Valve is known for having some of the most addictive and fun games. Games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive attract millions of players each month, but people rarely talk about one of the most influential games Valve has released — Team Fortress 2. The gameplay of Team Fortress 2 is similar to your everyday first-person shooter game with various objective-based gamemodes to explore. Players can choose between multiple classes with different weapons, so you can expect the game to have a lot of replayability. Since this game came out back in 2007, it has gathered numerous accolades, so why not check out some Team Fortress 2 statistics and see how the game is doing? Yeah, let’s do that. We always love fetching the newest information about gaming, and if you want to learn more about similar topics, why not check out some information about the gaming industry’s revenue?
Team Fortress 2 key stats
The 2007 era of gaming was a blessed time because corporate strategies to acquire more profit through microtransactions weren’t at the blatantly exploitative level they are at today. Team Fortress 2 has microtransactions, but they are purely cosmetic and they do not play a role in the actual gameplay, which is a rarity when it comes to gaming today. Other than that, Team Fortress 2 is a classic shooter for anyone feeling nostalgic, and we are, so we’re going to take a look at some statistics to see how the game has been performing over the years and how it stands today in the intense, competitive gaming industry.
In 2018, Team Fortress 2 had the largest player count on Steam with 50.2 million downloads.
(Source: Games Industry)
Some key Steam sales information was leaked in 2018, revealing the top 10 most-downloaded Steam games.
The calculation for how many players each game had came from Ars Technica, where they took the percentage of users that got a specific achievement and got a brought estimate of how many people are in the game.
This method was promptly banned by Valve for calculating the total player base for games.
The top 5 games for that period were Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, PUBG, Unturned, and Left 4 Dead 2, in that order.
These statistics place Team Fortress 2 in a very favorable light when it comes to the total number of people who play Valve’s games. Some of the most-played games are free-to-play, and since Team Fortress 2 has such a loyal following, it is no surprise that the game would rank so highly on this sort of chart. We still have to consider the fact that this is likely not 100% accurate since it relied on calculating data from achievements, but it still paints TF2 in a good way.
Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 cosmetic creators earned an average of $15,000 in 2013.
(Source: The Verge)
In 2010, Team Fortress 2 had 63 creators who made 106 items, followed by a payout of $590,900.
In 2013, the game had 661 creators who made 2,349 items, followed by a payout of $10,215,796.
At that time, Valve said that 90% of the total items in Team Fortress 2 came from the community.
17 million users owned 500 million in-game items.
Cosmetics are a massive thing in both Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, and Valve places great importance on giving back to its community, so creators can earn a percentage of the sales of their cosmetics, which went from an average of $9,000 to $15,000 in three years, which is a massive step up from humble beginnings. With some of the Team Fortress 2 cosmetics selling for upwards of $10,000, you can see why it is important that the person who created these receive some form of compensation.
Valve earned $67,000 from a Team Fortress 2 item bug.
Back in 2019, an economy bug hit Team Fortress 2 where users would get guaranteed rare item drops from boxes.
This issue was patched, but not before the Team Fortress 2 Steam market was flooded with rare items, irreparably shifting the market.
Players traded the rare items before the issue was resolved, so Valve most likely earned an estimated $67,000 from the transactions.
Although there weren’t any official numbers and the number here is just a ballpark, the possible profit that Valve made might be even higher.
Bugs and glitches happen all the time, but sometimes they come with some repercussions that can mean a lot for the community. In the case of Team Fortress 2, the community encountered an issue that caused a surge in the number of rare items in the store, effectively lowering their value and filling the market with them. Of course, while this was a disaster for the Steam economy, it wasn’t as bad for Valve, who managed to accumulate a decent amount of money.
The Team Fortress 2 community earned $2 million through microtransactions one year after they were introduced.
Players were able to purchase cosmetics through the Mannco store which provided them with a good interface to make purchases and whatnot.
The reason this was so successful is that Team Fortress 2 was very static when it came to its appearance.
When players were presented with the prospect of buying hats and making their own, it brought forth a surge in community creativity, and it lead to what we have today.
Another driving factor behind the success of Team Fortress 2 microtransactions is the fact that they were introduced when the digital sales market was being established.
The concept of Team Fortress 2 hats emerged back in 2011 when Valve created the Mannco shop, which allowed players to trade, sell, and buy items as they wanted. It was a massive success immediately and through the next year, the service managed to rake in over $2 million, which is an immense step for the digital sales market. Later, when the Steam Market was established, Team Fortress 2 hats were prevalent there as well, amassing even more money for both Valve and cosmetic creators.
The Team Fortress 2 economy was reported to be at $50 million after microtransactions were introduced.
The amount of money is referring either to the money that Valve made from the microtransaction or to the money that was floating in the market at the time.
Team Fortress 2 players invested $1.54 million into the market each week.
The minimum figure for the value of the economy at that time was $52.7 million.
However, these were just estimates as the actual number was probably double this figure.
We’ve already mentioned the success that microtransactions have brought Valve, and this line of stats serves as a means of putting a clear number to the transactions. $50 million is a huge number, and Team Fortress 2 managed to achieve that within one year of the concept of microtransactions becoming a reality for the game. Of course, the current numbers are bound to be a bit lower as the game has slightly decreased in popularity and its player count, but the Team Fortress 2 community is still thriving and dedicated to the game, so it’s definitely not dead.
Valve had a leak where its entire asset repository was spread on the Internet.
The leaker said that they were “threatened” many times because of the files in their possession, but elected to share the files on Discord anyway.
The files and assets were from 2016.
61GB of the total leaked files were from Team Fortress 2.
They included unused assets and cut content from Team Fortress 2, from icons to attire.
Seems like the Valve wasn’t tightened enough, so some information leaked to the public, resulting in the community getting its hands on over 60 gigabytes of Team Fortress 2 files alone, including unused assets and cut content. While we cannot know the extent of the leak, we can assume that some sensitive information must have been in there as well. Only time can tell.
Valve patched a Team Fortress 2 bug that has been around since the game’s launch.
(Source: The Gamer, Reddit)
Valve rolled out an update on January 6th, 2023 that included some minor bug fixes and miscellaneous changes.
The most interesting of the changes is the patch for a buggy rocket launcher reload sound that has been around for 16 years.
Of course, fans have stated that The Janitor must have rolled out the update.
Although this doesn’t signal anything major and the update to the reload sound hasn’t received the best of reviews, fans are speculating what this random update could mean.
It could imply that Valve is making bigger plans for Team Fortress 2, abandoning it, or just straightening out the spaghetti code to roll out more frequent updates.
The Janitor strikes again! For those of you that don’t know, The Janitor is a fan-made character that is personalized by “releasing” important updates at Valve for their titular games. This came as a result of the community complaining about Valve time, so they elected to make a meme out of it, which is hilarious. Either way, the random patch for a 16-year bug was unexpected and we are curious to know what this could mean for the game moving forward.
Team Fortress 2 broke its own concurrent player record after 14 years at over 140,000.
(Source: IGN, Eurogamer)
This was most likely because Valve released an update for Team Fortress 2 that included a Summer 2021 Cosmetic Case, which fans flocked to buy.
This was the 132nd addition to the Crate series and featured 24 items, but Valve-made and community-made.
The player count dipped after the hype for the Summer 2021 Cosmetic Case died down, which is to be expected.
However, this bodes well for the Team Fortress community as it tells us that it is still active and dedicated to supporting its favorite game.
It seems like everything we talk about is related to hats in some way, and one of the more recent updates, in 2021, has proven that fans will flock to new crates and new content, just to unlock new hats. It also offers a new perspective on the Team Fortress 2 community, since some players have noted that the bot problem is not as severe as people initially thought, meaning that the game is still quite healthy.
Valve was planning on adding women to Team Fortress 2.
All of the characters in Valve’s games (except for Dota 2) have had exclusively male characters.
The idea of adding female characters was suggested by the community, and Valve reached out with an explanation.
Initially, there were supposed male and female versions of each merc, but they decided to scrap the idea as the male mercs were complete, while the female ones were only in the concept art phase.
Aside from that, they also stated that there were issues with integrating more characters due to memory issues.
This is a fairly controversial topic today, but the reasoning behind it is actually quite tame and makes sense when you think about it. Back when Team Fortress 2 was still in development, the developers wanted to create a female version for each character in the game, but due to poor organization and time constraints, they did not. Because of this, they just decided to roll with it and not include female characters. The game barely gained any updates over the years, so you can’t really expect them to push such a massive update in the game’s current state. However, if they decide to make bigger changes, we might just see some new characters!
Team Fortress 2 is still in the top 10 most-played Steam games.
(Source: Steam Charts)
Its all-time peak player count was 150,037.
It has an average player count of approximately 90,000.
The game is ranked #6 based on player count on Steam, and it is behind Lost Ark, PUBG, Apex Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Players have invested 66.2 million hours into playing Team Fortress 2.
The final line of stats is another testament to the number of people who play Team Fortress 2 regularly, and the numbers are quite impressive. Even though the game came out back in 2007, it has still remained popular and will stay that way for years to come. Because of the gameplay dynamic and its reputation, Team Fortress 2 is essentially an immortal game.
To sum up
Even though the game has kind of been abandoned by Valve in a way and there is no third installment on the horizon, we are still happy to be able to report on the state of Team Fortress 2 because it is one of the essential Valve games to try out if you want the full experience. In either case, Team Fortress 2 has established itself as one of the most beloved and classic games of 2007 and beyond, and when you look at all of the statistics surrounding it, it is not a stretch to say that the game is doing perfectly fine, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Now that we are done with what we had today, we hope that you have enjoyed the content here and that all of your questions have been answered.
“Team Fortress 2 leads as biggest player counts on Steam revealed”. GamesIndustry.biz, 2018, https://www.gamesindustry.biz/team-fortress-2-leads-as-biggest-player-counts-on-steam-revealed
“On average, ‘Team Fortress 2’ and ‘DOTA 2’ item creators made $15,000 last year”. The Verge, 2014, https://www.theverge.com/gaming/2014/1/16/5316248/on-average-team-fortress-2-and-dota-2-item-creators-made-15000-last
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“Microtransactions invade Team Fortress 2”. PCGamesN, 2011, https://www.gamespot.com/articles/microtransactions-invade-team-fortress-2/1100-6280315/
“Valve’s “entire asset repository” leaks online, including cut content for Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life games”. Eurogamer, 2023, https://www.eurogamer.net/valves-entire-asset-repository-leaks-online-including-cut-content-for-team-fortress-2-and-half-life-games
“Team Fortress 2 Patches Launch Bug 16 Years Later Out Of Nowhere”. The Gamer, 2023, https://www.thegamer.com/team-fortress-2-launch-bug-16-years-later/
“The Original now uses the proper reload sounds in every scenario. This was broken since it was released.”. Reddit, 2023, https://www.reddit.com/r/tf2/comments/104f0ub/the_original_now_uses_the_proper_reload_sounds_in/
“Analyst Pegs Team Fortress 2 Hat Economy at $50 Million”. Kotaku, 2011, https://kotaku.com/analyst-pegs-team-fortress-2-hat-economy-at-50-million-5869042
“Team Fortress 2 Just Broke Its Steam Concurrent Players Record After 14 Years”. IGN, 2021, https://www.ign.com/articles/team-fortress-2-just-broke-its-steam-concurrent-players-record-after-14-years
“Valve’s 2007 shooter Team Fortress 2 just broke its all-time Steam concurrent players count”. Eurogamer, 2021, https://www.eurogamer.net/valves-2007-shooter-team-fortress-2-just-broke-its-all-time-steam-concurrent-players-count
“Valve was thinking of putting women into Team Fortress 2”. GameReactor, 2017, https://www.gamereactor.eu/valve-was-thinking-of-putting-women-into-team-fortress-2/