has paid out for
top mapmakers, who have earned a fantastic
$150,000 between them
, is Valve's attempt to 'pay back' the game's dedicated community by offering unlimited access to seven of its best user maps, and dedicated servers on which to play them, for a flat $5.99 fee. Considering the creators of those seven maps now have around $150,000 to share between them, I'd say it's proved rather successful.
The operation ends July 31st, but I hope it's an initiative Valve will return to in the future, especially considering how successful it's been. They did something similar with TF2 with the
Robotic Boogaloo pack
, which raised nearly $250,000 for 66 item creators. It's an increasingly lucrative business, this modding lark - and richly deserved, considering how much talent and effort the top creators put in.