Team Fortress 2 is a free-to-play team-based first-person shooter multiplayer video game developed by Valve Corporation. A sequel to the original modTeam Fortress based on the Source engine, it was first released as part of the video game compilation The Orange Box on October 10, 2007 for Windows and the Xbox 360. A PlayStation 3 version then followed on November 22, 2007. The game was later released as a standalone package for Windows on April 9, 2008, and for Mac OS X two years later. Team Fortress 2 is distributed online through the Steam system, while retail distribution was handled by Electronic Arts. On June 23, 2011, the game became a free-to-play title, supported by microtransactions for unique in-game equipment through Steam. The development of Team Fortress 2 is led by John Cook and Robin Walker, the designers who originally created the Team Fortress modification for Quake in 1996.
The game was announced in 1998, powered by Valve's GoldSrc engine, but has since been through various concepts and designs. In 1999, the game appeared to be deviating from its predecessors by pursuing a more realistic and militaristic style of gameplay, but the design metamorphosed over its nine-year development period. The final rendition sports cartoon style visuals influenced by the art of J. C. Leyendecker, Dean Cornwell and Norman Rockwell and is powered by the Source engine. The game itself revolves around two teams, each with access to nine distinct characters, battling in a variety of game modes set in different environments, often with a factory-warehouse theme.
The lack of information or apparent progress for six years of the game's original development caused it to be labeled as vaporware, and it was regularly featured in Wired News' annual vaporware list among other ignominies. Upon its release, the game received critical acclaim and several awards, being praised for its graphical style, balanced gameplay, comedic value and for its use of full character personalities in a dedicated multiplayer only game.