Modders cash in on Team Fortress 2 item sales

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.

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    • End User
    • 9 years ago

    I think it is tremendous what Valve is doing with TF2. I’ve been playing TF2 since the beta came out (Primeval Warrior). All the better that they can monetize it for absolutely no pain to current customers.

    My congrats to the five modders.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 9 years ago

    Ok, so there are 5 modders that received from $39k to $47k. If we average that amount to $43k and multiply by 5 people, we get $215k. If that is a quarter of the total polycount revenue, then the total revenue is $860,000.

    That doesn’t even count crates, keys, paint and older items.

    I bet Valve made at least $1,000,000 from that store.

    You go, Valve!

    • Sargent Duck
    • 9 years ago

    Interesting. Very interesting.

    On the one hand modders bring a great deal to PC gaming (Team Fortress, CS, that mod for BF1942 in the desert) and it’s good that they are getting the recognition (and payment) for their work.

    On the other hand, I can’t think of anything I despise more than having to pay out more money for a game I already bought. I’m not a fan of DLC and certainly not of this.

    I see both sides of this, but no, not happening with me.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 9 years ago

      The difference is that every single item in the update can be obtained without paying.

      Many of them are directly craftable using older duplicate weapons, others can be found by random drops.

      I personally started the update with only 2 hats and now have over 15. I have not paid a dime for any of my items.

      I think Valve is brilliant and I hope they make a boatload of money out of this new system. Everybody wins.

        • mikehodges2
        • 9 years ago

        “I think Valve is brilliant and I hope they make a boatload of money out of this new system. Everybody wins.”

        Seconded, I like valve!

        • no51
        • 9 years ago

        Yep, basically the price is the “I WANT IT NOW” fee. Imagine that, 2 PC-centric companies (Valve&Blizzard) making money off PC gamers.

          • Sargent Duck
          • 9 years ago

          And a lot of money at that.

          I want Valve and Blizzard to do extremely well as well. Valve does have console ports, but they haven’t sacrificed PC gaming to do so.

          #2 Thanks for the clarification.

        • satsuper
        • 9 years ago

        “The difference is that every single item in the update can be obtained without paying.”

        Technically correct but practically impossible, 5 of the new hats have gameplay bonuses which are pretty much out of reach unless you pay for them.

        I’m not against an in-game store but this update has taken TF2 down the pay to win path. So congrats to the modders but I won’t be supporting TF2 any further than the price I paid initially.

      • Spotpuff
      • 9 years ago

      The balance is surprisingly good and save for a few items not mandatory to play.

      A lot of the new items change the way a certain class is played but doesn’t make them overpowered, which is surprising.

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