Yep, that’s right. The popular team-based first person shooter is ditching subscriptions, and is instead going to be completely free, meaning you don’t even have to buy the original game, just download it.
But if you’re worried that your awesome headshot is going to be ruined by an enormous pop-up ad appearing in your sights, don’t fret, as developer Valve plans to support the game with a micro-transaction system.
While the core game itself will be free, items such as guns, hats and various other loot will carry a price, while players who craft their own items will get a piece of the profit pie. Meanwhile, anyone who has ever invested some cash in Team Fortress 2, will automatically have access to a premium account, where they will have various perks such as unlimited blueprint access, a larger backpack system and exclusive cosmetic options for their characters, while also being able to gift items onto other players.
Free periodic drops of in-game loot will still occur however, so even the cheapest gamer will have a chance at scoring some premium swag, instead having to actually donate some cash towards it.
Valve is hoping that by releasing the popular game in a free to play model, it will eventually attract more people towards its digital distribution store, Steam. For more info on how Team Fortress 2 is going to change, check out the official FAQ from Valve.
Last Updated: June 24, 2011