Team Fortress 2 beta, 7 days later

The Team Fortress 2 beta – available to those that preordered Valve’s Orange Box of games through Steam – started a week ago, even if slightly later than expected. How well did it do online?

First 7 days of Team Fortress 2 online beta

Pretty well, if you look at the Half-Life 2 numbers or graphics. It managed to beat Day of Defeat:Source as the second most popular Half-Life 2 game/mod – only losing, of course, to Counter-Strike:Source – and grabbed an important initial following. If it was a solo game, it would consistently be placed on the list of top 10 most popular games; if you consider it was only available for people who decided to pre-purchase a game package with 4 other games, it’s easy to see Valve has another winner in their hands.

What’s not easy to see is what kind of audience the game might have attracted. Looking at this and other graphics, it doesn’t look like the game managed to steal players from any other title (other than the ill-fated Team Fortress-inspired mod Fortress Forever, released just a few days before the beta), so it’s still uncertain what kind of player will be attracted to it.

Playing online for me was almost like traveling through time. Not only because I was once again playing one of the games I’ve spent most of my online time – the original Team Fortress mod was pretty much a revelation to me – but also because I was again playing against some people I haven’t seen in many years; people I didn’t even remember. This makes me think that while it might have attracted people from other mods such as Counter-Strike and Half-Life 1’s mod Team Fortress Classic, this new Team Fortress 2 could also have made people come out of “retirement” even if just for a while. Interesting aspect of aging gaming audiences, and probably only noticeable on areas with a limited player base such as the one I live in (South of Brazil) where there are few servers and where you can recognize people by their nicknames.

2 Responses to “Team Fortress 2 beta, 7 days later”

  1. Tom Edwards Says:

    Bear in mind also that TF2 only became available at shops today, and even then only at Gamestop in America.

    The game has certainly taken me out of retirement. I’d almost completely stopped playing online games, then suddenly I’d played 20 hours in the space of a week!

    Incidentally, don’t you think it’s time to separate Valve’s HL2 “mods” in the main graph into separate items? It’s not very informative at all to see CSS and TF2 lumped under the same name when you want to compare them to other games.

  2. Zeh Says:

    Tom: yeah, it’s starting to piss me off too. I used to say “but that’s what it is!” but I’m beginning to think even HL3 would be released as an HL2 mod. Valve must have changed some of the id ‘rules’ on how the game structure work.

    Anyhow, I’ll probably do so on a per-mod basis for mods that are sold separately (CSS, DoD, TF2, a few others) in the near future. It’ll require a little bit of hack on the scripts, but I have to rewrite some of the graphics code anyhow.

This website gathers data for various First Person Shooter games for PCs, and then build graphics with those numbers. This brings no answers, just questions. Where do we go from here?