Team Fortress 2 now free-to-play

While Team Fortress 2 has seen almost 218 updates since its humble beginnings as part of The Orange Box, the next major update, nicknamed "The Uber Update" may prove to be the biggest update in the game's history. The game, which used to retail for $9.99 on Steam, currently lists the game as "free" as part of a free week. However, at the end of a new "Meet the Medic" trailer, there's one surprising revelation: the game will remain free for good. This is confirmed by their latest posting on the Team Fortress 2 blog.

The new trailer, which you can view below, drops this bombshell right at the end:

The game has had major discounts in the past, usually going down to $2.49 for a limited time. Since the introduction of paid content with the Mann-conomy Update, Valve appears to stick to their "entertainment as a service" philosophy by dropping a price requirement for their "#1 war-themed hat simulator."

In an exclusive interview with Develop-Online, Valve's Robin Walker admitted that they were toying around with the idea of funding the game solely through microtransactions. But today, the idea is now official. The game is going free-to-play.

It should also be noted that this free-to-play move will not apply to all of Valve's games. In a similar but different move for Portal, they offered the game for free to those who accepted the offer in promoting Steam's availability on Mac OS X.

By the way: if you already have the game, then great! Current players are automatically given a "premium" account, as explained here. Premium accounts are for those that have purchased the game, or purchased something in the Mann Co. store if they got the game for free. Those that play for free are limited to 50 backpack slots, can only carry standard items, have a reduced set of blueprints to work with, can only receive items from other players, and can only receive gifts.

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This game is one of the best values in gaming, even if you paid full retail. Once you bought the game, there no requirement to spend another cent on the game. Anyone can simply buy the game and play for years, with continuous updates and frequently added content.

Plain and simple, game play is in no way affected by the ownership (or lack of) of hats, so any money spent on the game in addition to the price is completely optional.

It's one of the best deals in gaming, especially if you bought the Orange box, which includes more than 5 games. How can anyone complain about the price of this game, even if they paid full retail, when you compare it to something like Wow, which costs over $150 a year.

Zanshin said,
This game is one of the best values in gaming, even if you paid...

Amen, some people always complaining or being elitist here.

I am loving it.
TF2-noob stealing ur killz

having trouble getting this running on mac, steams itself is running like ****.. it crashed now it's stuck on 'validating files'

Lamp0 said,
wonder when they will do"Meet The Pryo".

Probably when they finally update the PS3 version. (Or at least the Xbox 360.)

At this point, you could be forgiven for forgetting that console versions of TF2 even existed.

Hopfully there will be a new server tag that only allows paying gamers; the "free to play" strategy has ruined too many games already...

ZeroSkyX said,
Hopfully there will be a new server tag that only allows paying gamers; the "free to play" strategy has ruined too many games already...

Just hope all the Brazilians don't have a decent enough computer to play it.

Heh, the moment I read this at work I logged in to home computer and started the download. Thanks for the info! Great news.

Team Fortress 2 went down hill for me ever since they've released the "Polycount Pack" update. The game was way more fun before that.

games and programs, as well as internet should be free, the only thing that should cost is the hardware and Windows at reduced price, i believe if Microsoft reduces the price twice, it will be a blow - everyone will be willing to buy a copy of Windows

allwynd said,
games and programs, as well as internet should be free, the only thing that should cost is the hardware and Windows at reduced price, i believe if Microsoft reduces the price twice, it will be a blow - everyone will be willing to buy a copy of Windows

I dont think the people who make programs or help run an ISP would like it being free and relying on donations from users or running a program (game or not) as a service and puting a store to make money in the game. Office for free but pay for templates... no

allwynd said,
games and programs, as well as internet should be free, the only thing that should cost is the hardware and Windows at reduced price, i believe if Microsoft reduces the price twice, it will be a blow - everyone will be willing to buy a copy of Windows

Next time think before you post. Why the heck should all software and network be free? There are real people working, and don't you think ISPs and developers require some money for food etc?

ZeroSkyX said,

Next time think before you post. Why the heck should all software and network be free? There are real people working, and don't you think ISPs and developers require some money for food etc?


at first TV was a sensation, now there are plenty of channels that are for free, and you dont need cableTV subscription to have them, same for internet - it was a sensation, now the hype is wearing off, its normal for it to go free, maybe with really low speeds at first, but its logical for it to happen, because the course WILL dramatically change from what it is now

problem is, you dont think in persepctive, you judgements are based only on what you see.. thats your problem

allwynd said,

at first TV was a sensation, now there are plenty of channels that are for free, and you dont need cableTV subscription to have them, same for internet - it was a sensation, now the hype is wearing off, its normal for it to go free, maybe with really low speeds at first, but its logical for it to happen, because the course WILL dramatically change from what it is now

problem is, you dont think in persepctive, you judgements are based only on what you see.. thats your problem

Except those so-called 'free-channels' or off air broadcast, are governed by the FCC and other regulatory agencies, whereas the internet is limitless and has no boundaries. Once the government allows free access for all, regardless of speed/spread it will require regulation and constraints, something that the internet does not need, nor my paycheck....

I'd much rather pay a company than have the government take my money to control/regulate the internet.

Xilo said,
TF2 had went from fun to casual item crap.

I don't get this logic. You don't have to participate in buying and selling and crafting. I craft, but I don't buy/sell. The raw TF2 experience is still there if you want to play it, it just has more weapons now.

Some people are annoyed at the extra properties the new weapons offer.

I don't mind them unless said new weapons cause nerfs to stock weapons

I deleted the game not long after playing it. It's horrible. I preferred the original TF, and was thankful to find a Source version of the original TF. I SO hate Valve these days. Bunch of stupid idiots.

ScubaDog said,
I deleted the game not long after playing it. It's horrible. I preferred the original TF, and was thankful to find a Source version of the original TF. I SO hate Valve these days. Bunch of stupid idiots.

What a unique person! You must be one in a million or something.

Reacon said,

What a unique person! You must be one in a million or something.


No I dislike the game too while I don't dislike it as much as him I tried to play it but couldn't get into it. I much prefer CS and CSS.

ScubaDog said,
I deleted the game not long after playing it. It's horrible. I preferred the original TF, and was thankful to find a Source version of the original TF. I SO hate Valve these days. Bunch of stupid idiots.

It was better when there wasn't a load of silly weapons.

Reacon said,
As one of the few admins of a rather large community, I can safely say that I am NOT looking forward to this

UKCS or SimianCage by any random chance?

xpgeek said,
Awesomeeee ! I haven't played it in like a year, but I doo have a retail copy activated on my steam account !
Lucky, I am just getting it for free (all my steam games are free like portal, half life 2 death match and the lost coast)

Woot! I can finally make multiple accounts, and idle them forever to hoard items, and hats, and dump them into the tf2 economy!

s3n4te said,
Woot! I can finally make multiple accounts, and idle them forever to hoard items, and hats, and dump them into the tf2 economy!

"Those that play for free are limited to 50 backpack slots, can only carry standard items" Hats are not a 'standard' item Although that being said, the cost of the FULL game now goes down to like $2 or whatever the cheapest item in the store is

Holey said,

"Those that play for free are limited to 50 backpack slots, can only carry standard items" Hats are not a 'standard' item Although that being said, the cost of the FULL game now goes down to like $2 or whatever the cheapest item in the store is

A friend pointed out that because Steam Wallet takes at minimum $5, people who are new to Steam will be forking over $5 if they want a premium account. It's up to them to decide how to spend the leftovers if they get the cheapest item in the Mann Co. store.

Denis W said,

A friend pointed out that because Steam Wallet takes at minimum $5, people who are new to Steam will be forking over $5 if they want a premium account. It's up to them to decide how to spend the leftovers if they get the cheapest item in the Mann Co. store.

They don't have to use the Steam Wallet, do they? They could just add a credit card onto the account, or use PayPal, and then they pay the exact amount, right?

Denis W said,

A friend pointed out that because Steam Wallet takes at minimum $5, people who are new to Steam will be forking over $5 if they want a premium account. It's up to them to decide how to spend the leftovers if they get the cheapest item in the Mann Co. store.

Forking over $5 So expensive

MightyJordan said,

They don't have to use the Steam Wallet, do they? They could just add a credit card onto the account, or use PayPal, and then they pay the exact amount, right?

To get something in Mann Co., they have to use the Steam Wallet. To buy something from Steam, then yes they can pay directly.

TF2 can request an exact amount from the Steam Wallet (instead of multiples of $5) and the user can be charged that, so long as it's over $5.

Udedenkz said,
I want my money back.

For a game that's had this many updates, they more than deserved the price I put into it back when I got the Orange Box.

Denis W said,

For a game that's had this many updates, they more than deserved the price I put into it back when I got the Orange Box.


Subtract the worthless clothing, it events out - that is without the worthless clothing your argument would be valid.

Udedenkz said,

Subtract the worthless clothing, it events out - that is without the worthless clothing your argument would be valid.

Even before the onslaught of hats and community-contributed content, it was still worth it.

Udedenkz said,
I want my money back.

Valve want you to repay them for all the hours you have spent playing the game, who got the better deal?

Udedenkz said,

Subtract the worthless clothing, it events out - that is without the worthless clothing your argument would be valid.

What? TF2 is one of the best Multiplayer games available on PC, and has been for 5 years. I got it with the Orange box, and assuming it cost half of the price (i.e. £15), a comparable multi-player experience costs double that.

The people saying they should get their money back, how long have you had the game? It was cheap when it was released, and games that are £40+ on release can come down to nothing in a couple of years. There are also sales which are like 75% off, so do you still feel like you should get your money back when you miss a sale?

Udedenkz said,
I want my money back.

If anything it prolongs the game, now thats its free to play you will have more gamers online playing it to keep the game high on valves development efforts.