Paid Mods have officially entered the Gaming Industry


#1

It has happened. Valve and Bethesda have gotten into bed together with what can only be described as the most controversial decision with regards to what gaming has ever known with mods.

Valve and Bethesda have decided that they will allow mods to be priced and sold by their authors for their creations in Skyrim. While the idea of modders making money for their work is generally a good and acceptable ideal, it’s hard not to see the ulterior motives of Valve and Bethesda. After all, they aren’t doing this out of the goodness of their own hearts. They’ve officially stated that they are deserving of 3 times the amount the modder makes from the sales of their mod and that’s left a bad taste overall with a predominant amount of the community over there.

Arguably, the 80/20 rule applies where most of the posts/comments are negative responses and the support of this move are minimal, at best. From what I’ve seen, the community has been very vocal regarding this change (as have I). That said, there are certainly those who have remained quiet and it’s will ultimately be left up to their sales figures to determine how this venture pans out.

On its face, however, the move should actually deter future modding. While the argument has been made that 25% of something is better than the 100% of nothing they’ve received thus far, it doesn’t address why Valve and Bethesda feel they deserve such a heavy cut of the operation when they’ve done all but nothing to support their progress in developing said mods.

There’s also the concern of sharing. Most mods rely heavily on the operation of other mods. If said mods are free or don’t allow for commercial sale of their piece, they have to be picked apart, C&Ds are submitted (as was the case for one of the first paid mods by Chesko), and all around bad juju is generated. It has created a more volatile environment surrounded by who gets their fair share of the measly 25% they’re given.

There’s also the issue of who is doing this. Bethesda, while producing awesome games, has been widely known for releasing extremely unfinished, buggy games (I’m looking at you Fallout 3 and Skyrim). In my mind, it’s really been the work of the modding community that has saved these games from the negative experience I’ve had with them otherwise. I mean, there’s nothing like playing 30 hours to have the game completely break on you and prevent any further progress, right? Right? Something like this just leaves it more desirable for a Publisher to release games with bad quality. After all, if they’re going to collect on other people fixing their problems, where’s the incentive to pay people to squash bugs? Hype the game, do the bare minimum, and they can leave it up to the mod community to debug and beautify it all for a profit. Makes sense, right?

There are so many other concerns to go over here, but wanted to know if anyone else had noticed and wanted to know your thoughts. @Lee_Ars, not sure if it fits your niche, but this is perfect article material.

TL;DR: Valve and Bethesda have allowed mods to be sold and are collecting 3 times what the modders collect as profit for themselves.


#2

Other good part, Mod creators will now update their mods to match current patch levels. And profit from it. Hey, get Mod XYZ, he always updates on time. Don’t get anything from Joemodder, his shit is always two patches behind.

The 75/25 split is rough. Do modders still have the option of creating a free mod, or does everyone have to pay? What happens to modders who run on a donation schedule? Or PAtreon?

Sorry, Minecraft experience coming through here. And yeah, dependencies are insane on some of these. Could you imagine the grip Forge would have on the Minecraft community if they did something like this? It also creates a incentive for your shit to play nice with others, but only so much. If your stuff is really cool, you can push the market to accept you.

I’m interested to see how this all works out.


#3

See, and I’m fine with that, but only if you had the ability to test it out. 24 hours is not enough time to vet out a mod and certainly see if it was worthwhile, and in the case of Skyrim, make sure it plays nice and continues to get updates.

The incentive to do better, create better content, etc., is there and it’s not. There’s no incentive to update after you’ve already made your cash (much alike abandonware now plaguing the Early Access games market; shame on you, Kinetic Void). Modders weren’t modding to create a profit. It was, from my experience, a choice done to learn something, to pick up a skill and have fun with it. It wasn’t a career path (although, you always wonder if it will help you develop skills to apply for that gaming industry job). Now that there’s dollar signs applied to it, that’s all changed. You’re going to see a flood of stolen mods, tweaked ever so slightly, and attempted to be sold as original. It’s not a collaborative community but now a competitive market.

You’re no longer painting a mural on the walls of the city in harmony, but now fighting to get your space of the wall more visible than others.


#4

Apparently, the boards at Steam have been taken down for this game. Amazing.

Censorship at its best. Or there’s something else going on. I’m hearing rumblings of the mods being taken down.


#5

Geez, DriveThru lets me have 60% of the price. Valve and Steam are providing nothing but a platform. Their platform is already bought and paid for, along with most (if not all) R&D. There is no sound business rationale for doing this. Period.


#6

Definitely not my area (I’m allowed to write the occasional gaming review for titles I’m passionate about, but my focus is product reviews and manned space flight). However, personally and as a gamer, my feeling are that mods should be free. Legally they’re in a real gray area with a lot of commercial games, since there is an argument to be made that you’re modifying a copyrighted work; if a mod’s free, then there’s at least no commercial gain. If you’re charging for mods, you’re crossing a line, IMO.

My opinion is that everyone here is wrong. Valve’s pricing choices don’t sit well with me, but the idea of paying for game mods is a lot worse, especially considering the quality of 99.9999999 percent of the mods for any given title.


#7

Space flight gives away your passion. :stuck_out_tongue:


#8

Quaaludes?


#9

Not to worry. They’ve all backpeddled saying ‘we don’t know what we’re doing and this is a bad idea’.