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Since the Steam Workshop launched in October of 2011, over 1,200 items created by the TF2 and now the DOTA community have been made available for sale. That's added up to a whopping $10 million in royalties paid to item creators.
The thing is, nobody creates a TF2 item in a vacuum. Chances are if you've made something for the Workshop, you've probably gotten some amount of help and feedback from various toolmakers, communities and mentors. A lot of these resources have proven to be immensely valuable to item creators. We'd like to give you a chance to show them just how valuable.
What if we were to tell you that you can now compensate the service providers that've helped you by giving them a percentage of the sales from your in-game item? And then what if we were to notice you walking quickly away from us after we said that? So what if we ran after you and told you hold on, you didn't hear the important part: You'll get to compensate those service providers without any actual money coming out of your own pocket. That's right: The contribution will be made from a set percentage that is redirected from Valve to the service provider, not taken from your royalty.
Starting today, item creators like yourself can leaf through a wide variety of communities, toolmakers and individuals, and decide who most deserves a percentage of your item sales (again, not your percentage). Those who'll benefit are completely up to you—from forums to programs to tutorial writers. You can divide the money between as many or as few benefactors as you'd like.
If you already have an item in the Team Fortress 2 Workshop, you can add and set Service Allowances by visiting the page for your item in the Workshop. So get out there and pay it forward like Kevin Spacey did in that movie, Superman Returns, when he gave Superman all that kryptonite, and then Superman paid it forward into space.
We were really impressed that so many of you resubmitted your items as Gold Star submissions since our last post two days ago. Now, given that this is what we asked you to do, you might wonder why we’re so impressed, and the answer is that nobody’s ever done anything we asked ever, so this is a bit of a novelty for us. We’ve been asking Robin Walker to stop breaking into our houses at 2AM to show us his latest hat designs for two years now, and we still wake up with him hovering inches over us, whispering “No worries” and holding up his sketchpad.
But enough about our night terror! The important part is that, to celebrate, we grabbed some of those Gold Star submissions and shipped them. “How much did you ship them?” you ask, your eyebrow arching suspiciously. We shipped them all the way, guys. No half-measures. We shipped the HELL out of these items.
This isn’t the big update we hinted at in the last post, by the way, or any of the other super-secret update content we've been working on that we haven't even hinted at yet*. This is just a little taste, a tide-me-over, what the French might call an amuse-bouche (“Your mouth pleases me.”) Enjoy! Or as the French say, Bon appétit! ("It is good that you are starving.")
*Except just then.
Over the weekend we hit a new landmark, with over ten million dollars paid out to over 400 contributors and partners. And close to $250,000 of that figure will be paid out to the sixty-plus people who created the Robotic Boogaloo update.
If you just read that last paragraph and are kicking yourself for not making that beard of bees sketch a reality, here's the good news: We've also done a bunch of work improving the item submission tool, so it's never been easier to submit. The tool now automatically tests new creations against a set of standards, meaning anything you create is now significantly more likely to be game-ready.
You can now also see how your items will render on TF2 characters within the tool, making the creation process itself even quicker. Plus, every item submitted through the tool will now be tagged with a gold star, showing everyone that it's been vetted. FYI, our next update is going to ship exclusively with "gold star" items, and there's going to be no limit on how many we'll include. (Check out the Workshop FAQ for more info.)
In short, there's never been an easier, faster or more rewarding time to submit to the Workshop. If you're not making that beard of bees dream a reality, let's face it, at this point it's probably a motivational problem on your end.