It’s 2014, And Team Fortress 2 Is Still Around

It’s 2014, And Team Fortress 2 Is Still Around
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I checked my RSS this morning, and saw — because I am still subscribed to the blog’s feed — this news piece from Team Fortress 2. It’s about the game’s big Halloween festivities. And I thought, wow, I can’t believe I’m still opening blog posts about Team Fortress 2.

This is a game that was first supposed to be out in 1998. For a number of reasons, it didn’t come out until 2007. That was seven years ago.

How many games have come and gone in the past seven years? How many games from 2007 are people still playing in large numbers in 2014? There’s World of Warcraft, and I guess you could say Counter-Strike (even if most folks are playing a newer version), and, um, that’s about it. In the same time as there has been one Team Fortress 2, we’ve had seven Call of Duty games.

There are a number of reasons for the game’s enduring popularity (as of today it’s still the third-most popular game on Steam, as you can see above). Yes, you can joke about hats, but that’s too easy. TF2’s art design is as close to timeless as you’re going to find in this business, which hasn’t just helped its characters look cool despite their advancing years, but more importantly kept the game itself looking good.

Just as important, at least in recent years, has been the game’s price. Initially sold as part of a bundle, then sold on its own, a few years back the game became free. Completely free. The only way you could spend if you even wanted to was on cosmetic trinkets. Like, yes, hats.

It’s also a game that’s kept fresh. Valve doesn’t just keep the servers humming while they’re busy counting money, they still — and regularly — run events and festivals where unique items are introduced, game modes upended and even all-new features brought into the game.

The game’s enduring popularity is something Valve should be proud of. In a world where games are generally released only to die out a few months later, as companies shift focus to a sequel and/or gamers just move onto the next big thing, it’s nice to see both a studio and a fanbase stick with something for the long run.

Just don’t mention the console versions of the game…


  • It’s one of my most favourite games ever even though these days I’ll play maybe once a month and always on 2fort or Gold Rush. What other online shooter has fleshed out its characters out as much as TF2? People say Goldeneye or the Halo series perfected multiplayer shooters, nowhere near as much as TF2 has.

    It’s also awesome to see Valve continue to support it but also people still playing it in large numbers. Now if only the match making wouldn’t take forever (my only gripe with the game)

  • Well, the majority of servers are trade servers and achievement servers so business is pretty dang alive in the game. Good thing I found a good couple of servers where people play the game some what comepitively.

    • Thee are plenty of serious servers around, to find them fast just look for “No crits” and “No spread” tags.

  • I wish more games were like this.
    I was just thinking the other day how many ‘older’ games I really wish I could jump in and play again, but can’t because no one plays them any more.
    Quickest example I think of is Tribes: Ascend. Still plays just as well as it did during release, and is SUCH a blast to play with a good group of players. But there are never any people online to play.

    This problem is amplified by being in Australia. Online games die so much quicker here just simply because of a tiny population.

    It’s such a first world problem though. There are so many good games being released that everyone jumps to the latest and greatest, but it just thins out the numbers way too much. Any more than a couple months after launch, and all but the biggest AAA [online] games are done for.

  • Yeah, I still find myself feeling excited to get home to play when I hear new features or events announced. Although I might only play it sporadically these days, I still have a blast when I do and when these events are on, I try to get my friends back into it as well.

    Kudos Valve, for creating such an enduring and enjoyable game.

  • I think the game has held up so well not just because of the continued support (which has been fantastic) but also because of the strong visual style they came up with. I still think it’s the most aesthetically pleasing multi-player FPS available (to my taste of course). Add to that a solid sense of humor and great gameplay, and I’m just happy other people still play it.

    • I think the cartoony 50’s like theme has helped it to not look/feel like a dated game, since it doesn’t strive to be modern/realistic.

      I know a lot of people consider vanilla TF2 to be perfectly balanced, and that the class updates unbalanced the game, but in my opinion vanilla got boring, and the updates have helped keep the game interesting for a long time.

      • Absolutely, the style is both strong in its own right, and an effective way of disguising it’s age. I don’t know how Valve would ever approach a sequel, or even if they feel the need to, considering the wonderful amount of post-release support and content available.

  • It’s sad TF2 no longer reigns supreme, but I love jumping on and playing for a few hours every now and then, one of my all time favorites. Arena mode has some of the most underrated maps in gaming too.

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