Team Fortress 2 Community Contributor Payday
Steamworks Enables Peer-to-Peer Content Creation
October 21, 2010 — Valve announced the success of the Team Fortress 2 (TF2) peer-to-peer marketplace released as part of its September 30th “Mann-Conomy” update for PC and Mac users. This feature is available to developers and publishers as part of the Steamworks suite of services.
Five Steam community members participated in the initial round of content creation. Rob Laro, Shawn Spetch, Steven Skidmore, Spencer Kern, and Shaylyn Hamm created items for Team Fortress 2 which were then made available to other community members for purchase from the in-game Mann Co. Store. Today they received checks for the first two weeks of sales, with royalties ranging from $39,000 to $47,000 per person…
…”It’s astounding that so many people want to purchase the items that came out of the community,” said Spencer Kern, TF2 community content creator. “The response exceeded my wildest expectations. There really is no doubt at this point that there’s a huge demand for community-created content in TF2 and, hopefully, more games will start to tap into this demand.”
Funds from sales of community members’ items were to be deposited directly into their PayPal accounts. However, within days, the revenue that their items generated exceeded PayPal’s cap on the maximum deposit size. While Valve made alternate payment arrangements for the others, two of the community members flew to Seattle to receive their first checks directly.
The peer-to-peer marketplace is a new feature in Steamworks, a free-to-license collection of tools and services. Team Fortress 2 was the first game to utilize the peer-to-peer marketplace, available to players in-game as The Mann Co. Store.
“At a time when content creators are struggling with changing markets and evolving technologies, the Steam community is sending a clear message with these checks,” said Gabe Newell, President of Valve. “Platforms that enable this kind of peer-to-peer exchange of virtual goods and services are going to be enthusiastically received. They create an inherently greater efficiency in connecting creators and consumers.”
Team Fortress 2 will provide regular updates to community-created content on the Mann Co. Store. Those interested in contributing to future updates should go to http://www.teamfortress.com/contribute/.
Developers and publishers who want to add peer-to-peer entertainment services in their own games should go to http://www.steampowered.com/steamworks/.
What does this mean, other than that the Mann Co. Store is a resounding success?
- Creating virtual items is more profitable than destroying them
- Valve made at least $1,000,000 off the Mann Co. Store so far
- Holy shit
- Expect to see a large amount of additional content moving forward
I’ll be speaking with Murray Chu from The Escapist Magazine in an upcoming interview about this update, among other virtual talking points (more info as it becomes available). In the meantime, what do you think of this phenomenal news?