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In the past we've shipped features that came from community suggestions. Now we've taken it one step further: we're shipping game content that was directly built by the community.
Today's TF2 update includes a bunch of new items and weapons, all of which were made by members of the TF2 community and uploaded to the Contribute! site. The overall quality of submissions we're receiving is fantastic, by the way, so there'll be plenty of new additions to follow. The submitters of these items will find nifty unique versions sitting in their backpacks, so they can show everyone their work.
This is really exciting for us here at Valve. Starting from our core belief that entertainment products should be services, we've tried to increase the set of ways our community can impact our games, and the ways in which we can reward you for it. From the implementation of features requested by players and mapmakers, to unique community items given to valuable community contributors, to the purchasing and shipping of popular maps, to the ARG-style product announcement of Portal 2, we've tried to include our players in the ongoing challenge of improving our games and their communities.
This update represents the next step in that process. The line between developers and players is getting very blurry, and we think that's a great thing.