Open Letter to Valve RE: Team Fortress 2 on Xbox 360By: Josh Miller-Watt
Let me preface this letter by saying I'm a huge fan of your games. I've played all of them since Half-Life, all the way up to your most recent, Left 4 Dead. I own The Orange Box, and I still bought Portal: Still Alive on XBLA for the new puzzles. You deliver a consistently amazing multiplayer experience, for which I am thankful. So believe me when I say that this letter comes from a positive place.
The purpose of the letter is to comment on the ‘impending’ update of Team Fortress 2 for the Xbox 360. This update was talked about in 2007, and in 2008 we were told we would have it "by year's end." However, I understand that production on the update was pushed back to accommodate the release of Left 4 Dead. Now, Left 4 Dead is a stellar game - I think everybody knows it. The multiplayer is a glorious experience in the right company. But I think I speak for quite a few Xbox 360 gamers when I say that when I need a good multiplayer fix, I like to default to Team Fortress 2. You know probably better than anyone how the experiences differ. Left 4 Dead is, at its heart, a very strategic 8-player max experience. But if you want utter carnage, nothing compares to a 16-player match on 2fort, or Dustbowl.
The problem, however, is that because of the lack of updates, Team Fortress 2 online play is stagnating. We have six maps. Six! As far as map variety goes, Team Fortress 2 is kind of a running gag on consoles. I understand that we only have that many maps because TF2 on the Orange Box was always meant to be updated with more content in the future. But the “Future” that was in mind has long since come and gone, with nary a new map to be seen. The most fervent wish of all TF2 players on the Xbox 360 is more maps. Now, I know you want to update with all sorts of class-specific achievements and bonuses — and kudos for throwing such an effort into support for a game that’s been out so long - but I know that I speak for a lot of Xbox 360 TF2 players when I also say this: We really just want the maps.
The achievements would be nice, but they’re a distant second to more maps. Something that we’d love to see? A map pack released, and soon. Just maps. We know it’s gonna cost money. But you know what? We don’t mind anymore. Time has healed that wound. We didn’t like it when we first heard about it, but we’ve had ample time to suck it up. We’ll pay the money. And if you wanted to release an expansion with the character achievements and special weapons? We would pay for that, too. We know Microsoft has forced your hand into charging for content released over XBLA, and we've made peace with the idea.
Please, Valve. All we really want is new maps.
I don’t expect results from this letter, or a response, as I know Valve is notoriously tight-lipped about games and updates still in production. But I figured that maybe I could just write this letter to let you know that some of your fans are getting tired, and we just want to play some more TF2.
— Josh Miller-Watt