Poll Question 192 – Will the “Mann-conomy” store work its way to other Valve games?

1st October 2010

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Back in March 2007, that’s over 3 and a half years ago, I asked Would you pay for a Half-Life 2 Bonus Content Pack from Valve? 77% said “Yes”.

The poll question was really about content for modders to use but we discussed normal content.

For those that don’t know, Valve has created a store where you can buy, sell and trade items used in the game. It uses a micro-transaction system called Steam Wallet.

The question is whether Valve will roll it out for other games. I have to be honest and say I have NEVER played TF2, so I don’t understand the interest in the different items. It’s also hard to imagine single player games needing something like this but you never know. Valve might be able to somehow twist the concept to make it work for EP3.

Maybe CS2 will have this as a built in function.

So, a few questions really. Will it spread to other games? If yes, will they try it in EP2 etc? Can you see it working in single player games and if so, how?

Thanks to Greeman for suggesting something similar as a poll.

The Poll


  1. Soylent Bacon

    I doubt it, for the existing franchises, anyway. None of the other games have the kind of unlockables that TF2 has, and Valve clearly tries to avoid forcing people to pay for extra content.

  2. DoubleJ

    Some points for consideration:
    It probably wont work for single player games. There’s been a lot of items that have been aded to TF2 since its inception three years ago. While items can be found in the drop system, crafted, or achieved, this is a way to get them quicker. Said items enhance the multiplayer component (such as the hats), but you cant really get that in a single player game.

    The Mann-conomy FAQ also clearly points out that you don’t have to buy items to get an advantage in the game. Items that affect gameplay can be found in game through the drop system and you can also trade things with other players. Valve does not want to distinguish gameplay between those who buy special items and those who don’t (also pointed out in the FAQ).

    Buying things through the Mann-co store requires you to put money into the Steam Wallet, which in addition to purchasing things for TF2, can be used to buy games in the Steam catalog. So its not really mutually exclusive.

  3. GoodGuyA

    Dear Laidlaw I hope not.

    I was one of the people that was willing to defend VALVe, and still has when it comes to the L4D2 debate. This though seems like very much a cash-in on a frustrating mechanic they implemented. It’s good at least they’re offering it to non-payers too, but they seem to undermine those people by explicitly saying it’s for those wanting the easy way. I love the items as they offer great new strategies, but the pay for it is beyond my defense.

    1. Back in the day Valve put out a lot of great stuff. Now I hear off colored things about them. I’m out of this loop so what is actually going on here. What is Mann-conomy? What does it do, for what, how..One of the best mods I ever played had a shaft you had to climb down, Gearbox’s logo was on one side, Valve on the other where you turned the valve to flood the chamber. MAN was it a B TCH to make it through that level!.. Very challenging for me and I loved it. Can’t remember the name of it, but you had to kill the centipede looking bad ass critter with acid and it was NOT easy to do..lol..Can’t even remember how many times I played that one…hundreds maybe?

  4. Shadowmancer471

    I think the guys at Valve have done this out of a reason other than greed
    Cmon, theyre still updating a 3 year old game, with 120 large updates shipped

    They gotta eat sometime you know

    With other games, I reckon they wont keep updating it as frequently, and so therefore will not charge you

    1. I think the guys at Valve have done this out of a reason other than greed

      If you got that impression from my post, I apologize, it’s not what I meant. In fact, I agree with you. I believe they are doing it because they feel it will be good for the community and they like to push the boundaries of how we experience gaming.

      1. Shadowmancer471

        ah sorry, that was from the general spirit from TF2 forums and TF2 itself.
        Your discussion topic was as gentlemanly written as always

  5. I also play DDO dungeon and dragons online. the game is free but really you have to give them money to get items from the DDO store to complete dungeons. 20$ gives you lots of “credits” it last me a long long time, and the game is not a every month money commitment.
    maybe valve is going to go to something similer.

  6. feckineejit

    I play Day of Defeat and the L4DoD a LOT. It would be great to be able to buy/sell/trade cool things in the game like new weapons and skins and stuff.

  7. Seung Hahm

    I was able to play a beta of a game called “Tactical Intervention” made by the co-creator of Counter-Strike, Minh Le. So far, it’s interesting, although my opinion could differ for some maps. Anyhoo, the game has an in-game shop that you purchase weapons using currency accumulated from in-game points, ala Battlefield: Heroes’s Valor Points. Judging from this system, developments for microtransactions/in-game stores using points purchased from real-life money is more likely than not.

  8. Wesp5

    I was a Valve fan in the days of the original Half-Life, but in my opinion Valve has been going downhill ever since, because of greed. Look at Steam. They make probably more money from it than from selling games nowadays! Look at their games. Where is HL2:EP3? What big releases have they done lately? Most of their games are just mods going professional (CS, TF2, Portal, Left4Dead) with cash-in follow ups (Left4Dead2, Portal2 – lets hope this will be better). No wonder they are starting to rely on things like microtransactions to survive. Have you read that they now try to get people to buy Left4Dead2 so they can get free items in TF2? This is getting ridiculous…

  9. 2muchvideogames

    in my percerption, this mann store is the equivalent of the farmville. Buy virtual items with real money. And I can’t see how “adds health by –%” is NOT an imbalanced item. It is. If you spend real money, you get ahead of the game. Also please don’t expect ep3 anytime soon. They’re cranking out way too many steam updates (like, once a week or something)

  10. The entire concept, in my opinion, is based on and aimed at their the massive younger multi-player customers. It doesn’t serve any realistic purpose in a SP FPS at all.

    1. I agree but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be incorporated into a new SP FPS without success. In fact, something like Borderlands could have used it. Adding it retroactively wouldn’t work, but create a new around the concept might.

      1. Anon_230326

        I won’t argue that there’s some feasibility to that, ( particularly useful to Indie developers ).

  11. Jonathan

    I think CCS would be a better candidate for micro transactions than TF2. Since you purchase your weapons / equipment / etc already in the game.

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