To Valve, Team Fortress 2 is more than just a wildly popular online shooter. It's the game that helped it survive the shifting trends that were taking place in the PC industry. Specifically, it helped Valve overcome the fact that it didn't have an MMO to call its very own.
"[When the game shipped], MMOs were the dominant story in the industry, and one concern we had was that we might not be able to survive if we didn?t build one," said Team Fortress 2 lead designer Robin Walker.
"We were starting to feel the same way about micro-transactions as we did initially about MMOs: that our company was at risk if we didn?t have internal experience and hard data on them." So TF2
became the test-bed for these interesting new features - and for Valve, it all paid off quite nicely.
"In the end, TF2
has been ended up being one of the most useful tools we?ve ever built to reduce risk in our company?s future.? Walker added. ?The thought that if we hadn?t done it, we?d be here today without any data or experience with service based monetization strategies is quite terrifying."