Turns out the guy who created the "Free2BeKicked" mod
for Team Fortress 2
(that kicks players who joined after the free-to-play changeover off of private servers completely) doesn't have the courage of his convictions. His name is Asher Baker, and Giant Bomb held a quick interview
with him, in which he says he's not in favor of banning new players just because they wanted to check out a free game.
He does, however, say that "a community needs a barrier to entry," and "if there is no barrier to entry -- and no recourse against those people [who take advantage] -- it could be bad." Users are unhappy about the mod
, though Valve hasn't made a ruling on it just yet (and while Baker says the company probably wouldn't be happy with it, it is running on private servers, presumably out of Valve's reach). Baker says he's even received death threats about the mod, but given that this is a game about shooting, stabbing and generally blowing other players up, who knows how serious those are.
In the end, Baker says free-to-play could go either way for the game's community. "It's brought in lots of new players, but I'm not sure it's worth the long-term cost," he says. "I think that once the droves of inexperienced players dies down, we're going to be left with a (slow) steady stream of new players, but primarily just cheaters and people evading server bans."