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The Team Fortress series is a series of class-based first-person shooter video games, originally developed by Robin Walker, John Cook, and Ian Caughley. Team Fortress was originally developed as a mod of the game Quake, until the rights were purchased by Valve Software. So far, the series spans a total of 20 years, and features 3 official games, as well as dozens of unofficial versions created as mods of other games.
The original Team Fortress, also known as Quake Team Fortress, was developed by John Cook, Robin Walker, and Ian Caughley in 1996 as a modification of the FPS game Quake. Team Fortress introduced the games class based system, with all 9 original classes developed and released gradually through updates over the course of 1996 and 97.
Team Fortress Classic
Valve Software, a then-popular video game development company after the release of their first award winning title Half-Life, saw the popularity of the series and requested that John Cook and Robin Walker to recreate the game on their personal GoldSrc Engine, for a store release. Walker and Cook accepted, and the game was released as Team Fortress Classic in stores in 1999 to popular success. The game was well received and featured new weapons, levels, and updated graphics and servers. The series helped propel Valve into it's status as a popular multi-successful title company, and gave them a great foot in the multiplayer video game market.
Team Fortress 2
After the success of Team Fortress Classic, Valve set out to create a sequel just a few years later. However, due to Valve's juggling of other development projects such as the Half-Life series, and their Steam digital distribution service, as well as a general misunderstanding of where to take the series and what to do for the new title, led the series into a rough nine-year gap between Team Fortress Classic and Team Fortress 2.
Finally, in 2007, Team Fortress 2 was released in a compilation with three other Valve debut titles in The Orange Box for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Although fans were confused with the games' choice of graphics, the game was a ultimately a success, and was well received by gamers and critics alike. Team Fortress 2 was later released as a stand-alone title for PC a year later, where the game achieved resounding success.
Team Fortress 2 on PC featured countless improvements over the version shipped with The Orange Box, with new guns and a trading system. One of Team Fortress 2's most successful additions was its in-game digital store, where players could purchase in-game items with real money, released a year after it's original release. The game holds the title of best-selling game on the Steam network. Due to the game's in-game store being so profitable to Valve, Team Fortress 2 became free-to-play in 2012.