater the opportunity for new experiences, and so on," Walker explained.
The update also benefits Valve, in that it should expose a larger audience to the Steam platform, and more importantly, the Steam Wallet. "Any player who buys something in TF2's store will then be familiar with the purchasing process used in all these other games, and that removes one of the biggest barriers to entry for them buying something in those other games, and vice versa."
The update is now available.
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