Microtransactions invade Team Fortress 2

Valve introduces payment scheme to acquire in-game items for its popular online multiplayer shooter.

The virtual goods market has exploded over the past couple of years, growing from $1.1 billion in 2009 to an expected $1.5 billion in 2010, according to a recent study. And with virtual goods sales expected to grow by 40 percent over 2010 levels in 2011, it comes as no surprise that an increasing number of gaming companies are coming up with new ways to monetize their games postlaunch by selling in-game items.

The latest company to do so is Valve, which announced today that it has introduced microtransactions to its well-regarded online multiplayer shooter Team Fortress 2. Available now through the PC version of the game, the Mann Co. in-game store allows gamers to spend real-world cash on in-game items. The first pack includes 65 new items, ranging from weapon kits for the soldier, sniper, scout, pyro, and spy, to new hats.

Nothing says microtransactions like a hairy man who has taken his shirt off.

"We want to make sure that our customers still have a terrific experience on the battlefield whether they buy anything or not," Valve said in a statement. "All the existing ways they were able to get their hands on weaponry still exist without them having to spend any money."

Notably, Valve will also allow users to sell their own creations through the in-game store. Though the functionality is not currently available, Valve expects to have more information on how it will work at a later date. The update also allows gamers to trade in-game items with one another.

The Mann Co. store will make use of Valve's recently introduced Steam Wallet, which gamers can also use to buy games and other items through the developer's online portal. For more information, check out the FAQ that Valve has posted concerning the Mann Co. update.

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Discussion

102 comments
lobsta21
lobsta21

I'm in line for the "Horse Armour". It all started because people bought "Horse Armour" in Oblivion. The gates were opened.

GordonFrohman11
GordonFrohman11

Wow thats a first- TF2 is actually copying Battlefield Heroes. So Valve is copying a game that originally copied it? I guess I can see why they're doing it though. They can't keep on releasing free DLC forever.

shadow218
shadow218

Yeah I understand where your coming from, I guess I was too early to hop the gun on that, I'm just afraid of valve becoming something we all don't want. But yes I'm playing the pc version, I have 360 as well but the pc is just so far more superior.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

I think most of the heat stems from this potentially being the first step to microtransactions with -no- possibility of gaining anything in the shop normally. This is what microtransactions are largely founded on.

Mr_BillGates
Mr_BillGates

I'm not gonna pay anymore for a boring game like TF2.

keyblade42
keyblade42

What, people are seriously complaining about this? What the hell, you can still easily make whatever hat you want, and it's easier to get the hat or item you want now with trading. Just craft, and if you don't get the hat or item, trade. It's simple, it's easy, it's more fun, you retards are ruining it for yourselves. I seriously hope it makes a bunch of people stop playing so only smart people who actually just want to play will play. Making it more fun for normal people who don't really care about hats.

keyblade42
keyblade42

Game balance not affected, I don't have to buy the overpriced hats, I can trade whatever items I want for other items, I can still find and make my own items, I don't see what the big deal is, if you really like hats and don't want to spend time playing to get them so that you would actually buy them with real money then 1. Why do you own this game and 2. Stop playing. I hope they use the money they make off of this to make Half Life 2 episode 3 really awesome.

Hijackedbyganon
Hijackedbyganon

well time to sit back and enjoy Valve fan's crying. seriously im not a fan of this but the overaction on some sites is INCREDIBLE.

Hanzoadam
Hanzoadam

I saw it earlier that stuff is really expensive, I didn't bother with any of it as I dont play that much

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

@jasongm This is only concerning PC as the PS3 and XBOX do not have the Steam platform, therefore it is out of VALVe's power to charge for content on those systems.

jasongm
jasongm

This is for the PC version right? PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are not affected?

gbrading
gbrading moderator

Not so much micro-transactions... More like just transactions, judging by some of the prices.

mardinn
mardinn

@Tylendal There is.. the hats give better health.. or INVURNABILITY TO headshots..

mardinn
mardinn

WHAT!? buy a hat which gives 20 % defense for the sentry? QTF this is going to imbalance the game..

fillup0
fillup0

As long as the balance of games is not tipped, Microtransactions are fine.

Tylendal
Tylendal

I don't see why people are upset. There is nothing store exclusive that affects gameplay. They are only allowing people to pay money to acquire what the would otherwise get for free overtime.

scorpion_47
scorpion_47

One hat for.. Umm 17 bucks? Really? Wow, just wow... Oh and 1 dollar is not 1 euro -.-"

blackace
blackace

@Shanks_D_Chop @blackace: Mods are made by members of the gaming community and are free, yes. DLC hasn't been free for a looooong time. ***************************************************************** What!?!? I thought that was one of the benefits with PC over consoles. Besides EA, I thought all PC developers provided free update content. Wasn't Bioware angry because they wanted to provide free Mass Effect content to gamers, but Microsoft wanted them to charge a small fee for it? Bioware provided the content for PC gamers for free, didn't they? So all of that has changed now? EA & Activision don't give anything away for free. They are the greediest game publishers in the world.

shadow218
shadow218

Thanks Valve you now make me not wanna play because micro-transactions is just another way for people to buy skill, which isn't fun since I been playing since the release. First its was Mw2 10th prestige buying now its going to be this.

BetardxFoosier
BetardxFoosier

@payne6705 Well, now you can trade for, or buy, the engineer hat that you want. The class that you play as doesn't matter for the drop, of course, so you can choose to take one of the above actions or wait it out. I've played 400 hours and have only gotten 4 hats, so I'm on the lower end for drop rates, I'd say.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@blackace: Mods are made by members of the gaming community and are free, yes. DLC hasn't been free for a looooong time.

blackace
blackace

I thought all mods and dlc items were FREE on PC. Looks like hermits are going to start getting milked as well. I won't be surprised if other companies start doing this on the PC to help make up for all those pirated games and loss profits. This doesn't effect me, as I don't play Team Fortress. I'm sure it's a great game, I just don't have time for that. Too many shrink wrapped console games to play.

Diebye
Diebye

And while i feel bad for the folks that earned their items before this you cant really honestly expect everyone enjoys just sitting on a server all day long to get their items to think that is fun.

Diebye
Diebye

Considering the fact that we have gotten what would be 10-15 $15 content packs for any other games company completely free while the only thing they are doing now is allowing you to buy items that have a random drop rate, which lets them make a bit more money off tf2 which in turn lets them support it for longer it sounds like everyone wins.

payne6705
payne6705

@thedemon44 Yeah I knew that but I have played over 100 hours and still have not gotten 1 engineer hat and thats the class I ALWAYS play as. I mean I like free items don't get me wrong, but this random dropping stuff has annoyed me to no end I have countless boxing gloves and dead ringers and even forged them. I am on the fence about paying money for them like I want to but knowing my luck the minute I spend money I will unlock whatever I purchased.

thedemon44
thedemon44

@payne6705 yes they are charging, but it is still also free. So maybe if you don't dedicate your life to the game, you now have the ability to get some of the cool stuff you see other people using. It is an option, it is not like the other asswipe companies that force you to purchase the extra stuff if you ever want to take advantage of it. So all in all, keeping with the integrity the company has come to be known for, I think this is actually nice of them. Everyone wins. Valve gets more cash for a game deserving of our cash, we get the items we might never had gotten, and if you don't like spending your money on extra content, you can still earn it the old fashioned way. I see no downside to this. -edit- I dont know why it never keeps my formatting. :(

geokes76
geokes76

Mann-conomy is an anagram of conman mon-e-y :p but sorry I really dislike it when games do this, even when you bought the game cheap, it just takes away from the fun

payne6705
payne6705

I was really surprised when I saw they wanted money for weapons and hats. I mean Valve was one of the companies that rarely charged for money. Idk if I will buy anything though..but I always did want the towering hats hat.

atopp399
atopp399

I like the game a lot but will never make a microtransaction purchase. The day a game starts allowing people to win simply by opening their wallet is the day I stop playing the game. If people want to spend money on fluff like hats and crap like that I don't care.

MKID232
MKID232

@poromenos No, it seems pretty one-sided. Valve: We have made it where you can buy items that you have trouble getting in game through micro-transactions! Us(to an extent): Valve is being evil for making us buy stuff to enjoy the game. They are an evil corporation that must be elminated!

Mr_Alexander
Mr_Alexander

Guys: They introduced trading, that means, like in almost every MMO, people would have started selling their hats on eBay. Valve, instead, took direct control of the market to avoid scamming and eBay making money instead of them. It was either the Valve Store or eBay.

2chase
2chase

"Nothing says microtransations like a hairy man who's taken his shirt off." microtransaCtions* typo eliminated.

glitchgeeman
glitchgeeman

Guess what guys? If you read the damn FAQ, or hell, even the 3rd paragraph of this article instead of jumping right to the comments, you'd know that EVERY single item that's on sale can be found through free, normal means ingame. This store is more for people who either don't have the time or continue to get screwed by TF2's drop system (like me). I've been playing TF2 for close to 250 hours and despite all my crafting efforts, have never successfully created a Pyro hat. Now I finally can. I don't see what the problem is. And for those arguing that the weapons can effect gameplay, you've probably never played TF2 if you're saying that. Anyone who's played TF2 knows that the new weapons are never more powerful than their alternatives. Valve always makes sure they're balanced (for the most part) so that a player using one certain weapon can still fight just as well as a player using another.

poromenos
poromenos

we are killing our fun, not the companies............ if customers want micro transactions they deliver. its not an one sided thing here.

fadersdream
fadersdream

today's valve is not the same company from a few years ago. things have been different for awhile. this is a cool idea, but it definitely is designed for profit and will most likely take a lot of the balance away. I'm all for customer loyalty, but that doesn't mean you can't acknowledge the reality.

necorid
necorid

All the items you get from playing legit before this update become "vintage" to show that you obtained them through hours of play rather than purchase, the drop system still works, we can now trade with friends and there are 5 class updates. I say this is win. if you don't want to spend money on something then don't

Rickirock
Rickirock

Some of you guys are missing that all the gameplay changing items can still be obtained the old way. The only things you have to pay for are things like item name change

hememi
hememi

Please people dont support this or it will just get worse. The prices are just redicolous

Jipset
Jipset

I just bought this game and it's awesome. :D

kyle756
kyle756

im not happy about this

AceTheBat-Hound
AceTheBat-Hound

They better not make the next half life episode multi-player, and they better not add micro transactions to it either.

nemesi609
nemesi609

@captainshifty oh, so you can still get everything available for purchase ingame normally? i thought it meant that you can still get some things normally. i guess that isnt SO bad, as long as its still available to find and work for in game. i just feel that if they are selling individual items, it should have been included in the first place, not necesarrily expansions and missions, ect, because those do take a lot of work to make, so we should pay for extra stuff like that (as long as it wasnt made before the release), and even packs with tons of new guns and armor and stuff isnt too bad, but individual sales like a gun, or a piece of armor, kinda gets on my nerves.

nemesi609
nemesi609

im tired of this trend, its one thing to offer expansions as dlc, because who doesnt want a fresh new campaign to get a little more time with their favorite game. but when you offer individual items that are ALWAYS over priced, it cheapens my gaming experience. i mean why would i pay $5 for a piece of armor or weapon? its just a way for companies to get a little more cash out of us, and unfortunately there are enough people foolish enough to keep buying this stuff and give companies a reason to keep doing it.

SDSkarface
SDSkarface

not really liking this new change ..Valves had this old ass source engine and these games for so many years that instead of making some new IP's now theyre trying to squeeze a little more money out of them,every Valve game runs at over 100+ FPS on my system. pathetic,theyve gotten lazy. And IMO they havent done anything innovative since The Orange Box. There should be no option to pay for anything if you dont have the time to play the game and acquire everything through normal gameplay then you shouldnt be playing games at all.

MattyWoah
MattyWoah

Hey Valve, where is the update for Team Fortress 2? Last we heard, two years ago, you said it was on its way. Hey Valve, where is Half Life: Episode 3? I can't get upset with them though, as they're probably just such big fans of video games that they are as upset and hesitant to accept the demise of these games as any of us are.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

Awesome, they are turning TF2 into Gunz, S4 League and (insert any free to play korean third person shooter).

JKnaperek
JKnaperek

Absolutely hillarious at the amount of people against this. It doesn't change the game one bit. All games should incorporate this as long as it doesn't change the core of the game. If the company makes a decent enough amount of money off this, it only helps them make more/better games(at least that's how it 'should' be).