More Steam mod talk, including Gabe comments

And the “Steam selling mods” debate rages on. Good times, around what is honestly a great topic and, IMO, a major shift in gaming overall. And just to be very clear, I am 100% for this shift, as I think it will greatly improve gaming once some of the kinks are worked out, and I trust Valve that they will work them out.

This video is a nice quick update, including forum statements made by Gabe from Valve. Also more statements here on a Reddit AMA, including that the 75% cut from mods on Skyrim was set by Bethesda, not Valve, and that other devs can set the pay rate differently.

Already the process has changed that you can ‘sell’ a mod for zero, and then have a donation option where someone can select what they want to pay. Also from the video you will note that the most popular Skyrim mod, SkyUI, is getting an update thanks 100% because of this change, which is proof that this is already working in terms of getting more of the stuff we want and giving mod makers the motivation to keep going or return.

The other side of this is all of the freeloaders bitching and being children in comments sections because they can no longer get everything they want for free. Honestly these people are the absolute worst, and are a major reason why I overall despise F2P; the paywall with something not being free helps keep them out, and I’m glad for that if nothing else.

Ultimately I think we will see more examples like the SkyUI team coming back; we are going to have modders be motivated to keep going, and I think we will also see the natural growth of mod teams around successful ideas. For instance, I think the greatest mod I’ve ever played is Prophecy of Pendor for Mount and Blade. It is, quite literally, a better game with better systems than 95% of all professional games IMO (and is the game I’ve spent more time with than any other game, period), and it always drove me nuts that all of that work was given away for free, and that support/work on the mod would come and go. If PoP was on Steam for a price of $10 or so, I think not only would the mod still be supported today, it would likely have a much bigger team and be a much better mod than it is today. For $10, that is such a crazy bargain, and one that wasn’t possible prior to Valve making this change.

I also think this will be a major change in gaming much like Kickstarter has already shifted gaming, giving us gems like Pillars, Divinity, and plenty of other games that would have never happened without it. Again lets take Mount and Blade, a game with awesome mod support. Imagine if selling mods had been around when the game was released. How much money would the original developers have made off mod sales vs what little they still make off the sale of the original game for $5-10? How much better would Mount and Blade be with that increased support? How much better would the modding tools be? Would we already have the next game, Bannerlord, finished and delivered with a larger budget than what it has now?

This change would also lead to more products like Mount and Blade; where the original game is good, but the true value in the software is the mod tools it provides. Now that top-shelf mods can be sold on a solid platform like Steam, its reasonable to assume we will see more stuff like this, and again, basically everyone benefits. More games, more creativity, more flexibility, and lower reliance on a major publisher and the need for VC money. Sure, we aren’t going to see anything on the scale of a GTA V, but not everything needs to be that, and as good as that game is in large part thanks to its mega budget, I’ll still ultimately have far more hours played on M&B PoP than I will in GTA V, so what really is more ‘valuable’ to me? Or to you?

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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50 Responses to More Steam mod talk, including Gabe comments

  1. kalex716 says:

    The important thing is, it does incentivize developers to actually release with better mod support, and go even deeper to build better mod tools to help out the community as well because everybody wins that way.

    Its significant.

    The key downside is, more trash mods will get hamfisted through to try and make a quick buck off non-savy users. This isn’t that big of a deal though as the good stuff should rise to the top, and if you do just a little bit of your own research, you can avoid scams and stay away from the risky endeavors just like kickstarter.

    • SynCaine says:


      This might even be significant enough to change TW:Warhammer from not having mod support. (Haha just kidding, Gamesworkshop would have to get over its hate of making money to do that)

  2. Jenks says:

    I know there are issues with some of the details of the current system –
    That said, I can’t help but feel like all of the backlash against this came from people who just feel entitled to free shit.

  3. weritsblog says:

    It is pretty sad how unwilling ‘gamers’ are to pay for things. Guess it’s just a sign of the entitlement society we live in.

  4. Azuriel says:

    Have they worked out the issues with multiple mod dependencies yet? As in, the conceptual challenge of having a prior interconnected modding community getting fractured by individual paywalls? Will modders pull out of Nexus and other sites? Or what about “buying” a mod that later breaks from a game update and never gets fixed? Maybe money is supposed to be the incentive to fix it, but there is definite diminishing returns considering it’s a one-time purchase.

    The other side of this is all of the freeloaders bitching and being children in comments sections because they can no longer get everything they want for free.

    Well… “freeloaders” who already spent money on the game, and are facing a future where they will be nickel-and-dimed even more than currently.

    Will the change incentivize new modders to come in with more polished, professional products? Sure, maybe. Will this change incentivize modders who hitherto were fine running on passion alone to start charging for their work, simply because it’s a no-brainer decision? Yep.

    Only time will tell whether the “freeloaders” ever regain any of the lost Consumer Surplus from the old status quo. Nevermind what this does to Nexus/etc, mod packs, and so on.

    • SynCaine says:

      Mod dependance is something for the modders to figure out, and I’m sure many will.

      Nexus can continue to exist for free mods, just like any mod can continue to exist as a free product on Steam. There is no gun-head situation here. Just now the best mod makers can be rewarded with something more than a total downloads counter and maybe a token “that’s neat” article or post.

      Plus lets not pretend something being sold instantly means it always works or is supported. How many paid games ship broken or with bugs that are never fixed, including titles from major developers? Why do we suddenly expect mods to be any different?

      • Solf says:

        “How many paid games ship broken or with bugs that are never fixed, including titles from major developers?”

        So — how many? Let’s talk about how many games ‘from major developers’ are literally broken (as in unplayable) on Steam? I am going to hazard a guess — very few, if any.

        The principal difference with mods is that even if it works today, there’s a very good chance it won’t work tomorrow after a game update. It is pretty clear that original game developers won’t verify that all mods still work after whatever patch they are doing.

        IF it all wasn’t on Steam, you could at least run old version of the game with the mod still working — but is it even possible on Steam? I think you’re forced to update most of the time, are you not? Hoping that mod will get updates is just that — hoping.

        So no, I don’t think Valve & others have thought this through. Charging for stuff that can literally break any moment with no recourse is not right. If they want to sell mods through the Steam, then they at least need to let me install exactly the version of the game that the particular mod requires.

        • SynCaine says:

          If you bought Diablo 3 at release, or WoW at release, or Sims 4 at release, all those those games, for some, outright were not playable (in WoWs case, potentially for a month+ if you picked the wrong server). All those people who bought WAR? Literally unplayable now. I could go on, but the point stands, games that you paid for aren’t a forever promise, just like mods aren’t either.

          You can play on an older version via Steam, just disable auto updating.

          Imagine if SkyUI had broken at some point. That team was done with it, so one of the most important mods would not function. With the ability to make an income, SkyUI got update. Without that ability, it doesn’t.

        • Solf says:

          Err, what? Why do you bring online-only games into this? That is like an entirely different kettle of fish. Neither of these games supports mods and neither of them is on Steam (as far as I know, I know very little about Sims).

          Let’s talk about offline & custom-server-based online games which is the usual playground of mods/modders.

          The point isn’t that ‘paying for mods’ couldn’t possibly work. The point is that ‘paying for mods’ *on Steam* in its current state isn’t going to work.

          For starters because there isn’t any way to install an older (compatible) version of game on the Steam (as far as I know). ‘Disabling updates’ works only so long as you already have particular version of the game on the disk and don’t ever need to change it (e.g. for a compatibility with another mod) and don’t ever lose that install (via e.g. hdd crash).

          *IF* Steam allowed an easy way to install old version of the game (the one that I know is compatible with some mod I’ve paid money for), I’d consider the whole idea much more viable. In fact, it needs to support multiple versions of the game with different mods configuration for it to be a viable ‘mod selling’ platform.

          But is it going to happen on Steam? I doubt it.

        • SynCaine says:

          When the system returns, I would not be surprised if Steam allows for more versioning options, just like they quickly added the ability to set the price to zero (donation system rather than up-front paying).

          But I still think that’s a rather minor complaint compared to the total loss of the system and all of the possible mods/updates that it would have encouraged.

        • Solf says:

          I think you vastly underestimate / disregard / ill will the amount of pain the system would cause ‘as is’.

          But this is for the most part ‘a guess’ on my part, so no, I cannot back it up :)

          That said, I agree with an opinion expressed by other people. ‘For free’ people are willing to put up with a lot of things (such as compatibility problems and such). As soon as money is involved (even if it is ‘just’ US$1), the game changes completely.

          If you pay for something, you expect certain things in return (at least I do; and I imagine many do). ‘Not suddenly breaking’ is one of those things and under the current system it was plain impossible to achieve.

          And I don’t really buy the idea of ‘if people pay for it, someone will support it’. People pay once and expect support ‘indefinitely’. This is not sustainable as evidenced by e.g. lack of updates/support for many (even relatively popular) apps in Google Play Store (which is the closest I have on hand that I could compare to game mods — many apps are essentially ‘mods for Android’).

        • SynCaine says:

          “People pay once and expect support ‘indefinitely’. ”

          Which is another freeloader problem, because that’s not how things work. Even consumer products have limited warranties, not infinite. You buy a TV, it breaks after a year, you deal with it. You don’t go creating a petition because you are upset, or demand a free TV forever just because you once paid for one.

          Plus, for game mods, especially successful ones, they are FAR more likely to remain functional if the creator is able to keep making money of them. Again, if SkyUI broke from the last patch, it stays broken under the free system (the SkyUI team had moved on). If the creators are making money, they are more motivated to fix it (as seen by the SkyUI team coming back due to this). You mention the app store, but as far as I have seen, every single top app (gross income) is supported and functional, and its pretty crazy to think that an app still generating revenue would be left broken by a dev. Most people don’t leave easy money on the table.

        • Solf says:

          “Which is another freeloader problem”

          It’s not actually and I’ll thank you to not insult the large swaths of population by making such casual comments.

          If I buy whatever physical item here in Latvia (EU), it is generally covered by 2 year warranty (by law). The offline software generally works indefinitely. The idea that you must pay to continue using ‘whatever’ is modern online gaming (and services) invention. If I buy a spoon, I don’t need to continue paying to continue using it. If I buy movie (on DVD) I can continue watching it as long as I care (and I usually can legally rip it for backup purposes).

          So no, it’s not a ‘freeloader’ problem.

          So to bring it back to mods again — if mod was required to keep working for me for two years (or I get my money back at the very least), I’d be far more willing to agree that this is a ‘good idea’ in general.

          As to app store comparison — please let’s not talk about ‘top apps’. ‘Top apps’ play by entirely different rules. What works for ‘top dog’ quite often wouldn’t for ‘average thing’. For example, being ‘top in the revenue’ generally means ‘mass market’. Not everything is (or should be) mass market.

          If you can sell 10k copies of X (niche product), it could be a good business… but it won’t be a good business for you to keep maintaining it for years to come. So naturally many such things are effectively abandoned. Which is not a problem as long as you can control when you e.g. upgrade base product / OS (so you can control how long the thing is working for you). But this again is not the case on Steam (as it stands now).

        • SynCaine says:

          You’re general issues aren’t Steam exclusive though, and Steam allowing mod makers to make money doesn’t make the issues worse, if anything it makes them better (more support, more mods).

          The core problem is you seem to believe that the moment money is exchanged, you are owed far more than you really are. When you buy a mod, you do so understanding everything that comes with it. If that’s not a deal you accept, you don’t buy. Steam isn’t holding a gun to your head forcing money from you, and ultimately the market will determine what mods are worth what.

          My issue is because of those unreasonable expectations, and the SJW-fueled ‘outrage’ over it, the system is on hold, and that means lower quality and fewer top-tier mods for Skyrim.

        • Solf says:

          Yes, I agree completely that we seem to have different expectations as to what may be sold.

          My stance here is that if “it” is sold — it has to work. And it has to work at least for some reasonable timeframe (say 2 years) unless otherwise specified (and has good reasons for it).

          So for software — if I buy it, it has to work (on the current configuration of OS/game/whatever). I also kinda expect it to work more or less indefinitely (for offline stuff) so long as I can keep current configuration intact.

          In my opinion this is far from being unreasonable. This is in fact how offline software always worked except for edge cases with time-limited licenses.

          Now you’re personally welcome to spend your money however you want — including paying for software that may break the next day with no recourse. It’s your personal choice. However if you choose to do so, you still don’t get to call other people ‘unreasonable’, ‘freeloaders’, or SJW simply because they actually expect the bought stuff to actually, you know, work.

          Circling back to Steam — so long as they don’t ensure the ‘work’ & ‘keep working for reasonable time’ parts (or at least the ‘full refund if it breaks before X’), they don’t get to sell stuff (mods) in my opinion.

        • Matt says:

          Well if SkyUI breaks now, someone else can just grab the code and modify it however necessary to make it work again. It happens all the time with WoW mods. But once there is a profit motive at work, that ain’t so easy anymore. Someone else would have to create another SkyUI from the ground up, and hope it isn’t too similar to the existing one in form or function.

          That raises some questions. Since mods are profit generating, they must be IP as well. If so then who enforces that? Are they prepared to try to classify abandoned mods and remove IP from them? If Bethesda really wants to profit from mods then it should contract out to existing mod makers directly, instead of trying to get some freebies through Steam.

  5. Sjonnar says:

    I actually don’t like this system. While it likely will encourage more publishers to release with mod support, i’d like you to also consider this possibility:

    Bethesda Softworks in particular is notorious for releasing half-finished, buggy games and relying on patches, DLC, and increasingly often, modder support, to fix them.

    Example 1: Skyrim. Without the vast mod support, i’d class Skyrim as, at best, a $15, middle-shelf game. Your mileage may vary, but in my opinion, mods make that game. Without the modder community, we get a metric fuckton of game-breaking bugs and an utterly ass UI, probably one of the worst console-port UIs i’ve ever seen.

    Example 2: Fallout 3 and FNV. Fallout 3 was basically unplayable due to bugs even as of the GOTY edition that included all the DLC. I hear tell it was somehow even worse on release, but for damn sure it was the single buggiest game i had ever played when i got hold of it. For one thing, it hung immediately on starting a new game, apparently because there was some conflict between the engine and multithreaded processors. In 2011. The game shipped in october 2008. Somehow in two and a half years, BS couldn’t fix that issue, despite it being fixed by me in fifteen minutes on SA forums.

    FNV was not quite as bad being developed by Obsidian, but still, since BS was the pub and kept the pressure on Obsidian, really, really bad. The OWB autosave crash springs to mind. NVAC and TTW both fixed that. Bethesda never did.

    Without mods like WMK, TTW, WMX, NVAC, Nevada Skies and NMC Texture Pack, these games would be $20 games, at best.

    Now, (and i do apologize for this horrific wall-o-text) consider: Bethesda already has plenty of incentive to ship half-assed, crawling-with-bugs, shit-UI-having games, confident that the modder community will clean up their mess and make their crap games buyable. Now this system gives them a financial incentive to double down on this awful policy. Why bother releasing fixes, or even patches, when 1) someone else will do it for you, and 2) you get the lion’s share of the money for their hard work, all without lifting a finger of your own.

    Sure, this system might encourage more good mods, but i doubt it. TTW, SkyUI, your Mount and Blade mod (never played it) all got made for free, because they wanted their games to be better. Guys like me donated anyway, and all that money went to the dudes who did the actual work. But maybe it will encourage some more modders to step up and make more good shit.

    I know for goddamn sure and certain what it WILL encourage, though; more bad behavior out of companies like Bethesda. No and Fuck No.

    • SynCaine says:

      “Example 1: Skyrim. Without the vast mod support, i’d class Skyrim as, at best, a $15, middle-shelf game. Your mileage may vary”

      That’s a bananaland statement, considering the game won over 200 “Game of the Year” awards. Skyrim, for most, is worth far more than the $60 it originally cost, if we are going by the /played metric.

      Fallout 3: I played it prior to DLC, finished the game without major issues/bugs. I know it had some, just like Skyrim had some, and maybe your config was particularly troublesome, but again, blowing stuff way out of proportion here.

      Here is the thing overall, Bethesda sells millions of copies of their games for one reason, the games are awesome. If they stop being awesome, maybe because they do assume paid mods will fix them into something playable, they will stop selling as many copies. But Bethesda is near the top, if not THE top, in terms of devs I trust to deliver something of high quality, so I’m not that worried about it.

      • Sjonnar says:

        “That’s a bananaland statement, considering the game won over 200 “Game of the Year” awards.”

        Call it bananaland if you like, but it is my opinion. As for the GOTY awards, guess what else won a GOTY award? SWTOR. That mean anyone who thinks SWTOR is a bad game is bananaland?

        “Skyrim, for most, is worth far more than the $60 it originally cost, if we are going by the /played metric.”

        And i’d say most of that /played time is due to mods making the game not shit. Truth time: do you think unmodded vanilla Skyrim is worth more than $60?

        • SynCaine says:

          Your opinion is as wrong as an opinion can be, haha.

          And did SWTOR get 200 of them?

          And yes, if I knew the amount of time I would play Skyrim without mods prior to buying it, and Bethesda said it cost $100, I’d spend that $100 without hesitation. Mods make the game better, no doubt, but vanilla Skyrim is still a top 5 all-time RPG IMO, and one that gave me 100+ hours of gameplay.

        • Sjonnar says:

          Then we differ wildly in our views of good games, because i’d rate, just off the top of my head, Torment, IWD 1 and 2, BG 1 and 2, all Fallout games except BoS, Divinity Original Sin, Pillars of Eternity, both new Shadowrun games, Wasteland 1, and KOTOR 2 higher than Skyrim in the SRPG categories. It was worth my $20 sure, but not 60, and certainly not 100+.

        • SynCaine says:

          I’ve played vanilla Skyrim more than all those games listed, and while that’s not the only metric that matters, it is pretty significant IMO. Plus mods take the base game an improve it, so they just make what was already great better, not reinvent it. Even a total overhaul for something like Mount and Blade is still core M&B.

          For me BG1/2 and Fallout are in the conversation with Skyrim, the other titles either aren’t (IWD, Torment, Shadowrun) or I haven’t played them (D:OS and Shadowrun expansion). KOTOR is a Star Wars game so does nothing for me.

        • Sjonnar says:

          “Plus mods take the base game an improve it, so they just make what was already great better, not reinvent it.”

          Not at all. The DeI mod for Rome 2 turned a buggy, unplayable, 0/10 mess into an awesome and functional 9/10 game. Seriously, Rome 2 on release sucked literally all of the ass. DeI fixed it.

      • Sjonnar says:

        Also this: “Bethesda sells millions of copies of their games for one reason, the games are awesome.”

        You sure that’s the stance you want to take, because i bet i can show you a list of games with millions of box sales that you’ve personally decried as crap games. If sales numbers are your only (or main) metric for judging a game’s worth, i’d say that’s pretty “bananaland”.

        • SynCaine says:

          That line is specific to Bethesda in this context, not all of gaming. They sell games because the games are great. EA can move a million copies of The Sims due to marketing and the brand, not game quality, but I’m not talking about anyone but Bethesda with that statement.

        • Sjonnar says:

          Fair enough, but that statement you made is part of the issue i was bringing up. BS taking a cut of modder profits on Steam is going to incentivize them to make crap games and let someone else fix them, and they’re going to be able to coast a LONG time on their rep with folks like you whilst doing so. Kind of how Blizzard is doing with their half-assed MTG and DOTA knockoffs. There are still an incredible number of Blizz fanboys who think they can do no wrong.

        • SynCaine says:

          Maybe Bethesda will go the route of New Blizzard, but hopefully they don’t. I disagree that Skyrim for example was more buggy than Fallout or previous ES games, so I don’t see a trend forming.

          Also if they do start shipping lower quality games, sales will go down. Even Blizzard isn’t moving units like they did in the past. Hearthstone on the iPhone can’t crack the top 10 for instance, and already we know HotS isn’t going to sniff DOTA/LoL numbers. So yea, they still get some people to buy in based on history, but that does fade, and the best modders will be drawn to the biggest titles, not something that is a “me too” in a genre like HS/HotS are.

        • Trego says:

          “Hearthstone on the iPhone can’t crack the top 10 for instance”

          Hearthstone on the iPhone has only been out for a week or two, and it’s already up to #11 on the daily chart I’m looking at, ( ), so it would be reasonable to assume at this point that it can in fact crack the top 10, no?

        • SynCaine says:

          Game just came out (sales spike) and Blackrock has just been released (sales spike) and it’s still not top 10. Another spike won’t come until the next card pack is released, and knowing Blizzard, that’s at least a few months away.

          Though truth be told, I’m actually surprised its even in the top 15, considering its position on the iPad chart since release, especially since the iPhone version is borderline unplayable compared to the iPad.

        • Trego says:

          Blackrock isn’t a card pack, it’s a small amount of PVE content which rewards specific cards for beating it.

          Obviously in terms of the larger point you are making about New Blizz vs Old Blizz, whether HS reaches #6 or peaks at #11 is barely even a rounding error.

    • Malthan says:

      Skyrim sold most of its copies on consoles, and according to Bethesda only 8% of players used mods. So it seems the data is against you – mods are a minor factor when it comes to the succes of Skyrim.

      • Sjonnar says:

        As i told Syn, the judgment that it was a mediocre game without mods was simply my opinion, and *clearly* expressed as such in my post.

        And i’m sure that, by the standards of dirty console peasants that spend all their time screaming slurs at one another in CoD, it is a fine game indeed.

  6. This reminds me a bit of the Steam tags thing from just about a year back that was NOT IMMEDIATELY PERFECT and thus was literally Hitler in online rating form. Rage! Only now we get a fresh topping of entitlement and fact-free opinion to go with the whole thing.

    Not that I don’t think people should complain about stuff they don’t like. I do it all the time on my blog. And you can make a case that the mod system works better when free or that money brings new problems.

    But once we get into the realm of “all things must be free” along with people’s very skewed concept of “fair” (I’ve seen a lot of ‘greedy Valve takes 75%!’ comments without an ounce of thought behind them) and my head begins to hurt and I go off and play video games rather than reading about them.

  7. adammtlx says:

    I am 100% in favor of quality modders getting paid for their work.

    Valve, however, does not seem to have thought this system through very well at all, particularly in light of leaked emails which show Valve employees giving off-the-cuff, inaccurate advice about the legality of this whole process to Skyrim modders brought into the inner circle before it was made public.

    You say you have faith that Valve will work the kinks out. I’m not sure why you have this faith. Valve has slowly been turning Steam into little more than a PC port of a mobile app store (with significant, actual overlap). Greenlight is a total clusterfuck. Early Access has a few bright spots but is a mess of abandoned titles and games which will never make it out of development. Valve’s return policy is probably the worst of every single seller and platform out there. Their customer service is notoriously awful and turnaround time for tickets ranges from a few days to a few weeks.

    You really think Valve is ready to deal firsthand with the interdependence hell that is the PC modding scene? With the experimental nature of mods now with the added complication and expectation of financial investment? You really think they’re ready to field countless DCMA takedown requests? You really think they’re ready to deal with the insane vitriol that will accompany the sudden and dramatic fracturing of the PC gaming community (players, free modders, paid modders, blatant opportunists, thieves, etc) that took place almost the moment this thing went live?

    Wish I had your optimism. The way I see it, this thing will result in two major camps of modders–paid and free–who will incessantly pick at each other. They won’t share their assets anymore. They’ll try and turn their fans against the others. Many gamers will simply pirate the paid mods and publicly hate on modders who charge, particularly for low-quality work. Then you’ll have the vultures who’ll steal free and paid mods from others and post them for sale. And Valve will just sit there and skim off the top.

    The concerns I’ve detailed are probably just the tip of the iceberg.

    In one fell swoop Valve turned a unified community into a bunch of squabbling tribes. Without clearly spelling out exactly how every detail would work and setting up a system to protect both sides, I don’t see what else they expected.

  8. cirdanx says:

    This time Syncaine, i have do disagree with you almost completely.
    I see your points and some have value but let me get into this more deeply. Gabe´s comments are very PR-like, in fact, he didn´t comment on any real issues the modders had in his AMA and avoided the important questions.

    I have not checked if they have added back the donation option, but it is very telling that they removed it in the first place to force people into this.

    That “freeloader” bitches are the reasons why there is a modding community. Don´t get me wrong, i´m all for modders getting something for their hard work, but it´s natural that when something was always free that now gets hidden behind a paywall, people will complain. Thats perfectly normal and understandable. You are mistaken this with the F2P model, it isn´t. We are not talking about a game studio and a product they need to have up and working. This is “just” DLC behind a paywall WITHOUT any form of guarantee of it even working or the content in itself.

    You also assume that it is just the players who are against this and you are wrong. In fact, if you took a look at the modders in the AMA, in Skyrim mods, Nexus, Moddb etc etc you will find that the majority of know modders are also against this.

    So the SkyUI team is back, ok fine thats good. I also see others coming back with the intention to update their mods and keep them free just in spite on what Valve did. But you are missing the other side of the coin here. Skyrim modding is very complex and SKyUI is also dependend on tools from other modders, so if they put their new mod on Steam it will hail claims to take it down. This is something already happening, tons of mods have been taken down because of this. Which i find reasonable, why should someelse cash in on my work? The point being, that modding is a collaborative work of many people, this leads to a mess. Especially in the case of Skyrim and the nature of the modding tools.

    The notion of mods coming back is fine and it can happen, but the modders can´t make enough money to support themself with this kind of model. It´s impossible. Big mods can take up years until finished and then became broken by just one patch. The price and the amount you would have to sell to make any form of significant money (compared to hours put in) is a joke. Keep in mind in this case they only get 25% of the income anyway.

    Speaking of income. 25% is just insane. Sure Valve “deserves” a bit, and i mean a small amount for hosting/traffic. I understand that. But the rest? Bethesda has zero right to take any form of money from user generated content. While they do deliver the framework, (the creation kit is free to use) there is no legal groundwork for them to get the modder money. None. Now user created content is in a legal grey-zone, because copyright work and anything releated to it, simply failed to keep up with reality. Thats a problem in itself. But if we give Bethesda the heads up and say, sure take the money, we can also as easily say that anyone fanart, fanfiction etc creator also should pay them, because they created the “framework”. Thats nonsense.

    Vanilla SKyrim is a bugy and unfinished mess. They are effectively trying to get money from people who fix their game and keep it relevant. This should be unacceptable for anyone of us, it´s shameful.

    Not to mention that evey game with modding capability already profits anyway. It´s the best free advertising over years and years, which ultimately will sell copies on just the basis of mods. (how much is obviously impossible to say but i have bought games just because of mods)

    This leading to better and more great mods, is a dream in my eyes. Because of the small money in the first place, this will just lead to a wave of overpriced “horse armor” mods that will wash over steam. That is what will happen and we can already see it on the workshop. It drives a wedge into the modding community and has already done that to some degree AND it hurts the modding sites. We can see modders taking down their tools and content on Nexus because they afraid someone will try to bank on it. On the other side i hope it will also help this sides, in the end run with a loyal fanbase that is against Steam and continue to support the modders with donations and/or patreon. (which gets used and goes 100% to the modders) But that could end up as wishful thinking on my part..

    If you want mods for Mount and Blade go to ModDB and if you like them donate to the creator, THAT is a win for everybody.

    And last, Steam workshop is shit. No it really is. Even “simple” mods for CiV5 don´t work half of the time. Not to mention that it is almost impossible to heavily mod Skyrim with this pathetic excuse for a platform. Because of the direct order and multiple tools you need to do that, you will end up with a broken game. Some people have hundrets of mods active in Skyrim, thats not possible without the Nexus install tool etc.

    Now think about paying just 1$ for each of this mods…well holy hell.

    This also a legal mess on so many levels that i´m just aghast on how Valve could come up with this. From the money, to the 24h return joke, to the intention of adding more games. Maybe the next game will be Sins of a Solar Empire…and the Star Trek Armada 3 mod is one of the best made ever…i´m pretty sure the original ST IP holders will not sit back and do nothing then.

    The creator also mentioned this and is against the system:

    With all of this in mind, i can´t say that this is a good thing, and any modder who i have spoken too (i did mod myself in the past and may do so again) was at least sceptical of outright against it.

    Thats my opinion, i see your opinions and i think you want this to be a good, but it simply isnt.

    Sorry for the rant Syn, usualy i agree with you but not on this subject :D

    • BHM says:

      Well said Cirdanx. Even if this does eventually comeback I imagine it will look like the phone app stores; wading through the myriad of shit to find the gems worth buying will be a chore.

      • zaphod6502 says:

        Gabe has already proven he rarely thinks things through properly. Look at all the shovelware that infests the Steam Store and don’t even get me started on all the pre-alpha games that are never properly completed or abandoned by their developers.

        • SynCaine says:

          How does any of that hurt you? Does Steam force you to buy anything you deem shovelware? Is Apple also just as bad since their app store has so many titles? Google too?

          And have you ever played a game most others would consider lower quality but enjoyed, because I have, and I’d certainly hate it only be able to buy what the majority considered ‘good’ on a platform like Steam or the App store.

        • BHM says:

          Syn, that’s my point exactly the apple app store and google play are filled with junk looking to make a quick buck. Finding those good lower quality games is near impossible when they are buried with all the turds. At least with a donation system those turds won’t cost me and I’ll have more $ to donate to the deserving mods.

        • Jenks says:

          Tell me again about how a guy worth over a billion dollars “rarely thinks things through properly” and I’ll try to keep a straight face this time.

    • SynCaine says:

      Great, frealoaders managed to sign a free petition and spam enough garbage to ruin what would have been a great system for the non-poors.

      Hopefully they bring it back, maybe for games with less entitled little babies as a major factor in the community.

      • cirdanx says:

        I don´t understand why you are so mad about this. It won´t affect you, if anything more people are able to play mods like they always have. Maybe something good will come out of it and more modders will take patreon or something similar up to found big projects now? Who knows.

        Keep in mind modders themself were very vocal against it too.

        • kalex716 says:

          Well as a developer, this relegates mod support back down to low priority.

          If it opened up another potential line of revenue, you’d see more teams trying to include good tools for it at launch.

          Thats one reason to be mad about this. You’re going to see fewer and fewer games support modders over time.

        • Sjonnar says:

          “Thats one reason to be mad about this. You’re going to see fewer and fewer games support modders over time.”

          It’s merely an assumption, though a reasonable one, that the paid mod system would encourage more modding support. It is not reasonable, however, to assume that the retraction of this system will lead to less mod support than currently exists.

          To put it another way: it’s now less likely we’ll see more mod support, but it isn’t more likely we’ll see less.

  9. zaphod6502 says:

    I am all for people getting paid – that’s why we have Patreon and various other channels for 3rd party developers. But paywalling Skyrim mods opens a massive can of worms and will fracture that mod community that has improved this game tremendously.

    So sorry Syncaine in this particular instance I think you are wrong. It will cause more problems than it is worth.

  10. maljjin says:

    As I mentionned elsewhere, there’s a whole lot of legal points to clean up in this kind of system. Hopefully, they will take this opportunity to work on that as, like it or not, paid mod are going to b e back at some point. Clean up the process, make sure the right people are getting credited for their work. Maybe change the dollar distribution, ’cause like others, I’m thinking Valve is taking a big chuck for next to no work (absolutely fine with Bethesda receving a cut, it’s more or less paying for a liscence). Bringing back the donation button was also a step in the right direction.

    I’m also wondering if the backlash would have been smaller for a totally new game. Even though Skyrim is a couple years old, there’s still a large and active player base, changing the business model was sure to raise some hell in the player base. For a totally new game though, with a clear statement from the get go, it might have been a lot smoother to implement.

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