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Sam & Max items come to Team Fortress 2

7:00 PM on 04.15.2010 // Brad Nicholson

The third season of Sam & Max kicked off this afternoon for owners of PS3s and PCs, as the first digital episode barreled its way onto PSN and PC digital delivery services.

But Steam users, specifically Valve enthusiasts, are getting something extra for either pre-ordering or purchasing the entire third season within the first week: promotional items that can be used with Team Fortress 2.

It's a typical cross-promotional bonus that is not so typical after all.

According to the official Steam Web page, owners of Sam & Max Season 3 are set to receive three items in Valve's FPS: Max's Severed Head, Max's Pistol, and Sam's Revolver.

The images of the items on the same page show off the lightheartedness of the promotional items. Max's Severed Head is an ill-fitting cap being worn by a grimacing Heavy. The rabbit-thing's Pistol is shown in a Scout's hands. Sam's large Revolver is displayed in a Spy's one-handed grip.

The cross-promotional items, which all eerily fit into Team Fortress 2's cartoon-inspired universe, were created because of Sam & Max developer Telltale Games' competitive love of the Valve shooter. The two studios play the game against each other, and after one particular match, the developers decided to work together.

"Last year Telltale Games' TF2 Team went head to head with us in the TF2 Studio Rumble tournament," the Team Fortress 2 blog reads, "in the process dominating our own Adrian Finol so hard that he made up an excuse about 'picking up my kids somewhere' and went and sat in his car for an hour."

"After the match, we all agreed that one of these days we should do something cool together, because they're (Telltale) big fans of TF2, and we're (Valve) big fans of getting advance copies of Sam & Max episodes."

Perhaps one of the members of Telltale's competitive Team Fortress 2 team that competed with Valve on that particular day was Jake "Videogames" Rodkin, a community/content coordinator for the studio. I listen to him on the Idle Thumbs podcast whenever it appears in my feed. It's laidback, game-themed radio that is always good for a giggle or two. "Horsebag" still comes to mind when I think of jokes that stem from the podcast, and of course, Rodkin's inability to play or finish a new game.

Rodkin is often teased by co-hosts Chris Remo and Steve Gaynor for never playing videogames, and when he does, it seems that Team Fortress 2 is always one, if not the only, game he mentions. I've heard him discuss playing in studio-on-studio Team Fortress 2 matches before.

Aside from sharing the story of how this content came to be, the official Team Fortress 2 blog details each of the new items in an entertaining way.

In a nutshell: Max's Severed Head is a "soft" cap that "wicks away moisture in the heat of battle" and "highlights" the eyes. Max's Pistol makes Valve ask the question, "Who wouldn't want to squeeze off a couple of rounds with the murder weapon of choice of a sociopathic cartoon rabbit," while Sam's Revolver has Valve thinking about how much our dogs suck in comparison to Sam.

The entire five-episode season of Sam & Max Season 3, subtitled "The Devil's Playhouse," is available for pre-order on Steam now for $34.99. The first episode is available today. Valve's Team Fortress 2 is $19.99 on Steam.

[image] [Thanks, Ron!]

Brad Nicholson,
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