At this year’s very boring GDC, Valve employee Joe Ludwig discussed something a little interesting: how going “Free to Play” with Team Fortress 2 exploded their company’s income.
That’s the graph, showing how revenue quadrupled thanks to the “Mannconomy” in which players craft, trade, and purchase individual items introduced by Valve and/or the community itself. It was so profitable, he says that Team Fortress 2 would always have been free, if Valve had known how successful the business model would have been. (via IGN)
I’ve done some comparisons between Metal Gear Online and Team Fortress 2 before the “Mannconomy”, and I find it interesting how things have changed since then. MGO is shutting down its servers in June, while Team Fortress 2 is raking in money by becoming free. This is how it should be, of course.