Originally Posted by Morello
I hear this a lot when people talk of TF2, but I'm skeptical; how would hats have prevented play? Wouldn't there be some associated cause that might have lined up in a similar timeframe?
I stopped playing TF2 consistently around the time hats were being released for non-hat related reasons, but my friends who still play only do so for the 6v6 scrim scene. From my experience, not only do players want a well-designed game, they also want something that's respectable. I was hesitant to play League for a long time because I felt it was a "baby" game compared to DotA, while I miss some of the complexity, I do enjoy both. With TF2, I think the hat economy spiraled out into such out-of-control numbers that it alienated the players who wanted just wanted to shoot stuff instead of having to deal with the hat hoarders and instead of continuing to associate themselves with a game that turned into a hat exhibition, they chose to leave it.
To be honest, the first few months of the hat craze were actually kinda scary for me. The servers I frequented had so much chat spam for and about hats once trading was implemented, it just became uncomfortable to deal with.