Free Team Fortress 2 turns 20 to 30 percent of players into payers

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Team Fortress 2 free-to-playShow me the mon--wait, scratch that. Valve has already seen it, and co-founder Gabe Newell is interested. During a conference in Seattle, the overseer of hit hardcore game franchises like Portal said that Team Fortress 2--its popular multilplayer shooter that recently went free-to-play--has seen incredible results in how many paying customers it has created.

"And then the conversion rate, when we talk to partners who do free-to-play, a lot of people see about a 2 to 3 percent conversion rate of the people in their audience who actually buy something, and then with Team Fortress 2, which looks more like Arkham Asylum in terms of the user profile and the content, we see about a 20 to 30 percent conversion rate of people who are playing those games who buy something," Newell revealed, according to Geekwire.

Newell alluded to the average number of social gamers that pay for in-game items and boosts. Calling it a fairly recent statistic, the Valve CEO said that's far larger than games like, say, FarmVille experience. "We don't understand what's going on," Newell said. "All we know is we're going to keep running these experiments to try and understand better what it is that our customers are telling us."

So, expect more of Valve's game franchises to go free-to-play for its 35 million plus Steam (its popular games distribution service) users. But consider the ripple effect Newell's words might have on other traditional game companies. Other than Valve's games, more hardcore games will undoubtedly go free-to-play. And they'll all have those blasted social games to thank.

[Via Develop]

Will Newell's words inspire even more traditional game companies to go free-to-play? Is this where gaming is headed across the board? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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