TF2 now the “most highly-rated” free-to-play game

Friday, 24th June 2011 02:48 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The cat is out of the bag: Team Fortress 2, the 92% MC shooter first released in 2007 as part of Valve’s Orange Box, has gone free-to-play as part of this week’s Über Updates.

Team Fortress 2

First released in 2007 as part of The Orange Box

Sequel to Team Fortress Classic, once a Quake mod

Uses Valve’s cross-platform Source engine

Class-based team multiplayer with personality

Team Fortress F2P Site

The game will now be monetised solely through in-game purchases in the pre-existing MannCo store.

Premium content for Team Fortress 2 ranges from vanity items such as the famous hats through to weapons of varying power. Micro-transaction purchases can be made through Steam’s Wallet system, and community-authored content will continue to pay revenue to creators.

Valve has promised the rate of in-game item drops will not go down as a result of the move to a freemium model; nor will Valve cease or slow updates to the game, which is famous for highly-anticipated content updates.

The free-to-play move comes as little surprise; Steam opened to free-to-play games last week, and quietly admitted to having its own plans in the area. Putting that together with the announcement of the Über Update, billed as the most significant in Team Fortress 2′s history, painted a pretty compelling picture.

Team Fortress 2 is the successor to Team Fortress Classic, a full release remake of the popular Team Fortress mod for Quake. During the game’s nine-year development, creators John Cook and Robin Walker joined Valve full-time and gradually transformed the game from a realistic modern-warfare game to the cartoon style it favours today. It has since become one of the most successful PC multiplayer titles ever, maintaining a huge, dedicated user base.

The game’s nine classes each have their own distinct personality and voice, as evidenced by its famous Meet The… series of short films, and a simple plot of world-dominating corporations explains the classic competitive gameplay.

And you can wear hats. Often awarded as part of cross-title promotions or as part of community events, the hats have become a kind of by-word for the game, and once Valve stumbled upon the realisation that people were willing to pony up for them, well – the rest was probably inevitable.

Speaking to Develop, Team Fortress 2 lead Robin Walker discussed the game’s shift to a freemium model.

“We’ve been toying with the idea [of going free-to-play] ever since the Mann-conomy update, where we added the in-game Team Fortress 2 store,” Walker said of the move.

“Over the years we’ve done a bunch of price experimentations with the game…The more we’ve experimented, the more we’ve learned there are fundamentally different kinds of customers, each with their own way of valuing the product.

“Now that we’re shipping it, it feels like a fairly straightforward next step along the ‘Games as Services’ path we’ve been walking down for a while now.”

Walker commented that it would be “dangerous to assume” the freemium model would work for other Valve games, and said the company has no plans as yet to bring over more titles.

Team Fortress 2 is available on PC and Mac, exclusively through Steam.



  1. Patrick Garratt


    #1 4 years ago
  2. Fin

    Holy fuck. Didn’t see this coming.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Badger

    I can’t imagine there’s that many people out there that didn’t pay the next to nothing price in the first place, but I’m aware I’m probably about to be proved wrong.

    Great news in my opinion anyway, this should keep the community strong at the very least!

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    I had it on console, but I couldn’t get on with it. I’m sure the PC version’s loads better. I’ll give it a waz in a bit.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Lounds

    They’ve killed this Game, I loved TF2.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. someguy2

    Great, cheers for wrecking the game Valve.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. AHA-Lambda

    holy shit megaton =O

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Maximum Payne

    I just bought it 2 days ago :(

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Lewis247

    I just couldn’t understand what was so amazing about this game when playing it on consoles back in 2008. Didn’t enjoy it very much.

    This may allow me to see how it is on pc.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. abbe

    @5: Yes, if by killing the game you mean: Infusing it with new players through removing the purchase cost, keeping the game fresh with new weapons and maps for FREE.

    @8: Well, now you dont have to buy something from the mannco store to make it a premium account though, but still unlucky…

    #10 4 years ago
  11. sasha

    Archimedes, no!

    #11 4 years ago
  12. YoungZer0

    Hey, that’s great, now i can see what the fuzz is all about.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. tdrules

    OMG how dare VALVe make a game I paid £15 for for free.
    I only got 300 hours out of it, I demand VALVe make all paid users kings of TF2 and make them invincible.

    /average entitled TF2 player

    #13 4 years ago
  14. absolutezero

    The people that bought the game get a hat.

    Thats the TF2 way of saying we love you.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Lounds

    More noobs to kill atlest

    #15 4 years ago
  16. The Evil Pope

    Awesome game (on PC). Don’t bother with the 360/PS3 versions because they are shit and lag like a bastard!

    #16 4 years ago
  17. el duderino

    As long as they keep tf2 ”the multiplayer fps game with the least cheater population” i’m down with this.Bring on the noobs!

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Len

    Loved the original TF, used to play it to death on the pc and TF2 is juts a total labour of love by them. I remember when they released the first TF2 shots which thinking about it looked a bit like bf does now and we all got excited…7 yrs later etc etc.

    Stunning game on pc imo… :)

    #18 4 years ago
  19. minxamo

    How in god’s name is it 10gb?

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Len

    Here you go:

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Len

    @19 The insane amount of updates they’ve done?

    #21 4 years ago
  22. mathare92


    #22 4 years ago

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