Team Fortress 2 modders are getting paid—and by Valve, no less. Last month, the Mann Co. Store opened its virtual doors and began selling items in Team Fortress 2 that gamers could purchase with real money. Initially, the store only carried weapon kits and hats otherwise attainable by actually playing the game. Now, user-generated items are also being offered, and their creators are getting a cut of the action.
Five modders have had their wares available through the Mann Co. Store, and according to Gamasutra, the payouts for just the first two weeks range from $39,000 to $47,000. Content creators get a 25% share of the revenue generated by their items, which strikes me as pretty reasonable considering that Valve takes care of the rest of the game.
Valve has a long history of supporting modders, and Team Fortress 2 is easily the best example. Team Fortress was one of the best mods for the original Quake, and Valve picked up the the team to develop a sequel. I suspect the company will be keeping a close eye on the Mann Co. Store, if not to scout for new talent, then to see just how much money can be made selling what amount to in-game accessories.