10 years ago, Valve launched the Orange Box: a video game compilation that contained three of what-would-become some of the most successful titles of all time. It's rare to meet anyone who played Team Fortress 2 for less than at least 300 hours if they played at all, and the popularity of Portal is surpassed only by that for the sequel, Portal 2, which even today sits comfortably as one of the highest-rated games ever. Then, of course, there's Half-Life: Episode Two, the sequel for which would instill extraordinarily levels of anticipation among gamers for the next decade.
To celebrate the anniversary of one of the studio's greatest early successes, Valve recently revealed updates for both Team Fortress 2 (TF2) and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) - which, although it did not appear in the Orange Box, remains an extremely popular shooter on Steam.
In a post over the somewhat inactive TF2 blog, Valve revealed some statistics for the decade-old game. In 10 years, over 100 maps have been made, 60 billion players have been killed, 20 trillion damage has been done, 6 billion items have been crafted, 2 billion headshots have been landed, and 624 updates have been released. For any other first-person shooter, these stats would be an awesome achievement, well-worth the original development time and possibly even a sign to begin winding things down - but TF2 is far from ordinary.
Team Fortress 2 still sits at the 5th most-active game on Steam right now, and shows no sign of losing steam according to SteamCharts, which reports an average player-count of around 50,000 per day. As a reward for the remarkably active community, Valve has announced "a mammoth new update" due in the very near future (emphasis theirs).
Meanwhile, 3D printing service Shapeways is launching a Valve Design Content. Those who submit their designs will have a chance to win "epic prizes" from both Valve and Shapeways, while the Grand Prize Winner will receive a TF2 Grey Medic Statue and $500 in Shapeways printing credit. For more information on that, check out the official page.
Considered even by the developers to be "the quintessential CS:GO map," Dust II has been an immensely popular choice in CS:GO since its original release. It makes regular appearances in the competitive scene and is one of the more common picks in normal play, meaning that any player with a moderate sum of hours in the game will likely know each crack in the walls of the sandblasted streets.
While it's by no means "mammoth-sized," Valve is celebrating Dust II with a bit of a make-over. The entire map has been redone with new textures and minor tweaks to various bits of miscellaneous objects and cover. Drain pipes have been removed, lighting has been changed, and even the character models have gone through a bit of an overhaul. To read the full summary of changes, check out the full post on the Counter-Strike website.