Paid Mods On Steam Workshop Nixed After Only Four Days

Gaming / PC

After only four days in the public eye, Valve has pulled their paid mod system from the Skyrim Steam Workshop. If you’re already aware of the situation, then go ahead and skip the next paragraph.  If you’re not up on the news, here’s a recap of what happened:

On the 23rd, a new blog post was added to the Steam Workshop page titled “Introducing New Ways to Support Workshop Creators.” The article goes on to detail how modders would now be able to charge for their Skyrim mods, and set their own prices. Of course, Valve and Bethesda would never let this happen without getting a cut of it. The cut ended up being 75/25 with 75% going to Bethesda and Valve, and the rest being given to the modders. This new addition sparked outrage and controversy across the internet. In an AMA on Reddit with Gabe Newell after the launch, most of Gabe’s posts were being downvoted into oblivion. There were multiple jokes made about the system, and mods were being approved with what seemed to be no quality control. There was even a $99 HD horse genitalia mod, which was used as one of the main talking points against the paid mod system. Youtubers like Boogie2988 spoke out against the new paid system, and the whole PC gaming community seemed to go to hell in a handbasket pretty quickly.

Yesterday, in another new blog post on the Steam Workshop, Valve announced the end of the payment feature from the Steam Workshop. This comes as a relief for many gamers and a sour note for some modders. In their statement, Valve admitted,

[…]it’s clear we didn’t understand exactly what we were doing.

They then went on to say this:

[…]our main goals were to allow mod makers the opportunity to work on their mods full time if they wanted to, and to encourage developers to provide better support to their mod communities. We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free & paid[…] and we wanted that to happen organically for any mod maker who wanted to take a shot at it.

The intentions were noble admittedly, although badly implemented. Many gamers had the opinion that they don’t mind paying for mods, but said only if it’s optional. Some even gave the idea that there should be a popup when subscribing to a mod, suggesting donation, or a slider like The Humble Bundle which you can set to $0 and change who gets what percentage of the subscriber’s money, if they choose to give any.

Further in the blog post, Valve went on to apologize, saying,

[…] we underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim’s workshop. We understand our own game’s communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there’s a useful feature somewhere here.

What do you think about the paid mod system? Do you have any of your own ideas about how it should work? What do you think the future of modding holds? Let us know all that and more in the comment section below!

Source: Steam Workshop
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