Let's state the obvious: Valve gave us a heck of a deal with The Orange Box. And if a developer were ever justified in charging console consumers for DLC, it would be Valve through a Team Fortress 2 map pack. But here's the thing, Valve has no interest in charging us for more maps. Valve's VP of marketing Doug Lombardi explains that they'd like to offer content...
...for free, definitely, as much as we can. You know, we don't have full say over that, but we have some say over how that works.
For us, we see it as an investment on our next product. Gamers won't hesitate when they see a game coming out from Valve. They'll think 'I've heard of this but will it be worth my money?' We want to take that off the table.
So now the ball is in the courts of Microsoft and Sony. Given that Epic is struggling to keep mods free on the 360, we're assuming that Valve is in the midst of the same situation. As for PSN, that platform seems to offer more leeway (but that's our own logic, not something coming from Valve).
One thing's for sure—if PSN users are downloading the same content for free that Xbox LIVE demands money for (on top of subscription costs), Microsoft will reaffirm the evil corporation stereotype that the Xbox brand has done so much to negate. Let's hope that Microsoft is smarter than that and shows its customers a bit more gratitude for their loyalty.
Valve hopes to keep TF2 content free [Eurogamer]