Team Fortress 2 (TF2) is one of the best multiplayer games of all time. It took nine years to make, and the developers have supported it with more post-release free updates than any other game ever. Four years after its release in 2007, it is still immensely popular, and although its price has gone down, Valve has managed to continue making a massive profit by introducing the first successful microtransaction model in a mainstream American shooter. That model has been so successful that it looks like Valve may be poised to start offering the game for free on Steam.
So, just how successful is TF2? Successful enough to inspire a Chinese knock-off! Steam and TF2 are both readily available in China, but that hasn't stopped Chinese developer Thunder from creating a simliar game for their burgeoning market. It is called Final Combat. It will be free-to-play, and looks so much like TF2 that it could use the older game's expired ID to get into bars.
Exhibit A: Feature Checklist
- Class-based online multiplayer FPS
- Cartoony graphics
- Character classes eerily reminiscent of the Soldier, Pyro, Scout, and Heavy, among others
- Character models based on different types of professionals (fireman, construction worker, etc.)
- Microtransaction system for purchasing vanity items of character clothing (will be Final Combat's main means of income)
- Funny videos showing the backgrounds of character classes
- Fast-paced team-based combat
Exhibit B: Video Evidence (based on the only two videos of Final Combat available so far)
The information on the developer's Chinese webpage is tough to decipher, but they seem to be targeting a release sometime next year. I understand that this game is probably being made for the Chinese market only, and that non-English-speaking Chinese players deserve to have the chance to enjoy the game in their native tongue. That doesn't mean it isn't a blatant rip-off, but it does make it understandable and a bit less sleazy.