When Valve added the ability to pay for in-game virtual goods through microtransactions to its online FPS Team Fortress 2 two weeks ago, it also added the ability for users to create new virtual items, get them approved by Valve, and then see them sold through the official TF2 item store. Creators get 25% of the revenue generated by sales of their virtual goods. This week Valve flew item creators out to its headquarters in Washington to hand out item creator royalty checks ranging from $39,000 to $47,000.
Valve doesn't plan to begin selling other user-created content like map levels this way (or to ever sell map levels), but does plan to continue finding ways to let its games be supported by their player communities. For users who create map levels, Valve is considering a system where the creator of a popular map level is rewarded with virtual goods that give benefits to the creator, like an advantage whenever he plays on that map.
[via IGN Australia]
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