Making Team Fortress 2 Hats Turns Out To Be Very Profitable

The recently launched "Mann-conomy" for Team Fortress 2 has quickly become a profitable venture for the community modellers who cranked out new weapons, hats and accessories for Valve's game. Valve just sent out royalty check to creators... and they're big.

Five TF2 community members - Rob Laro, Shawn Spetch, Steven Skidmore, Spencer Kern and Shaylyn Hamm - created new items for the game ranging from crocodile hats to jars of milk to sleek black rocket launchers, which players can purchase in-game. Two weeks later, some of these guys are sitting on royalties of up to $US47,000.

Not bad for a mackerel wrapped in newsprint.

Valve says that royalty payments exceeded PayPal's maximum deposit size, leading two community content creators to fly to Seattle to pick up checks in person.

Unsurprisingly, Valve says we should expect more regular updates on the community created side in Team Fortress 2. Everybody wins... with money!


    This proves that people will buy ANYTHING. Kudos for Valve targetting the "People-with-too-much-money" demographic, it seems to be working well...

      I know it works on me! I've spend $50 on the store so far.

        But yeah, like people are saying, I'm happy to shovel money into this knowing it both goes to a game I've put 200 hours into AND supports the content creators.

        TadMod, just don't be so negative!

          Nonononono, you've got me all wrong!

          I wasn't talking about $5 or even $50, I was talking about $500!

          Go on the steam forums... there is a thread called "How much have YOU spent in the MANNconomy Store?"... I've seen $650 as the highest amount... that's just sad.

          Smaller amounts are fair game, and certainly $5 - $100 is fine with me, but any more and you're pushing the limits of sanity...

      It's not so much the "people with too much money" as the "people who can spare a couple of bucks" on a game which has given them a ouple of years enjoyment, originally bundles with two other games.
      Or bought for 5 bucks during one of the specials.

        Read my above comment as a reply to f4cti0n.

        I've even spent $5 in game on a few items, ya'know?

        My original comment was thoroughly mis-represented. I wrote it in the completely wrong way... so apologies :(

    Roaylities of that size for community content, that's simply amazing.

    I'm very happy with the Mann-conomy update, putting money into a game I've played for thousands of hours feels great.

    If it gives incentive for more and more user made content im all for it.

    wow... Just wow...

    Good on valve and the community developers... Very good work :)

    This proves the theory on the price fixing in steam...

    Its not Steam its the Publishers...

    While I initially riled against the concept of the Mannconomy, I've come to see that it really does no harm at all to TF-2 itself (although the implication for future games is another issue in itself).
    And while I don't plan on ever buying anything from it, I've already been on two public servers where a generous person has given everyone on the server a gift item. Not only is that a net positive to come from it for me, it also says a lot about the TF2 playerbase.

    What I do have a problem with is the community items however, weapons in particular. Now the items themselves are fantastic, but it's getting harder to track what classes have what weapons, and how those weapons are different (thus how you should counter/avoid them etc)

    For example, last night there was a scout (admittedly a very good one) dominating everyone (myself included, as another scout) with a weapon I hadn't come across yet. I actually had to go and wiki it to find out what it was (Shortstop), and how it operates. I can only see this problem getting worse (especially if you don't follow the community updates closely) as more items are added.

    If the contributors are getting $47k for an item, Valve must be making a mint. I wouldn't put it past them making TF2 F2P soon!
    Or having 3D artists quit to become 'community contributors' for the higher pay!

    Remember in 2007 when TF2 was a competitive FPS?

    not only has this game continued to be played and talked about in the media many years after release, it's continued to do so without charging for updates. the store will hopefully give the game even more longevity by subsidizing continued development, as well as rewarding the community contributors.

    contrast this model to EA's who make serious money churning out FPS franchises, only to supercede them in 12 months with basically the same (full priced) game. valve shows you can be rewarded for actually caring about your customer past their wallets. quality over volume every time please.

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