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What just happened? Team Fortress 2 is due for a big summer update – so big and important that Valve skipped right past Twitter and TikTok to announce it via the "most bleeding-edge communication technology available"... a blog post.
The cheeky briefing conceded that the last few Team Fortress summer events have only been item updates. This year, however, they are planning to ship a full-sized update complete with new items and maps as well as fresh taunts, war paints, unusual effects and whatever else folks come up with.
Team Fortress 2 hit the scene way back in 2007 as a sequel to the Team Fortress mod for Quake from 1996. Some will no doubt argue that Valve's time could be better spent working on new games (Half-Life 3) instead of keeping a 16-year-old game on life support, but the numbers don't lie.
The multiplayer first-person shooter has demonstrated incredible staying power over the years thanks in large part to a steady diet of updates cataloged on the Team Fortress website. According to SteamDB, the game reached an all-time peak of 167,951 concurrent players last December.
That said, I would be surprised if Valve had a meaningful percentage of its employees working on Team Fortress 2. The game is already well established and most of the new content nowadays comes from the community.
Case in point is the upcoming summer update, which will be comprised of user-created content submitted through the Steam Workshop. Interested parties will need to have their material submitted by May 1 for the as-yet-unnamed, un-themed summer update.
It's neat to see a company stand behind a legacy title that has a loyal fan base. Plenty of great games have been abandoned by developers fixated on the next big moneymaker, and it's especially painful if those games require online servers to function properly. Without proper support from the developer, they're often left dead in the water.
Would you rather see Valve working on something entirely new or are you alright with the developer maintaining older titles like this?