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Team Fortress 2 game to be free 'forever'

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Team Fortress 2 has gone free, and it's staying that way forever.

 

Valve, the game's developer, announced the news on its Web site yesterday. The company said that users can play as much of the game as they'd like for as long as they like at no charge.

 

Since its release, Team Fortress 2 has been a major success. The game is played by a devoted group of fans that spend hours at a time playing it. It's currently the most popular game on Steam with more than 54,000 people playing the game at the time of this writing.

 

In order to play Team Fortress 2, gamers will need to access the free-to-play title on Valve's Steam digital-game-distribution service. It's available on both PC and Mac.

 

Valve hasn't entirely given up on cashing in on Team Fortress 2. According to the company, gamers can buy virtual goods in-game to improve their gameplay experience.

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I'm wondering if this isn't the start of a new wave of the way games are being handled.

 

You release a game and for a year or more have people buy it and play it.

 

Then, after the cash cow has been milked, you "re-release" it as a free to play model to suck in a second wave of players who will play free, see upgrades they want and buy them in an adhoc manner.

 

(P2P = Pay to Play, F2P = Free to Play).

 

The golf game that people were playing for a while and still are in dribs and drabs is certainly using the F2P / Buy add hoc model.

 

There's a couple of other web games doing the same thing (Battlestar Galactica Online for example).

 

There are several MMORPG's that have used the same model.

 

Turbine did it with both Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online (released both as full P2P services and now both are F2P with addons). You can play both as fully F2P with limited options (2 characters per server, limited cash allowed, not all content available), or you buy adventure packs, character upgrades etc. It seems to work well for Turbine.

 

Cryptic as done similar with Champions Online.

FunCom is about to make Age of Conan F2P sometime later this year.

 

In a tight economy, I guess people are trying different things and have found a model that works ?

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TF2 is awesome... ladies and gents I am proud to say I have not played Blackops for nearly three weeks! TF2 and Champions Online all the way!

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i have downloaded it and will give it a go

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Mmmm... Good deal. Fresh meat.

I've noticed that a lot of the older community based servers run mods now that ban F2P players though. It'll be interesting how this plays out in the future.

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