Launching in 2007 alongside the pivotal Orange Box from Valve, Team Fortress 2 has remained a niche hallmark of the multiplayer FPS genre ever since. Now headed toward its 20th anniversary, it's time to seriously consider the possibility of Team Fortress 3 release date speculation. Valve math permitting.
As the game gets older, Team Fortress 3 news and rumours appear on the internet more and more often, with a game's voice cast jetting off to back-to-back conventions in 2022-23 to film in-character roleplays only fueling more rumours of rumblings higher up. We're no spy, but with another update in the works, the Team Fortress 2 revival could be the perfect time to announce a follow-up.
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Team Fortress 3 release date speculation
Valve still has yet to give any concrete hint about the possible release of Team Fortress 3, and there's no indication whatsoever that the game is even in development.
The only hint that something could finally be in the works is the newly-announced update. Though it's being worked on in-house, it's set to include a lot of fan-made creations. That isn't abnormal for the game, but it does tell us that the patch we've all been waiting for may not have been cooking for quite as long as it would seem given the lengthy gap between this and the last content-adding update. The update is planned for the Summer and will include "items, maps, taunts, unusual effects, war paints, and other community-contributed fixes..."
It's paper thin, but active development spinning up again could be a way to get players re-invested in the game, prepping the fields for a Team Fortress 2 announcement that could quickly go viral. The internet has changed massively since the game came out, and it takes a lot to stand out in today's landscape.
Further to this, the sudden push for live-action skits from the game's voice cast has eyes back on the prize.
They've so far only used their platform to promote the book of John Lowrie (the Sniper), something to do with a car, a 2001 Cuisinart toaster, and the Tower of No Refunds, but it's hard to imagine them being able to use the characters in such a way without alluding to some sort of Team Fortress topic of discussion. It's all just as goofy as the game, after all. Time will tell.
Five things we want to see in Team Fortress 3
Even though most of these ideas might be easily implemented into Team Fortress 2 via updates, they form an easy foundation of what we'd like to see in the next game. Here's what we could see in Team Fortress 3.
Team Fortress 2, with is cartoony artstyle, was never really a looker. But it did make it easy to run on a wide variety of PCs at the time - which is always an important factor for multiplayer games you want to penetrate multiple markets.
We wouldn't expect any serious art style tweaks, but new shader tech seen in recent Source 2 engine efforts would go a long way in breathing new life into the vibrant, chaotic world of Team Fortress 3.
New classes (for the first time)
Classes, and the personalities behind them, are the lifeblood of Team Fortress. But for over 10 years, people have gotten used to the classic classes presented in the original and its sequel.
As such, Team Fortress hasn't seen a new class added since its debut cast of characters. It's hard to imagine another joining now, but the voice of the Sniper loved a fan mock-up of Mystery Woman (or the Super Top Secret Agent for the League of Urgently Needed Cohorts, Haranguers, and metrically-enhanced algorithmic tacticians) as a potential tenth class enough to quote retweet the effort.
Could it be a sign? Probably not. But it's fun to imagine the possibilities.
Lasing multi-platform support
Though Team Fortress did release on consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 back in the day with their respective Orange Box launches, they were largely left in their launch state. They didn't get the years of fun updates and seasonal content that keep Team Fortress 2 popular today.
With cross-play functionality being a major sticking point for online multiplayer titles these days, it's hard to imagine any multiplayer title passing up the opportunity to reach a wider audience this way.
Will we see Team Fortress 3 on phones like Fortnite, PUBG, and Apex Legends? Probably not. But a console release to match the aforementioned BR hits and games like Paladins and Overwatch would be a no-brainer in today's landscape.
Rebalanced maps (and some new ones)
Team Fortress 2 features stacks of maps, but it's true that most matches take place on the same few. Similar to the meta picks of squad shooters like Call of Duty and Counter-Strike, the TF2 fans stick kicking around like the slim rotation of battlegrounds.
Alongside any new additions, light shake-ups to existing maps would could easily convince lapsed Team Fortress fans to check out what's new, while ensuring the TF2 originals remain for those who like to stay on familiar turf.
Mod support, to this day, helps Team Fortress 2 keep a stable playerbase entertained with new content. It also keeps Steam Wallet funds moving around with hats, weapons, and loot boxes by extension, so mod support for Team Fortress 3 is something that just has to arrive alongside the sequel.
It's slim pickings yet, but that's all we truthfully know about the speculative Team Fortress 3 release date. While you're here, check out our list of the best sports games if you're looking for a genre that has virtually nothing to do with hats.