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Team Fortress 2 Update Released

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An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Fixed a bug related to changing teams that caused various issues related to weapon projectiles, Engineer buildings and game modes
  • Fixed using the wrong thumbnail images for pass_district, pass_timbertown, and pl_swiftwater
  • Fixed the developer commentary audio files not being played properly
  • Fixed not being able to taunt with the Cleaner's Carbine
  • Added the LBTF2 6v6 Season 14 tournament medals
  • Added an option to hide the 'View Promotional Codes' button in the main menu
    • Can be toggled in the Adv. Options menu under the Miscellaneous Options section
  • Updated the models/materials for the Special Snowflake 2016 and the Gift of Giving 2016 community medals
  • Updated Mann vs. Machine mode
    • Fixed a case where late-joining a Mann Up match during the final wave could result in erroneously receiving a ten minute cooldown
    • Fixed a bug causing Invader's buildings to blow up if another Invader building of the same type is destroyed after the Engineer has died
Note missed from the Smissmas update:
  • Fixed security issue reported by Amat Cama via GeekPwn


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Since when has Valve not cared?

Since anyone with a brain could see that the division of labor at Valve is horribly skewed away from TF2, and given such a skew is caused by what employees care about, it's pretty easy to put 2 and 2 together.


EDIT: With the recent AMA, we've received further info concerning work force skew. 16 members is now the confirmed number of TF2 employees.


However, let's see how much TF2 is making for Valve, because realistically that matters more than player count to Valve. According to a report in 2013 (I know, it's old just keep reading), TF2 brought in an estimated $139 mil via micro-transactions. This is an old estimate, but I compared player data from 2013 and 2015 (It's an important year, remember it) and there is no significant jump in playership- in fact the exact opposite is true, with 2013 posting approximately 5k players less than in 2015. This doesn't even account for the fact that there are far, far more items to buy in TF2 now- and especially doesn't account for the 3 paid campaigns that were introduced in 2015!


Okay, so now we know TF2 may be making even more than $139 mil in 2015, but since I can't prove that we're going to continue to use this statistic. DoTA reported $238 mil in revenue in 2015, and CS:GO $221 mil. So we're seeing that all things considered (When we use an outdated and likely significantly smaller than reality statistic) we find TF2 lags behind the "Big 2" by less than 50% in revenue. A big gap, certainly, but given the amount of money invested in tournaments and whatnot (Read: None) Valve isn't losing much here either. But what about employees? Let's try to break that down the best we can.


Valve has approx. 360 employees. We can remove none of those as "upper management" because of how Valve's structure works, so let's use the whole chimichanga of 360 here. According to the recent AMA by Newell, the Steam Support team has quintupled in size since his last AMA. His last AMA was in 2014, which luckily coincides (relatively) with when the Valve Employee page was last updated (Read: April 26th, 2014). According to the page, there are from what I could find maybe 3 dedicated Support members (Rumor has it Gaben is involved as well, but I'm talking dedicated, but I'll get into the issue with that later). Assuming this to be true, that means there are currently 15 Steam Support Members. That leaves 345 employees running amok with 6 categories total: VR, Misc., TF2, Steam, CS:GO, and DoTA. Given the vagueness concerning L4D3, Ricochet 2, etc. we can assume these games are early in development if at all (Especially L4D3, which Gaben's response made it seem as if it weren't exactly "in fruition" to say the least). Additionally, we can assume that HL3 is bundled with the VR team given the file leaks have indicated as such. With such assumptions, we should rightly assume that the Misc. team would be smaller and the VR team larger- they simply have more ground to be covering so it's in theory justifiable.

So let's propose first a perfect world for our happy little 345 employees. Split evenly (We can assume the VR teams and Misc teams balance out, so I'll calculate half of Misc being part of VR), we receive the following numbers:


VR: 86.25


Misc.: 28.75


Steam: 57.5


TF2: 57.5


CS:GO: 57.5


DoTA: 57.5


Of course, this isn't a perfect world, this is one where profit is the bottom line. Again, a reasonable mantra. So let's factor in our outdated but still relevant profit differences. We will assume that CS:GO and DoTA have a marginal difference for now, but when we do my point will fully be expressed.


VR: 86.25


Misc.: 28.75


Steam: 57.5


TF2: 28.75


CS:GO: 71.875


DoTA: 71.875


Okay, not looking too hot for TF2, now let's factor in the profit difference for DoTA and CS:GO, assuming (Likely incorrectly) that the "make-up" comes solely from the CS:GO pool. CS:GO made 93% that DoTA did, so the numbers come out like this-


VR: 86.25


Misc.: 28.75


Steam: 57.5


TF2: 28.75


CS:GO: ~67


DoTA: ~77


So, this all seems to make decent sense, but this makes decent sense assuming two very, very absurd facts. One, we're assuming that VR accounts for 25% of the entire workforce- this is crazy just right off the bat. Two, we're assuming that TF2 is making the exact same profit it did back in 2013 now in 2015, despite the facts that 2015 had more players, more content, and new and popular (Gun Mettle?) micro-transactions. So what do we find if we make these absurd assumptions? TF2 should logically have double the employees it currently has. And this doesn't even factor into account the fact that rumors and statements from various members indicate many of the writers (And all of the voice actors) for Valve are freelance, meaning they don't even get factored into these statistics despite being a large part of game development. AND all of this doesn't take into account we're assuming that the TF2 positions are static- in a Valve environment such positions are largely the exact opposite of static, simply look at Issue #6's development for proof.

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