Valve Introduces Paid Mods; Good Idea Or Bad Move?

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rayden54

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I have no issue with modders getting paid. In theory. In practice... I see it being too easy to run a scam. I do have an issue with Bethesda (in particular) take a big cut. From what I've seen Skyrim is barely *playable* without mods. They certainly should benefit from players fixing their mistakes.
 
Huh interesting. But sheesh, only 25% goes to the modders!!! No wonder everybody is upset.

I wonder if this will go to maps aswell. Since I have done a bunch of maps on the steam workshop and would like people to buy them (not expensive, maybe like 9 cents per map). But, I can see the maps not working as well since maps you usually only play once or twice but that's it.
 

MrMusAddict

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There are a few communities that view this as a betrayal of sorts. Funny though, as so far the two biggest complaints are the 25% cut and content curation.

25% should not be something for the average Joe to complain about, as this fact only affects modders that intend to monetize. Even then, though, there are quite a few modders who currently find that split worth the transition.

As for content curation, this has already proven to work fairly well with the multiplicity of app stores. Too much to manually approve. Rating systems and reporting tools help weed out the bad eggs.

As far as I can see this will only increase the amount of mods we have. Some of them paid, most of them free. Some of them bad, some of them good. We won't see another Falskaar for a while, but when one becomes available for $9.99, plenty of people will happily pay.
 

Morbus

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The biggest problem with this is that now modders won't be able to easily change other modders' work and do their own thing.

I was a modder back in my Oblivion days and I remember one situation where I updated an out of date mod and released it, and the original author, even though he was totally not active, had the face to come and berate me at their forums. Of course he had no leg to stand on, but now with paid mods, things get a bit worse. Because you're paying for a mod, but there's absolutely no garantee that it'll work with future versions, or that it'll work at all!

Of course that part about reliability is all a matter of Valve policing things. But the whole thing, as I said, may hurt creativity.
 
Depends on the motivation. If its to motivate the mod makers for a new game then Im all for valve doing this with counter strike global offensive. Skyrim on the other hand is an old game with mods for every thing. In this case it just looks like a money grab. Maybe if the game was remade in 64bit and had online game play. View from a mod and map maker.
 

NightshadeRC

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Hey if companies like EA can charge large amounts of money for tiny pieces of DLC why can't mod creators. Some of the mods have far more content than these DLC packs. Just like the android app store the market will dictate what you can sell your mods for (it won't be much, certainly cheaper than AAA DLC).

Having said that 25% does seem a little low
 

Nycthorne

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This only going to work with new games as they have to revamp how mods are done.

For a game like Skyrim it only takes one person to pay for the mod and post the mod files elsewhere. So the pay what you want is the only option that will really work there, and in that case there are better ways of getting money to mod creators without paying Valve and the company.

Currently payment for mods is unenforceable unless Steam starts restricting modding outside of Steam.
 

chicofehr

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Mods I'd pay for:
1. a mod that gave every NPC its own story, voice and dialog and missions
2. a mod that added facial expressions that are more life like as in L.A. Noire
3. a truly big city mod that makes some of the city's take like 10 minutes to walk through
4. better fighting system that adds something like that from a fighting game
5. tressfx like hair and DOA5 soft engine like skin physics system
6. Destructible landscape and buildings with physics
 

falchard

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25% is actually HUGE for a developer under a publisher. The real problem is the minimum needed to get paid. Think about what Valve and Bethesda are offering. Tools, publicity, assets, and a backbone.
 

Omegaclawe

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...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand it's gone. Valve saw the blowback and noped right outta there.

...that said, I don't have an issue with paid mods in general, but it really needs to be there from the beginning, so people can plan around it (for instance, SkyUI becoming paid and breaking a lot of free mods that included it). Additionally, it provides an actual obligation to maintain (but not necessarily improve) the mod, and this needs to be laid out in the modder's agreement or whatever. Finally, the "wealth distribution" involved here was all kinds of screwed up. Of all the people involved, the person(s) who did the actual work on the mod received the smallest cut... and there were further issues with, effectively, Bethesda getting paid for people fixing problems with their game... bad precedent to set. Were that to become the norm, we could very easily end up in a situation where games come out buggy as all get out, and the developers simply rely on the modding community to fix the game, particularly for largely hyped games with loads of preorders.
 

sicom

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The money split is ridiculous. Valve is talking out of their ass when they say this is for best interest of players.
 
i like bethesda. yes i know they release games that have tons of bugs, they actually have a reputation. although they do release games that are good in terms of depth.
i also agree that they are taking too much based on what i've read. for me, the modder should take the biggest, then split between valve and the publisher (don't care who takes the bigger piece between them)
they already earned something from the game when people bought a copy. so anything else should be a bonus (or maybe a payment for their effort in making the game mod friendly)
 

beayn

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Microsoft doesn't ask for a cut of every program created for their OS, why should a Publisher like Bethesda get more than the content creator? If anything, the content creator should get 60%, with the other 40% split between Valve and the Publisher.

Also to avoid scams, restrictions on who can charge money should be in place. If it were me, I would require a modder already have a free mod available with x downloads and good reviews before they can charge for their next mod. It would eliminate one-shot scams. A refund policy of 48 or 72 hours would be better too, and obviously if you were to buy the mod again, you could not get it refunded a second time.
 

Vorador2

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Huh interesting. But sheesh, only 25% goes to the modders!!! No wonder everybody is upset.
The amount that went to creators was set by Bethesda, not Valve.

In any case, the main problem with this was to let everybody release stuff without quality control. As a result, there was plenty of mods that were stolen, mods that didn't work as intended, pricing all over the place...

For a move like this to work, it needs a curator team to make sure mods works as intended, and that it does not have code lifted from other mods, to weed out scammers.

Also, most Skyrim mods are built on top of other mods, with plenty of unattributed code lifted from several sources. To decide the code ownership of the most complex mods would be a absolute nightmare.

It's not as simple as Valve thought it would be.
 

cats_Paw

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I agree with this movs by Valve.
Modders choose if the mods are free or not, and that in itself kills the entire idea of this being a bad thing for the consumer (think free to play games vs triple A titles).

Everyone can decide what they will want. For example, if a gy makes a mod the size of an expansion and wants 3 bucks for it, and thx to that he makes 1 million dollars... He can start his own company and make better games.

What I am trying to say is that diversity will probably end up being a good thing.
In terms of scams and similar, its just like triple A titles. Many people got burned once, and learned to wait and see.
Same thing here.

Also, this whole thing on how much % of the mod goes to who: You guys are... no offense but very short sighted.
EVERYONE who thinks about this before writing will realize that the company that takes the smallest cut will attract the most modders, and therefore volume will be able to outperform higher %.

Bethesda is showing their cards and they are very bad. Modders have been making mods for free for years, and I assume they will want to work for the games they love, but I doubt they will want to cut their profits by working for mods for the game that gives them the least.

Personally I think Bethesda thought "Hey, our games get so many mods, that we will get a lot of money!".

But they have overplayed their hand (just like they did with Elder Scrolls Online), and unless they backtrack Xbox One style, they will see a Massive migration from their customers/modders to their competition.
It wont happen overnight, and they might even get some cash thx to this model, but once they lose the trust of the consumer, they will jsut become another EA.
 

cats_Paw

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Also, one more thing:
This will allow amazing minds to grow the worlds of the games 10 fold.
There are two reasons why those genius level modders cant do this full time:
A)They need money to survive
B)If a company hires them, they are not allowed the freedom to create what they would like, effectively killing the potential of their mind (Kinda what they do in school when they tell you what you "have" to learn, and what "is not really important").
 

Haravikk

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It wasn't a bad idea, but it was poorly executed. Paid mods could be great for game communities, as it can encourage more high-quality mods, allow modders to finish projects that they can't otherwise afford to work on, or even result in professional modding teams that can make a living from making good mods.

The problem is the blanket approach. Really what was needed were two types of payment:

Rate & Donate: When a user rates/reviews a mod they would be given the chance to make a donation if they liked an eligible mod. After all, it makes a lot more sense this way round than sites that ask for donations up-front for a mod you haven't actually installed yet. Combined with better visibility for eligible mods that you haven't rated yet, this could allow voluntary rewards for otherwise free mods, but in a non-intrusive way.

Paid Mods: This would require a submission process to evaluate the mod, allowing it to be checked for copyright infringement and assessed for the level of new content. In this way, mods with substantial new content can be be given a better percentage of the payments made, and this form of payment can be limited to more significant mods such as DLC sized expansions, all new armours (with complete new models) etc. It would also however come with a requirement on a minimum level of support; if the mod generates complaints that aren't addressed, then it can be pulled with refunds issued to anyone whose payment is still in the holding period. This way you don't have the risk of paying for a mod only to find out it won't work or is buggy.

This would give modders all the tools they need to support their style of modding; as the majority of free mods can be rewarded voluntarily, while bigger projects can target a price-point that they think can justify the time and effort (and lost wages from jobs) to work on it, allowing for more, bigger, better projects that are simply much too difficult to organise for free.

The percentage was definitely a problem too; even 50% would have been pretty steep. I think it would make more sense to have a pricing structure, i.e- for donation ware mods the cut would be based on total income per week/month, while paid mods would be evaluated and a rate set based on the price and content.
 
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