Valve: Team Fortress 2 Is Where We Experiment With New Ideas
In a recent interview with Gamasutra, Team Fortress 2 Lead Designer Robin Walker said that TF2's success and profitability were nice, but its most important role for Valve might be as a means for the company to test out new ideas for later implementation.
Walker uses the example of TF2's economy as a way for Valve to experiment with MMO economies, back in a day when MMOs were popping up left and right, and Valve likely thought it might be drawn into the market. Later, when MMOs were in decline -- or at least MMO subscriptions -- TF2's free-to-play transition was viewed as a way to experiment with a new revenue model, and the questions it raised, and challenges it faced, were used to help shape Dota 2's business model.
It's a cool way of looking at things and interesting to think that the company was so forward-thinking. What's debatable is how much Valve has done with the information it's gained from its TF2 experiments. Apart from Dota 2, the only notable games it's launched since TF2 are Portal 2, the two Left 4 Dead games, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive -- the last of which may have been influenced by TF2's loot system. Meanwhile, if you're waiting for that Valve MMO to come out, I'm sure it'll be released right after Half-Life 3...
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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