The strange case of the Team Fortress 2 Robotic Boogaloo


The Robotic Boogaloo has been one of those extraordinary community efforts that only ever happen in PC gaming – a Mann vs Machine-themed modding extravaganza which pulled together Steam Workshop submissions for the greater good of TF2. And that was enough. But now there’s just just the faintest scent of Valve-pulled strings behind the scenes – the barest suggestion that the Boogaloo might have become something more than it was, with the help of the TF2 dev team.

The complete gallery of submissions accepted for the Boogaloo can be seen here – a list of TF2 items, some familiar, some less so, all augmented with bolts, batteries or bunsen burners.

Work on the project had continued apace through to the end of February, when the submissions deadline passed and artists set about improving their work. Since then, however, the work of top collaborators, previously visible via Steam Workshop, has suddenly become private.

Those same collaborators adopted mechanically-augmented Steam avatars, and modders were asked not to upload their items to the Workshop until the update went live. To what end, they wondered?

Meanwhile, Valve have surreptitiously pushed out assets for a robo_crate in yesterday’s official TF2 update. Crates are awarded in-game as item drops, and have previously incorporated Workshop submissions.

Valve have precedent for this sort of thing – in December last year, the limited-availability Nice Winter Crate contained 13 community items made for the Mecha Update event.

Do you think it’s possible they’ve leapt on the back of the Boogaloo to pull a similar trick ahead of a new MvM update?