You'd think that a company as successful as Valve knows what's going on when all that money flies right into their collective wallets. I mean, you'd think one another 10 spot floats through the window and into their back pockets, they'd know what law of man governs that event.
But they don't. Gabe was talking to people and he was like, "We don't understand what's going on." 20-30% of people who play Team Fortress 2 end up spending money on various microtransactions. That's 10x as many people than those who end up spending money in other free-to-play games.
There seems to be something about the content that significantly changes how your monetization occurs, with apparently much broader participation than you would see out of something like FarmVille. You have to start thinking about how value creation actually occurs, and what it is that people are valuing, and what the statement that something is free-to-play implies about the future value of the experience that they're going to have.
Hats! HATS! That's what people are spending money on! WHAT THE FUCK!