Valve Rewards Team Fortress 2 Community Contributors with Lots of Zeroes

Golden WrenchWow. This is one of those stories that just oozes awesome. It’s like our “Today’s WTF” topics, but in a totally different way.

If you are a lover of Team Fortress 2, then you’ll recall that Valve launched an in-game store for virtual items, Mann Co. Store. The coolest thing about this marketplace is that it allowed users to buy items for the game that they didn’t feel like earning over the course of time. So basically, the items could either be earned for free, or bought to skip all that grinding.

As part of the launch of this new business model, Valve participated in the Polycount item contest, where users competed to see whose items could make it into the game. Well, it turns out that the five winners not only got their items added to the game, but also to the Mann Co. Store, where other users could purchase them… and Valve gave the content creators a 25% revenue share.

It added up pretty quickly. Each of the winners was flown to Valve’s offices in Washington and given five figure checks that ranged from $39,000 to $47,000 apiece. That’s a chunk of change for creating hats and goofy weapons. The craziest part of all of this? That’s only from the first two weeks of sales. Considering the large user base of Team Fortress 2 and people’s penchant for wanting cool stuff, I’ll bet we can expect those numbers to increase for years to come. The funniest part of all of this is that Valve was going to just deposit the sum into the winners’ Pay Pal accounts, but it actually exceeded the deposit limit, so they just flew them up instead.

This is something really impressive on Valve’s part. I know that people tend to jump all over the Valve bandwagon, but these guys continue to innovate in a gaming industry that tends to do the same old, same old. This is a terribly clever way to monetize a several year old game, while rejuvenating its user base and the community surrounding it. In fact, Gabe Newell was recently quoted as suggesting that almost half of Valve’s employee base has been pulled directly from the community. In the future, Valve hopes to bring even more user content to the store including maps, user guides and more.

What a great story, huh? What other games would you guys like to see this kind of user and developer created content for? Have any of you bought anything from the Mann Co. Store?

Source – Gamasutra

Written by

I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

7 thoughts on “Valve Rewards Team Fortress 2 Community Contributors with Lots of Zeroes”

  1. “In the future, Valve hopes to bring even more user content to the store including maps, user guides and more.”

    I’m okay with everything in this sentence except “maps”. I do NOT want to pay for maps. That’s why I’m shocked that Mitch said he’s “happier than a clam” (I think) to pay $15 bucks for 4 new maps in BFBC2. I mean I know it’s more than just new maps. But really? The best part of CS was/is that there were so many custom maps. Yeah, sure, a lot of them were bad, but that’s why you hand pick the good ones to put on your servers, and if your community is big enough, build some around your own clan/crew/friends/boredom.

    I do not ever want to pay for maps. Weapons and clothing: that’s optional. I don’t ever want to try to connect to a server only to get the message “Sorry, they’re having fun. Please pay an extra $0.99 to join!”

  2. This makes me really mad that Valve rejected my Dildo Hat.

    +50% to critical hits with a melee weapon!

    @Julez When I said “happy as a clam” I meant for more Battlefield. I’m not thrilled to be paying for four new maps, but I know the fun my friends and I will have will outweigh the entry fee.

  3. I’m having mixed thoughts about the whole ‘paying for maps’ bit.
    Over the 3 years I’ve owned the OrangeBox, I’ve spent over 1000 hours in the Source SDK mapping for Portal and TF2. A solid 5 CP maps takes months to make, and even longer to refine and balance. Getting paid for all of that hard work would be amazing, especially when people who spent a couple hours making models are getting as much as they are.
    But from a players point of view, it seems like a terrible and unfun idea. With weapons it isn’t so bad because you can randomly find all of them, but when you start to withhold maps you’re going to start to break up communities and kill servers. People just aren’t going to have as much fun.

    Ontop of that there would be issues with people de-compiling the pay maps, then recompiling them under a different name for public use.

  4. This is why I love Valve so much!

    Julez and Gideon Graves, I don’t think that valve will charge for maps, just have them on there so they are easier to get too like they do in L4D2. Even if they do charge for them the inevitable major uprising of upset fans would change there minds.

    Mitch, Valve must be out of their minds because I need that hat!!!

  5. You guys need to not fear.

    Robin Walker (head of the TF2 team) stated that he doesn’t want people to pay for maps. He said that would leave out a good number of the community from experiences part of the game, which is what he and no one else wants. I hope that his decision doesn’t change.

  6. Man, Im in the wrong field. I should be developing game items for Valve! lol

    I cant think of games where I would want to see this kind of stuff though. The valve ones are pretty good, Im struggling to think of console games.

Comments are closed.