Team Fortress 2, Valve’s infamous hat simulator, is, amazingly enough, still popular. Eons after it went free-to-play, years after it saw its last content update, many players had assumed it was, as far as new content went, dead.
Yet, people keep playing it. Following, arguably creating, the “games as service” concept, it seems somehow fitting that its makers might be turning their attention back to it right around the time that the industry generally seems to be reconsidering whether it works as a concept for most games. And so Valve has put out a call for community content to be included in an upcoming large-scale update. People got so excited over it that Valve said:
How long has Team Fortress 2 been at it? It was included in the Orange Box for Xbox 360, along Half-Life 2 and the original Portal, a used copy of which is currently resting on the shelf of the donations shop of my local public library. (I’d get it but I don’t have a 360!) It’s been out for sixteen years. It was released in 2007, in that dusty age pre-Obama. The meme culture around it, bolstered by the game’s cartoony presentation and sponsorship for several years of the Saxxy Awards, helped establish, for better or worse, the tone of gamer humor. One of its most beloved actors, Rick May, the voice of Soldier (also Peppy Hare and Andross in Star Fox), passed away in 2020.
I’ve played some TF2 back in the day, I’m with it, I’m “hip.” I think I may have even scored a point once!