The versions of TF2 that never were (and that Gabe Newell hated)

Team Fortress 2 by Valve
(Image credit: Valve)

Valve writer Chet Faliszek has opened up about his time working on Team Fortress 2.

Asked by fans on TikTok to share "any Team Fortress 2 stories", Faliszek shared a behind-the-scenes anecdote on one of Valve's biggest titles.

"I think this is the first time I made Gabe cry…" Faliszek tweeted, sharing a video he posted to TikTok. "But definitely not the last."

Reminding us that "there's a whole team of really smart people that work" on Valve games, Faliszek then talked about an incident that happened "very early in TF2".

"If you remember, it used to be a military shooter," Faliszek says. "Back in 1999, it actually won E3 Game of the Year award. But as a military shooter, [it was] all smoke and mirrors. Never really existed that way.

"So we were pitching the new game, and I was a part of the team that helped come up with the pitch and go to Gabe," he adds. "And the pitch was not going well. We ended up coming back and having more of a sense of humor to it.

"And everything else was good. It's good feedback by Gabe [after] he kind of beat us up in, you know, the way that Gabe would beat you up.

"And so, I just turned with all seriousness, and I said: well, we could be the only game ever that wins E3 Game of the Year award in two separate millennia since it had won the award in '99, and it was 2004 or 2005 that we were pitching [to release] it.

"Gabe just put his head down in his hands, and I think he started crying."

"I tried," he quips at the end. 

In related TF2 news, Valve's "entire repository" - a huge bundle of assets from all of its games, including Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life Episodes 1 and 2 - leaked online back in January.

With the Team Fortress 2 bundle of assets alone weighing in at 61GB, the leak - which features assets from Portal, Counter-Strike: Source, Team Fortress 2, Day of Defeat: Source, and Half-Life 2: Episodes 1, 2, and 2's multiplayer - features thousands of assets, some of which originate from modified or cut content.

Keep up to date with all the best games still to launch this year with our guide to new games 2023.

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.