Last month Team Fortress 2 allowed gamers to purchase in-game items via their "Mann-Conomy" update. As part of this update five Steam community members where chosen to create items for purchase through the peer-to-peer marketplace.
Today those individuals got their paychecks for the first two weeks of the Mann-Conomy.
Community content creators Rob Laro, Shawn Spetch, Steven Skidmore, Spencer Kern, and Shaylyn Hamm each received payment on royalties that range from $39,000 to $47,000. This is seriously making me consider switching my day job, then again my day job is seriously making me want to switch.
Upon receiving his payment, content creator Spencer Kern had this to say:
"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."
The turnout shouldn't be a huge surprise. Many people tend to respond better to smaller creators than big companies pushing DLC. In this case the response was even greater because the Steam community knew they were supporting their peers. Also Valve games tend to breed creativity, just look at the legacy Counter-Strike left behind. The game itself was a mod, that then spawned other mods. I recall a Dragon Ball Z one that was really fun.
The Steamworks suite made it possible for these five creators to bring new in-game content to the masses. Gabe Newell, Valve President is hoping this free-to-license development kit will encourage other developers to integrate it into their games:
"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."
I know what you're thinking. You're looking at the payout and seeing dollar signs in your eyes. It's true, micro-transactions can turn a nice profit, however once more content creators come into the market the wealth will also have to be spread out. Don't let that discourage you, if you have the skills you can join up at the Team Fortress 2 Contribute site.
Are you "Mann" enough to create content for Team Fortress 2? Maybe we can get some awesome Game Rant items made.