Finally it’s here! Another “Meet the” short but also the shocking announcement that TF2 will be going free to play. I don’t know whether I support the notion or despise it for all that it’s worth. Somewhere in between I suppose.
Obviously, Meet the Medic like all it’s predecessors is a stunning piece of work. It gives so much character to the playable class and their teams. When you hear a taunt in-game, you can’t help but think of the snarky personalities Valve has created. It’s great.
However, that is a topic that does not need to be embellished. Everyone knows that the shorts are amazing. The more important announcement is that TF2 will be following the free-to-play model.
This is insane and completely unexpected. People still buy the game as they do Starcraft or Counter-Strike 1.6. Just recently, they’ve rolled out the Mann-Conomy update which is essentially a premium store. At first I agreed with this notion. If you want to buy a hat, then buy a hat. It’s all cosmetic right? Not exactly. You can buy weapons and whatnot but those are still findable inside of the game for free. Fine. I’ll allow Valve that much leeway because they give so much content in every one of their updates.
Now, it will be free to play. I don’t know why but this irks me. I can see that their sales have dropped so that they would see a need to implement a premium service. If they went free to play, they would revive their failing revenue and revitalize the franchise as a whole. And yet, this still perturbs me. It probably has something to do with the fact that I paid full price for the game and slaved for days at a time to create hats or items for my classes. Others who were more liberal with their wallet may have found it worthwhile to fork over $40 for 3 guns and a hat. I did not, maybe that was my fault.
I’m still on the fence as to whether or not I support this decision. It’s just incredibly strange that Valve of all companies would do this. Maybe they’re on the cusp of something bigger. Or they could just be hungering for some cash.
As long as they bring me Half-Life, hopefully in the next century, I will be satisfied with their questionable business models.