A modding team has been hard at work on a Team Fortress 2 mod called Team Fortress 2008, which would have flung the team-based shooter back in time to the days before hats and cosmetics and more weapons than you can shake a stick at. The mod, which would exist on the Steam workshop, reportedly got approval from Valve barring a few changes, and was set to be listed on Steam today. And it did, for a few hours. When perusing for news this morning, I added this story to my docket, but then things went south.
The mod team, known as Team XYK, had long been concerned that Valve would not approve the mod. For one, it subverts a revenue model that Valve still enjoys, the cosmetics and trading economy that Team Fortress 2 sits upon. Secondly, it is somewhat of a finger in the eye to Valve to have a fanmade mod come in on their service and imply the game was better a decade ago.
Still, according to the team, Valve was surprisingly understanding. In a forum thread, XYK said that Valve had agreed to let them list the mod on the store as long as a few changes were instituted, but it wasn’t clear what those changes were. They merely said the changes were made, the listing was up on Steam, and they were awaiting review. Until a few hours later, at least, when the page was removed.
Why? It’s hard to say. We tried to get in touch with XYK, but have not heard back. Many are suggesting that the team used leak source code from the game, which spilled onto third party sites without Valve’s permission, a transgression that Valve has a blanket policy against. Within that group, people are disagreeing whether or not that means the project has completely ended or if it simply needs to replace the leaked source code with live code from the current game.
Team XYK themselves have not said either way what is happening with the project, though reports from their Discord seem to break along the same lines between it being over and it being a relatively simple fix.
Regardless, for people who want to bring Team Fortress 2 back to what it was in the heady days of The Orange Box, there might still be options down the road. This one, however, has already gone up and down on its own path, and no one is quite sure where it’s going to end up.