Team Fortress 2 goes 'free to play'

Valve is preparing "the most ambitious update in the history of Team Fortress 2." And what's one feature of the update? The game is going to be free to play.

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Valve is preparing "the most ambitious update in the history of Team Fortress 2." And what's one feature of the update? The game is going to be free to play.

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.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    June 23, 2011 6:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Team Fortress 2 Free to Play.

    Valve is preparing "the most ambitious update in the history of Team Fortress 2." And what's one feature of the update? The game is going to be free to play.

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 6:39 PM

      well, there ya go.

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 6:41 PM

      More new players means more players to OWN!!!

      • reply
        June 23, 2011 6:45 PM

        It'll also mean an influx of retards complaining it's not free after they see the store before actually playing and knowing how the drop and craft systems work. Can't wait!

        • reply
          June 23, 2011 7:03 PM

          BUT THE COSMETIC CHANGES ARE RUINING THIS GAME

          • reply
            June 23, 2011 7:21 PM

            OK so now I have to buy a neon green DR SUESS hat to be competitive?! People buy items and than they can instant kill me!!! GG PURCASING UR SKILLS!!!!

            • reply
              June 23, 2011 8:10 PM

              HAHAHHAHAHA your such a fool. obviously you havnt played much

              • reply
                June 23, 2011 8:12 PM

                yes, gnomish hasn't played TF2 much at all :P

                • reply
                  June 24, 2011 12:42 AM

                  i actually think that the cosmetic nature of the items is what killed it, there are so many items and people trading for them it just completely took over the game with trade_plazas and people trading in the chat and people wearing those stupid hats, the focus on the actual "hardcore" gameplay is gone.

                  • reply
                    June 24, 2011 1:20 AM

                    I rarely have people trading in any server I play on. People actually work together with tactics and play the game.

              • reply
                June 24, 2011 10:30 AM

                gnomonster has eleventy billion logged TF2 hours.

            • reply
              June 24, 2011 9:46 AM

              Please! That hat is best when it's pink.

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 6:42 PM

      Now I have incentive to play! Woo hoo!!!

      • reply
        June 23, 2011 6:49 PM

        The four years of near-unanimous praise wasn't enough?

        • reply
          June 24, 2011 7:56 AM

          The four years of owning it on 360 and not PC, and also having a million other things to purchase, kept me from playing.

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 6:50 PM

      I cant believe it.I guess valve Do it.

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 6:53 PM

      wasn't it $5 anyway?

      • reply
        June 23, 2011 6:59 PM

        Often. I think it was even free at one point before. Maybe it was just Portal though.

        • reply
          June 23, 2011 7:22 PM

          I don't think it's ever been free but it's been crazy cheap, like $1.99 for four hours or something.

          This is great - maybe I can get my wife to try it now since it won't cost me money if she hates it.

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 6:55 PM

      With all the previous sales, they probably sold as many copies as they're ever going to sell, so they're not losing anything, but if a new players tries it because it's free and buys some junk then they win.

      • reply
        June 23, 2011 7:04 PM

        plus it's a gateway to get people to install Steam, just like Alien Swarm was

        • reply
          June 23, 2011 8:12 PM

          They are sucking in everybody in for TF3 when it comes out in 5 years

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 7:06 PM

      Yall wanna hear a crazy idea. what if valve put this on ps3 with steamworks. Sony has show they'd be open to this idea and well valve like money

      • reply
        June 23, 2011 7:06 PM

        how is that crazy? they already have portal 2 on there

        • reply
          June 23, 2011 7:16 PM

          It's crazy because although I wish they'd do it, it probably would be too much effort to port it all.

        • reply
          June 23, 2011 7:24 PM

          If PC and PS3 players could play against each other? Because the standing issue with putting multiplatform multiplayer between PC's and consoles is that the PC players just completely decimate the console players. This isn't me being snarky, it's just that the control scheme favors quicker reaction times. Portal 2 did it because Portal 2's MP was co-op so it wasn't people trying to kill each other quickly.

          • reply
            June 23, 2011 7:26 PM

            Actually a while or long time ago Microsoft decided to link 360's to some PC's and I think it was Kickass 360 players versus Mediocre PC players and it didn't go so well for the 360 guys. I think I might've read it on the shack...

      • reply
        June 23, 2011 9:24 PM

        I'm actually curious what the original TF2 release profiled memory-wise on the PS3.

        The amount of content that can potentially now be loaded at the same time is significantly higher than it was when it launched, if they were anywhere close to hitting max RAM previously they'd have to do some serious work to get all this content running now.

        • reply
          June 23, 2011 10:13 PM

          Valve didn't work on TF2 on PS3, so I don't think the numbers would really matter much. The Steam engine got a major overhaul once it moved to Mac, that eventually led to a PS3-compatible engine. Would be great to see Valve attempt it, but I bet it isn't worth their time and effort.

          • reply
            June 24, 2011 1:27 AM

            What? You mean the Source Engine? It's Been PS3 compatable sonce the Orange Box. Yes Valve didn't work on the port, but Source still runs on the PS3.

            • reply
              June 24, 2011 7:27 AM

              Yes but I've heard that the Orange Box port of Source wasn't very good.

              • reply
                June 24, 2011 8:16 AM

                The Orange Box PS3 port is terrible. It runs almost entirely on the main CPU and barely uses the Cell processors at all, and it gets like 20fps if your'e lucky during major gameplay moments.

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 7:24 PM

      Korean item shopped.

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 7:31 PM

      Patch is updating tf2 now

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 8:24 PM

      So now the battle between RED and BLU in TF2 will go back and fourth forever for free?

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 8:42 PM

      sucks to be the whatever staff is remaining at Battlefield heroes and p4f these days...

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 8:42 PM

      Can you turn off or dial down the violence/blood in TF2? If so, I might be able to get my wife into this...

      • reply
        June 23, 2011 8:44 PM

        You can turn off the gore/blood

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 2:30 AM

        Wait, so your wife would be willing to shoot all sorts of arsenal at cartoon characters with the intent to kill, but as soon as someone explodes it's a no go?

        >_>

        • reply
          June 24, 2011 7:30 AM

          Possibly. I mean yeah this one is cartoony so it might get a pass but nice to know the option is there.

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 4:38 AM

        I hate violent video games and soldier/military games even more but TF2 is cartoon-y enough to not bother me at all.

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 9:16 PM

      Check out my hotkeys mod, works with all Valve games and mods!
      http://www.moddb.com/mods/elements-of-war/downloads/1337-board-v7

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 11:24 PM

      Watch this trailer with the beginning of Hosue of the Rising Sun.

    • reply
      June 23, 2011 11:30 PM

      Did I miss something? Hasn't it always been free to play?

      • reply
        June 23, 2011 11:55 PM

        If you bought the Orange Box for reasons other than TF2, yes.

        It still cost money for that bundle and when it was sold separately. They've done many free weekends when pushing out some big content updates though.

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 12:00 AM

        you had to buy a copy of it to play it, now you can just download it

        • reply
          June 24, 2011 12:24 AM

          Oh, I always thought "free to play" meant that they were basically waiving any type of subscription cost, not the up-front cost of the game itself.

          • reply
            June 24, 2011 8:51 AM

            Yeah it's sort of a different use of the terminology. What they really mean is that now the game download is free but it also has microtransactions like other F2P games.

            I guess this is the real reason they allowed other F2P games on last week.

    • reply
      June 24, 2011 4:16 AM

      when is the update coming out that turns off all that shit off If I'm not interested in?

      I rather play the 360 version than the hat simulator this has become

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 5:00 AM

        If you're not interested in it, then why is it a problem? Just ignore it and play the game.

        • reply
          June 24, 2011 6:24 AM

          that is just it, its all cosmetic stuff that you should be able to turn off if you don't want it.
          I know a lot of you guys like this, but to me TF2 went full retard after it became a hat-simulator.

          • reply
            June 24, 2011 6:37 AM

            ^^^ keeps getting decapitated by demoknight.

          • reply
            June 24, 2011 6:42 AM

            Why don't you just ignore it, then?

            It's not a "hat simulator", for fuck's sake.

          • Zek
            reply
            June 24, 2011 6:47 AM

            Does it really offend your sensibilities that much to fight people who are wearing hats?

          • reply
            June 24, 2011 8:23 AM

            Why? The core gameplay hasn't changed.

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 6:47 AM

        I wouldn't mind seeing a "vanilla" mode free of the new weapons and whatnot.

        • reply
          June 24, 2011 8:52 AM

          Putting in a vanilla mode undermines the store though.

        • reply
          June 24, 2011 8:58 AM

          there are vanilla servers. there have always been. of course, they are extremely unpopular so there's probably 4 of them total. but admins have that option to turn on vanilla mode and restrict the game to how it launched.

          I wonder what other MP games people would demand vanilla mode on with such vigor. it's pretty hilarious to see people so pissed off at TF2 because they don't play it and don't have the weapons, but still want to complain anyway.

          • reply
            June 24, 2011 9:00 AM

            Most multiplayer games don't shit on game balance and release a stream of terrible maps ever 4-6 months though.

            • reply
              June 24, 2011 9:04 AM

              lol

            • reply
              June 24, 2011 9:14 AM

              You know - when they first started announcing all these new weapons, I thought it would turn into the inevitable MMO patch process of constantly changing buff/debuffs attempting to balance them out.

              But honestly, you don't see many (if any) posts claiming X item to be overpowered or players demanding that a certain build be nerfed into the ground. I think I've only seen a handful of patch notes that change the item from the original specs as well.

              I'd say they do a fantastic job of making the items balanced - especially considering how many there are.

              • reply
                June 24, 2011 9:28 AM

                Sandvich (in current form) is too good. GRU, Mad Milk, Vita Saw, Wrangler and Equalizer as well. Arguably fists of steel but these lost some damage reduction.

                Older Natasha, Backburner (+50 health) and probably a bunch others that were fixed.

                The new items are of unknown quality for now, but I would expect the spy revolver and perhaps the new rocket launcher to be included in this category as well.

                • reply
                  June 24, 2011 9:54 AM

                  Almost all of those items are completely situational.. Maybe better for your playstyle or role, but not in general. The only one that I would tend to agree with is the sandvich.

                  The Wrangler is good out in the open, but if you have a turret guarding a corner chokepoint it's kinda worthless. Plus you lose the pistol. GRU I usually have equipped, but that's because I almost always have my brother as a medic when I'm heavy - otherwise I would generally use fists o steel. Vita Saw is good, but that -10hp can go a long ways, etc.

            • reply
              June 24, 2011 9:20 AM

              They obviously don't really care anymore. They are just trying to sell more hats (evident by the fact that they made the game free to play now)

            • reply
              June 24, 2011 10:11 AM

              so you prefer the counterstrike style, where people prefer that nothing changes?

              TF2 and counterstrike are the most popular FPS games per steam stats. There's room for both types of evolutions of games. and valve has proven they can support both.

              so basically we just need a lot of idiot whiners to shut the fuck up.

            • reply
              June 24, 2011 10:18 AM

              most multiplayer games don't get any support beyond 6 months to a year. TF2 came out in 2007

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 6:48 AM

        The addition of items and hats probably makes less difference to the gameplay than playing it on 360 does.

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 7:35 AM

        Sorry, all i saw when i read your post was "Hurf durf blurf murf!"

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 8:41 AM

        Sounds to me like you don't play the game regularly anyway, and you wouldn't even if the hats weren't there.

        • reply
          June 24, 2011 8:50 AM

          i played it for for like two years, then i tried to come back recently and i am like wtf is this childiness, why the hell did they make stupid hats and people trading in chat for "paint", it just killed the little seriousness the game had, its like a game for six year olds now.

          • reply
            June 24, 2011 8:51 AM

            when was the game ever supposed to be serious?

          • reply
            June 24, 2011 8:54 AM

            Yeah, it's not like vanilla TF2 was an incredibly mature experience either. But the hats, the paints, everything is just cosmetic or extraneous to the overall game experience which has not changed and

            You know what, I've been over this a billion times and I just don't have the energy anymore. I think I'll be avoiding future TF2 threads the way I avoid Minecraft Notch-hating threads.

          • reply
            June 24, 2011 9:05 AM

            For some reason yours and X-GOUKI's posts are coming out as "Hurf blurf murf durf!"

            I think there is something wrong with the shack.

            • reply
              June 24, 2011 9:06 AM

              Shack stands up for the worst PC games, shits on the best ones.

          • reply
            June 24, 2011 10:11 AM

            Team Fortress 2 was a remarkably serious game before all this. I can't believe they ruined the mature, dramatic tone of the game by introducing comedic elements such as hats.

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 9:01 AM

        waaaaaah

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 10:03 AM

        Well, you don't have to buy hats. Problem solved!

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 10:56 AM

        Robin Walker said in an email recently that they are figuring out a way to do it. But gave no timeline. I'm sure they will make a set of visual toggles like the game had already in the Advanced Options.

    • reply
      June 24, 2011 8:33 AM

      Seems like an obvious move. I bet they make more money off the mann-conomy story than sales of the actual game nowadays anyway.

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 10:29 AM

        yeah this is definitely not a profit cutting move. with the top 5 or so games on itunes in gross revenue being free-to-play games, it seems like this is the future (for some types of games)

    • reply
      June 24, 2011 9:18 AM

      cool.

    • reply
      June 24, 2011 9:37 AM

      One of the new medic guns seems kind of awesome. Faster ubercharge faster heal, but can't overheal. I wish valve would make more things like that one too many of the things have such bad negative properties that I don't want to use them.

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 9:42 AM

        No overheal is pretty dicey.

        • reply
          June 24, 2011 10:40 AM

          and no invuln, so a backstab / headshot will still kill

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 10:16 AM

        I don't know about this update. Some classes got some really cool shit, while others got plain shit. I wonder about the balance sometimes.

        • reply
          June 24, 2011 10:20 AM

          all of the new weapons were tested via TF2 Beta for weeks or months

          • reply
            June 24, 2011 10:38 AM

            eh, that still doesn't mean much. Plenty of the other items were tested for a while only to have them get tweaked over and over. If only this happened with The Sandman, it probably would have never been put into the game altogether. lol

            • reply
              June 24, 2011 10:50 AM

              man I miss the original sandman so much. being a horrible nuisance with it was the best thing.

              • reply
                June 24, 2011 10:53 AM

                haha that thing was so stupidly overpowered. Valve was smoking crack putting that thing in.

                • reply
                  June 26, 2011 3:13 AM

                  maybe they should make some items a bit overpowered sometimes, otherwise why would people even want to get them... i think cod4 pretty much nailed it with item progression being something exciting to look for. in tf2 items are like same copies of each other even if they work a little different...

        • reply
          June 24, 2011 10:46 AM

          The poor engineer didn't get a damn thing ;-(

      • reply
        June 24, 2011 10:40 AM

        the negative properties are needed to balance against the other items. they can't just make an all-positive item

    • reply
      June 24, 2011 9:46 AM

      Just curious, does anyone have any stats in regards to total active players for TF2 on a nightly basis?

    • reply
      June 25, 2011 1:18 PM

      For those who bought TF2 before it became free, check this out:

      http://www.cafepress.com/stupidhats

    • reply
      June 25, 2011 1:55 PM

      Is this even worth me trying to play at this point? I feel like trying to join this game at this late date will just me being uber pwned over and over.

      • reply
        June 25, 2011 4:13 PM

        Well, that game does not require skill, so I'd say go for it.

        Let the flames begin.

        • reply
          June 26, 2011 5:30 AM

          At GAF, they're getting lulz over using the Dead Ringer on n00bs over and over.

          I'm gonna have to do my homework before I even think of playing this game! Maybe some youtube videos will help.