Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Update Address #1

The time has come to make our last stand.

This will be the final project I will amass and organize in regards to an update for Team Fortress 2 on the Xbox 360. My dedication is such as that failure might leave a larger impact than success. But, before we begin, we must familiarize ourselves with our list of objectives. What is it that we really want?

Our simple demand is an answer. Overall, this is the most satisfying response we can safely hope for from Valve. Is it really coming, this update you promised? We agree, Valve, the sense of closure we would receive from a "no" would far outweigh any aggressive response or retaliation.

Having been in the dark for so long has provided ample opportunity for the pondering of possibilities, though, and I can see no reason to completely abandon us. I am a realist, I understand the issues, and I can see the optimum solution.

The best way, I have decided, to begin this proposal is to outline the issues to those who may not understand fully them. By doing so, I wish to produce an educated audience and, perhaps, move Valve to see the actions they could take to appease us.


-Micrsoft is forcing Valve to charge for potential updates.
-The game changes are limited by the amount of RAM the XBox possesses.
-As Team Fortress 2 is an ongoing process, it is difficult to determine when, if ever, to update.

Having laid out the short list of true obstacles, it is easy to see that they can be solved and that compromises can be made that would not have been so well received before.

For instance, paying for an update may have seemed unfair in the summer of 2008, but that hardly concerns us now (within reason.) The other two problems have a joint solution that is more complicated and that I will spend the remainder of this article elaborating on.

My main concern is that RAM limitation is a massive (post-release) technical issue. Truly, if Valve would dedicate themselves to managing this, I would pity them. Their system of continually adding new content to the game entails an ever-increasing amount of RAM, which is impossible for the Xbox to keep up with.

I have presented a solution to this, and it was widely supported by the community. We attained almost 650 signatures on one petition, enough that I got tired of adding them to the list. We did have some success with this. Valve patched the game (for better or worse, you be the judge.) But you missed the point, Valve, and that has stalled contentment.

Forget anything that would greatly stress RAM requirements, Valve. This includes new weapons, animations, taunts, voice lines, ANYTHING. This idea is trudging steadily towards one year since its inception, and yet, you have ignored it just as long.

Most game developers must wish for such a clear, unanimous demand from their customers (that makes a task easier, nonetheless,) but having it, you've done nothing to appease us. Why?

Having said this, I will move on to the remaining issue: the feud with Microsoft over pricing. Judging by the latest news from Valve, it would be very large and not that expensive. Some people say that a priced update would force a split in the already-small playerbase, but I ask; whom would not buy this update? Show yourself if you exist.

You don't exist, I assume, unless you are one nasty troll, and, in an instant, the third problem disappears completely.

Leaving us, finally, with the last order of business, the substance of the actual update. What would it include?

That comes next time, readers, in full clarity.


dandare4444 said...

I play very regularly and have done since release, and it's the silence that hurts more than anything. Ignore us, fine, at least TELL us you're going to ignore us instead of leaving us to piss in the wind. That said, i still have a shred of optimisim that they will give us something at some stage. My sleeves are rolled up and ready for action.

Alucard54s said...

I just want information.

I remember signing all those petitions, and if anyone is considering a class action lawsuit, I'm in.

Level Explorer Blog said...

Well I believe we deserve the weapons and maps; the new voices aren't really necessary. We also don't need user created content. It would be nice to have a few new server options, like alltalk. Not to mention the patch for the skywalking exploits.

Pete said...

At this point in time, all I care about is an answer.
I've been playing TF2 on console for quite some time. I can't just go buy a PC, as that would cost a sizable amount of money considering I already own a Mac.
New stuff is welcome, but if they can't do it, just tell us.

We've said it before, we'll say it again: We need closure.

I fully support everything you've said, Neal.

William said...

Anyone tried calling them on the phone?

boniourkee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
stophasnominutes said...

i would say another issue is install base. i don't know if the audience for tf2 on 360 is big enough anymore for valve to make a profit, even if they charge $10 a pop for dlc. the development costs to make it work on 360 might outweigh potential profits. the pc has a much larger audience, and arguably the main reason they continue updating tf2 on the pc for free is to get people to visit steam again... and again... and again. all those visits equal sales of other pay dlc games, even if new tf2 map packs / class updates are free. like putting candy at the checkout counter at the (free) grocery store.

i don't, however, think that all hope is lost. what i think they should do is offer the update dlc at $10 on XBL, while simultaneously releasing tf2 as a standalone game on xbl, with all updates included, for something like $15. that way, they could collect all sorts of buzz for rereleasing the whole game, while also pulling in new customers that maybe didn't buy orange box the first time around.

(only problem being being the o-box is probably only about $15 used at this point, but those customers would still have to buy the update for tf2).

those are my thoughts on how valve may be able to make this work. we'll see.... i think there's still hope. has valve ever promised something and not finally delivered?

Peter said...

It would seem that all hope is lost, according to Newell...

Steam lets the company take full advantage of the freedom that the PC and Mac platforms give it to constantly update and tweak its games. For instance, the developer has updated its 2007 game Team Fortress 2 more than 100 times, Newell said.

This wouldn’t be possible on a closed system like Microsoft’s Xbox Live, he said: “Microsoft’s QA fees … would be several hundred thousand dollars to do the updates that we did to Team Fortress 2. And that ignores the fact that the cycle on these closed platforms would have taken years to get all these updates through.”

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Smiley Storm said...

Has anyone ever thought of Valve releasing a new disc, like a TF2 GOTY edition with all the class updates, achievements, hats, maps, and patches?

with a new game coming out they could advertise it on TV, it would get press on gaming websites, and Gamestop could off people to trade in thier copy of orange box for a discount.

I mean the reviews for the patched version of TF2 would attract so many new players and valve would have both an audience and a profit.

Paul said...

I'm with Smiley, I would throw down $60 for a new disc that had all the new weapons and maps post-Engie update. I've been playing TF2 on 360 for a couple years now and I'd play on a new disc for couple more. A new disc would allow for a good advertising push.

caboose said...

i have the pc and the xbox version of tf2 and to say the most steam killed my tf2 and it does not work i would just find it easier if they brought the content out on the xbox and ps3 as although they dont have many players left its becouse they havnt updated it for 18 months who in there right mind would not purchase such a fine DLC even if they brought out a new standalone copy of the game for both the consoles it would solve the ram problem to do that and the money problem with microsoft i have played every game valve brought out and hope to play more but if valve choose to ignore there fan base again and not bring out this DLC i feel as if theres no point in playing there games

Tony, the tired Xbox player... said...

The only way I can play Team Fortress 2 is on my Xbox 360, I bought it on the Pc quite some time ago and it simply just doesn't run.The ONLY thing I want from the new pc updates are the weapons from each class, and the few new maps. I don't want hats, I don't need a replay editor or taunt kills. Just the bear basics would make me and a lot of my friends happy enough. I'm sick of Valve AND Microsoft ripping us off. It's just silly at this point. It really is. If they made enough money to make the game free then they have enough money to put some form of effort into updating the game. SOME FORM. Whether it be on the Ps3 or Xbox 360.

Parker said...

At this point, it seems all hope is lost. All things TF2 on the Xbox is gathering dust. I know Valve is pissing on the ashes of the fun times we had, I know we will not get any closure, I just want to know, have we the gamers really given up?

Parker said...

At this point, it seems all hope is lost. All things TF2 on the Xbox is gathering dust. I know Valve is pissing on the ashes of the fun times we had, I know we will not get any closure, I just want to know, have WE the gamers really given up?

Parker said...

I mean, I love TF2 and Valve, but are they really going to do this, are we really going to do this?

michael hickman said...

I know this looks bad but, guess what now we have a lot more memory. This only means hope is not lose only gained. My point is that some people think it but Valve is not lazy its microsoft. If it wasnt for microsoft every TF2 xbox player would all ready have up dates if microsoft wasnt so money hungry. Trust me if it wasnt for microsoft we would not be talking about this right now.

Mr Stabby94 said...

We cannot give up. We gotta do something!

mofomcgee said...

u know this is really starting to piss me off hey just sit there and update pc every fucken week, yet they sit there and act like they had nothing to do with tf2 on xbox they actually hav a chance to make every gamer out there thts just like me happy by makeing one simple update for xbox. valve r u really tht messed up tht u cant even answer the gamers of 2007-2013 why u cant give me one good reason why u cant even give us a replyto us gamers. pshh DICKS

mofomcgee said...


mofomcgee said...

i agree wit neil but i hav a nother solition. So as u know 4j has all rights to minecraft XBL so why dont they just give the rights to someother company tht actully cares