Money for Mods: Valve Announces Paid Skyrim Mods

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Money for Mods: Valve Announces Paid Skyrim Mods

skyrim paid mods

Aspiring modders will now be able to charge money for their hard work, albeit, with 75% of it going to Valve and the publisher.

Are you a Skyrim modder? Have you poured hours and hours of your life into your HD Realistic Flower Physics mod only to realize that all you got out of it was an increase in your video game development skills and Internet fame? Well, now its time to cash in on your hard work as Valve has just announced Paid Workshop Content, beginning with one of the most mod-heavy games of all time: Skyrim.

How does it work? First up, modders have to specify whether or not their mod is paid. This means that they can still create free mods if they wish. They then set their own price for their mod, and put it up for sale on the Steam Workshop. As a consumer, you can purchase a mod in pretty much the same way you purchase official DLC. There's also an option for modders to set up a Humble Bundle-style "pay as you like" system.

To kick things off, Skyrim will also available to play for free this weekend, until April 26.

While this sounds pretty rosy for creators and consumers alike, there are of course a fair share of caveats with the system. Firstly, creators only receive 25% of the revenue from mods, with the remaining 75% to be split between Valve and the game's publisher (in this case, Bethesda). Furthermore, Valve will only pay out its creators once there is at least $100 to pay them, meaning that mods will have to make a minimum of $400 before their creators see a cent.

From the consumer side of things, anyone who has ever played World of Warcraft will know the pain of a game releasing an update that breaks all of your mods. So what happens when a mod you paid for gets broken and the developer has abandoned it? According to the official FAQ, you're on your own, buddy. Valve will only offer a refund for paid mods within the first 24 hours, after which it suggests you "post politely on the Workshop item's page and let the mod author know" about your problems.

What do you guys think about this? The reaction on forums and online communities has been pretty negative, based mostly on the fact that Valve doesn't really have a good track record with customer service, and this initiative seems like it would generate a lot of complaints and requests.

Source: Steam

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I can't believe this. It's ridiculous on way too many levels. We should start with one of the most basic things and that's using other people's assets. Not only has steam showed that they have a terrible terrriiiiiblee track record about managing content coming in as Early Access or Greenlight that steal and rip from other people's works, but they take no responsibility for it to work.

Q. What happens if a mod I bought breaks?
A. Sometimes one mod may modify the same files as another mod, or a particular combination of mods may cause unexpected outcomes. If you find that mod has broken or is behaving unexpectedly, it is best to post politely on the Workshop item's page and let the mod author know the details of what you are seeing.

So in other words, Jimmy, if you bought two mods that conflict with each other, you just burned that money. Sure, you can get a refund-- if you purchased it within 24 hours. But this could be a day, a week, a month down the line before you see the conflict, and now your save and or game is bricked. They don't need to fix it either -- they got your money, Jimmy. Tough life, eh, Jimmy?

Or maybe the fact that a lot of these mods are basing their content off of some one else's work, what then? What do they do? Cut the (already limited) percentage to give to the authors? What if they never wanted to get paid and didn't agree for this to happen? How is Valve[who can't even manage their storefront] going to manage hundred, if not thousands of takedown requests because scumbag-dev decided that he'll slap some assets together and charge people 5$ for it.

Or-or-or what stops this from expanding into games like Garry's Mod, where the entire point is that it's user created and suddenly now every other server is having their own required-or-get-kicked modpack of 5$. What's that Timmy? Your family can barely afford luxuries so you tried using modding to get the most bang out of your buck? Sucks to be you! Speaking of that, what stops the slippery slope of Valve just starting to add a flat rate if they get away with this. "If you want to download a mod, it's one dollar per. If you want to download infinite, throw in 20, 30, 40$".

Or maybe we should just think of the moddevs(who get no money anyways) that worked so hard, so tirelessly to do their hobby, and suddenly now they want it to be a career, without even needing to show promise. Seriously, we get mad when we get a game that isn't up to what is previewed/shown/announced. But these guys... they don't NEED to show us anything, and they don't lose anything if they fall empty on those promises.

It's just.. infuriating. This isn't made for the mod devs. If it was, they wouldn't be taking 75% of the revenue and giving it to other sources. Valve made it for themselves, and trying to use 'Think of the mod devs!' as a scapegoat. It's.. disheartening. I loved Valve, I tried defending them for each time something goes wrong. Greenlight, Early Access, some of their games not even working. But this.. I can't do it anymore. I can't defend my once-favorite-company. This is just going too far. I aspired to work at Valve because it was so nice, so friendly, but now, now I want to my dream career is somewhere else, anywhere.

Over the horizon, and old man on his porch stares listlessly into the sky. His faithful dog next to him lets out a sorrowful howl. He recognizes the signs. A shitstorm approaches.

As pointed out by TotalBiscuit, this has already lead to mass corruption and horse armory like none have seen before. This is going on Valve's oops pile.

This whole thing just feels dirty somehow. Not that I have an issue with mod authors getting money for some of their work, I can't say I have any issues with donations to mod authors or something like patreon. Its just paying a per mod basis just seems like it could get really messy for everyone involved really quickly in terms of refunds and issues with unsupported mods.

Even then it might have been workable but the setup valve has introduced appears to be less about supporting mod authors and more about making some easy money for valve and bethesda.

So are we going to stop pretending Valve is the best thing since sliced bread finally or are we gonna get some Valve apologists coming out now?

Adultratedhydra:
So are we going to stop pretending Valve is the best thing since sliced bread finally or are we gonna get some Valve apologists coming out now?

I feel like Valve has lost a lot of it's criticism immunity on the back of the fact that it hasn't made an actual new game in like five years. Back in the day, when people would diss Valve, the apologists would say "But... Half Life 2! But... Portal! But... Counter-Strike!" and we'd all settle down and say "yeah, you're right. Valve make some shitty decisions but they also make video games like no-one else in the industry."

Even the most hardcore Valve fans are pissed that we have heard didly squad about Half Life (episode) 3 for SEVEN FUCKING YEARS. I feel like Valve has well and truly worn out it's "ubiquitously loved video game company" persona.

The more I think about this, the more I hate it. Especially when it's only added to their Steam Wallet, meaning they can only buy more fucking games with it.

Would I consider giving $10 bucks to someone who has doubtlessly put in hours of their time to make a great mod? Absolutely.
Do I want them to be restricted to buying games with it? NO.
Do I want them to only actually see two bucks fifty of it, and watch Valve earn the rest for doing literally nothing besides running the marketplace? NEIN!

This makes me laugh. And laugh. And laugh.

Why, of all games, would you start with Skyrim? Most Skyrim fans (Not all, there are exceptions...) loathe the Steam Workshop and hit up the Nexus for their mod fix.

DarkOne is going to be dancing on a huge pile of money now that you're basically pushing people to his site and generating mass traffic for him.

Steven Bogos:

Adultratedhydra:
So are we going to stop pretending Valve is the best thing since sliced bread finally or are we gonna get some Valve apologists coming out now?

I feel like Valve has lost a lot of it's criticism immunity on the back of the fact that it hasn't made an actual new game in like five years. Back in the day, when people would diss Valve, the apologists would say "But... Half Life 2! But... Portal! But... Counter-Strike!" and we'd all settle down and say "yeah, you're right. Valve make some shitty decisions but they also make video games like no-one else in the industry."

Even the most hardcore Valve fans are pissed that we have heard didly squad about Half Life (episode) 3 for SEVEN FUCKING YEARS. I feel like Valve has well and truly worn out it's "ubiquitously loved video game company" persona.

From a technical standpoint, -Valve- hasnt made anything original in even longer. Portal? Was another game. TF2? Mod. CS? Mod. Dota? Icefrog. I've never understood why Valve seemed immune to criticism over the years. Do people not understand why a monopoly is bad?

Adultratedhydra:

Steven Bogos:

Adultratedhydra:
So are we going to stop pretending Valve is the best thing since sliced bread finally or are we gonna get some Valve apologists coming out now?

I feel like Valve has lost a lot of it's criticism immunity on the back of the fact that it hasn't made an actual new game in like five years. Back in the day, when people would diss Valve, the apologists would say "But... Half Life 2! But... Portal! But... Counter-Strike!" and we'd all settle down and say "yeah, you're right. Valve make some shitty decisions but they also make video games like no-one else in the industry."

Even the most hardcore Valve fans are pissed that we have heard didly squad about Half Life (episode) 3 for SEVEN FUCKING YEARS. I feel like Valve has well and truly worn out it's "ubiquitously loved video game company" persona.

From a technical standpoint, -Valve- hasnt made anything original in even longer. Portal? Was another game. TF2? Mod. CS? Mod. Dota? Icefrog. I've never understood why Valve seemed immune to criticism over the years. Do people not understand why a monopoly is bad?

Cause currently, it is not a monopoly, they DO have competition they just have done it for so long it is the more reliable and time tested service. Granted, that being said, i love Steam, i use it quite frequently and the convenience is something i enjoy. However, this is a very very stupid choice on their part, and any modding i do will continue to be done through nexus mods cause the steam pages never offer anything that i cannot get somewhere else.

Can we like... not? I mean, I know mod makers do SO MUCH WORK for next to nothing, but I feel like giving them the ability to charge is just going to kill the mod scene entirely. We'll be flooded with people who have no real interest in the game making simple mods in the hope to cash in. We'll have people selling cheap and easy mods anyone could make if they spent five minutes, complete with all the scams and bullshit that come with that. And honestly, the fact that they're now for money will probably make people judge and dismiss even the most amazing mods for minor problems. "No Voice Acting? Gross! Re-used landscapes? Atrocious! No new items? Why bother!" I love the TES mod community, and always have, but seriously, fuck it if I'm gonna end up paying for it. Half of the fun is downloading something you know next to nothing about and just going for it. The incentive for that goes way way way down if you've gotta pay for it. Plus, Skyrim is buggy already. Mods make it worse. And you bet your ass that paid mods are going to lead to some ulcers when they break the game.

Sheesh. I'm usually one to look on the bright side, but in this, there really isn't one.

EDIT: To be clear, donations and such are 100% a good thing and I have no problem with mod authors receiving cold hard cash for their work. They really deserve it. Just, y'know, minus the corporate business fuckery.

SadisticFire:
I can't believe this. It's ridiculous on way too many levels. We should start with one of the most basic things and that's using other people's assets. Not only has steam showed that they have a terrible terrriiiiiblee track record about managing content coming in as Early Access or Greenlight that steal and rip from other people's works, but they take no responsibility for it to work.

This really is one of the easiest to identify problems. Even before this new system was created, there's already a problem of some schmucks on Steam Workshop stealing assets that other people ripped or modeled and publishing it there. MODs have a lot of interdependence as well that Valve and Beth obviously don't give two shits about, considering their "You're on your own buddy" clause. And there's also the issue of public/community assets...

Guess I'll continue my abstinence from Steam purchases.

EA: We'll do this only if we can sell it through Origin. Think of all the Commander Shepards saying this is their favorite tavern in Cyrodiil!

Ubisoft: We'll do this only if they log into Uplay. Think of all the parkour!

Capcom: We'll do this only if we can lock out certain parts of the mod for an extra cost. Think of all the zombies like in Dead Rising & Resident Evil! Wait you already have those? Okay think of all the crafting in Dead Rising! Oh you already have crafting too. Um, think of all the Demons from DMC! Oh come on you already have those too?!

Microsoft: Ooh! Can we tie it into Windows 10! Then we can tie it into Xbox Live! Then we can find a way to undermine our own products while hoping to not suffer any backlash!

Nintendo: Wii U is failing & We'll do this but only if we can tie ours into Amiibos.

Sony: Due to a shifting landscape we've decided not to do this. Then we'll get praise for not doing this. Ah 0 effort can be amazing! Why else do you think we shut down PS Home?

Rockstar: Our mod will add Roman Bellic. He'll give you a cell phone & call you up at awkward times to go bowling, play darts, or see Great Big Argonian Titties!

Volition: Three words, Purple Dildo Bat. You already want it. Don't deny it!

....

All the good mods are probably free on Nexus anyway.

RatGouf:
EA: We'll do this only if we can sell it through Origin. Think of all the Commander Shepards saying this is their favorite tavern in Cyrodiil!

Ubisoft: We'll do this only if they log into Uplay. Think of all the parkour!

Capcom: We'll do this only if we can lock out certain parts of the mod for an extra cost. Think of all the zombies like in Dead Rising & Resident Evil! Wait you already have those? Okay think of all the crafting in Dead Rising! Oh you already have crafting too. Um, think of all the Demons from DMC! Oh come on you already have those too?!

Microsoft: Ooh! Can we tie it into Windows 10! Then we can tie it into Xbox Live! Then we can find a way to undermine our own products while hoping to not suffer any backlash!

Nintendo: Wii U is failing & We'll do this but only if we can tie ours into Amiibos.

Sony: Due to a shifting landscape we've decided not to do this. Then we'll get praise for not doing this. Ah 0 effort can be amazing! Why else do you think we shut down PS Home?

Rockstar: Our mod will add Roman Bellic. He'll give you a cell phone & call you up at awkward times to go bowling, play darts, or see Great Big Argonian Titties!

Volition: Three words, Purple Dildo Bat. You already want it. Don't deny it!

....

All the good mods are probably free on Nexus anyway.

and I would Praise Sony for not doing it. Zero effort going towards it is zero effort in being a douchebag. where as Valve has gone 75% douche over night.

Just a small note....the kinds of mods that people would actually pay for....aren't the kinds of mods that Steam would host anyway.

If you catch my drift.

*wink*

So...whats the difference between paid mods and DLC? 'cause as far as I can tell, they're exactly the same but 'paid mods' looks better on a PR spreadsheet.

This needs to fail. Otherwise, knowing this industry, everyone will start doing it for everything and games will turn to shit. We've seen it happen with everything that you can attach money to.

On the one hand...

Some mods are simply superior to AAA drivel. This is something most console gamers cant imagine and many less knowledgeable PC Gamers dont know either.

Some mods, make the stupid AAA Game you bought at launch, look like some Piece of &*$%. And the "professional" devs like a bunch of tryhards.
This is just a fact.

On the other hand... I am not certain only the elite mods will be getting the monetary recognition they deserve with this. And the money the modder gets is not enough.

I don't use Steam for my Skyrim mods. So it doesn't bother me. That being said, I think this is a pretty shitty thing to do. There are plenty of sites where you can download mods for free.

I'm certainly not against the idea of mod creators getting paid for their time but why are Valves getting such a big cut and there are no quality guarantees or refunds?

J Tyran:
I'm certainly not against the idea of mod creators getting paid for their time but why are Valves getting such a big cut and there are no quality guarantees or refunds?

Seriously. If I wanted to support a mod developer, I'd do so over paypal or patreon, after I had already tested and enjoyed his work. Asking people for an upfront payment, of which only 25% will go to the creator of that product? That's just insane. The terrible precedent which this sets is enough reason that I hope people will refuse to participate in this scheme. There is simply no way Valve deserves to get 3/4 of the money for merely hosting someone else's product.

I imagine the old boys in the TES modding community are having a conniption over this. Valve's really fallen far these last few years.

Well i still dont own Skyrim, and thus im finding it difficult to care.

I will say though, i dont believe for a second that Valve is actually getting 75% of the cut from modders. Bethesda/ZeniMax wouldnt let them get away with that kind of cut.

Will this inhibit free mods that don't utilize this system?
Because you sure make it sound like going through valves official channels would be strongly "incentivized".

People keep listing as a pro how this may possibly lead to better mods maybe (lol more like 13 year olds flooding this to "get rich") but this could mean the guaranteed end of nude mods, sex mods, blood mods for region-censored games, mods that use copyrighted material, mods that use custom servers, mods that mimic another game of that dev, mods that mimic DLC, free mods that have similar functionality of paid-for mods, mods a dev just doesn't like for no particular reason.

Also they can already have a tip jar.
Nothing stops modders from adding a tip jar to their site with valve taking 0%.
There is no reason tip jars would have to be steam integrated, especially if that means tips are now mandatory, standardized, have to be quadrupled just to break even, have to be paid up-front and what exactly does valve do that they think they deserve that crazy cut of 75%?

Also charging for something its creator has no reason to keep supporting, that may stop functioning after an official patch and never get fixed or that just won't necessarily work in conjunction with other (paid for) mods seems like a poor idea.
I can buy all the DLC of a game, it'll still run with all DLC enabled, guaranteed.
There is no such thing as a DLC that breaks a game.
The same doesn't have to apply for user-created mods that use weird backdoors in the game or break a few ribs of the engine just to function.

You see how many worms this can inhibits without even getting to all the subjective, ethical stuff like "should mods cost money"?
This looks like a poor idea for everyone involved.

Shamanic Rhythm:
Especially when it's only added to their Steam Wallet, meaning they can only buy more fucking games with it.

Are you shitting me? Valve pays modders their 25% cut in Valve-credis they may only spend on Valve-stores?
How gross is that? They can't even use that to pay their rent or any expenses spent on creating the mod or like, you know, food?
Who would do this? This doesn't even really support modders and if anything degrades them to chumps that will make DLC for free.

That wallet thing is fake, right? Can't be real.
That would push this from kinda exploiting modders into utter contempt for them.

Edit: Well turns out this is fake. Good.

J Tyran:
I'm certainly not against the idea of mod creators getting paid for their time but why are Valves getting such a big cut and there are no quality guarantees or refunds?

I'm thinking part of the reason why 75% of it is taken by Valve is because part of that cut goes to Bethesda, because the modders are now making money off their IP.

This sucks. Like, really sucks. Nexus Mods must be thrilled with all their new traffic though.

Shamanic Rhythm:
The more I think about this, the more I hate it. Especially when it's only added to their Steam Wallet, meaning they can only buy more fucking games with it.

Just to clarify - this is not true. The mod author's part is transfered to them by bank transfer on the 15th of each month.

OT: I definitely have mixed feelings on this matter. I do believe that mod authors deserve something back for their time, when its a good mod at least, but this was not the way to achieve it.

Firstly, as we all know, mod interdependencies and content-reuse is labyrinthian... Yes, before, most mod authors were perfectly happy to allow others to reuse their work, because they knew no-one was getting paid. Now? One of three things will happen: mod authors will refuse to allow their content to be reused (bad), the already small 25% will be split between even more people (not great), or the copyright wars will ensue (very bad).

Secondly, if Valve/Beth really cared about helping mod authors to earn money, why are they taking a full 75% cut for doing abolustely nothing? This is a blatent cash-grab.

Thirdly, I suspect that from now, many mods going up on workshop will be paid-for. Yes, a mod author can still specify that the mod be free, but the question is asked to them "Paid or Free?" and most mod authors, obviously, will choose paid-for, so over time the proportion of free mods on workshop will diminish rapidly.

Finally, it sets a bad precedent - if this experiment works out well for valve/bethesda, I strongly suspect that they'll put in some kind of restriction in future games so you cannot get mods from places other than Workshop, in order to increase their revenue stream. True, they'll probably still allow free mods on workshop (the uproar if they didn't could be heard from mars) but the idea of restricting the availability of mods to one storefront is abhorrent and completely counter to the spirit of modding.

I believe a much, much better way of doing this would have been to have an optional donation system. The mod author specifies a "suggested price" and you have to manually override it if you want to download for free; this will play on people's morality ("really? am I actually saying this guy's work is worth nothing at all?") so some people will pay, more so than with the easily missed donation buttons on nexus, but there isn't an expectation of huge quantities of money being involved, alleviating many of the problems above, and also not permanently gating off mods to those who genuinely cannot afford them.

Another option would be to go humble-bundle style and allow the purchaser to set sliders as to who gets how much money out of Beth, Valve, Mod Author and a charity-of-the-month. Probably there would need to be a minimum of 5% on the first three (especially as valve will have genuine costs to cover), but again it comes across much better and certainly less money-grubbing.

I've been gaming since I could hold a bottle in my mouth without holding it with my hand. In everything that's ever happened in gaming in all the time that I've been alive, I've never felt physically ill because of something that happened, in the industry, public perception, or in a game itself. What a milestone to kick over.

loa:
but this could mean the guaranteed end of nude mods, sex mods, blood mods for region-censored games, mods that use copyrighted material, mods that use custom servers, mods that mimic another game of that dev, mods that mimic DLC, free mods that have similar functionality of paid-for mods, mods a dev just doesn't like for no particular reason.

As mentioned on the Nexus mod site, and possibly here to( I might have missed it when reading some of the comments) A very large number of mods use other mods to get to where they are. And it's not like it is likely to only be large mods either. I've seen mods such as companions crediting multiple other modders for things like the characters default weapon, clothing, script, hair, eyes, etc.
Are they going to get a cut? If so, how, and will that require the mod to earn even more before the person who submitted the mod, and the credited modders even get their virtual steam bucks?

I wouldn't mind paying for a full conversion mod like the Game of Thrones mod or the Elder Kings mod for CKII but I can't see myself paying 75 cents for a weapon.

This is the future you chose, you fools!

Your constant concessions to and worship of the false messiahs of gaming merely allowed their souls to become blacker and blacker!

I've always loved Bethesda's games for their blind ambition, while hating them for their piss-poor QA. This has been the case since Morrowind and that Pirate's game. There is only one reason I will buy a game from them, because I know modders are going to fix their shit. I'll either pay for a game or pay the guy who fixes it, but I sure as shit won't do both.
It baffles me that they've joined forces with Valve to be the first to jump on this thing. It's not a secret how people view Mods and Elder Scroll's games. There is a running joke that Bethesda relies on modders to fix their games for them. It's a pretty widespread joke too. All I'm saying here is, if I had a reputation for releasing jank shit and relying on others to fix it, I'd be cautious about attempts to make consumers pay for those fixes.

Called it at the start of Steam workshop, it was a terrible idea to have platform exclusive mods then, now they are taking passion projects down cut throat alley.

Sure if you have good content to sell, package, polish and test it to a commercially acceptable degree then you deserve to put a price tag on that, and you should be the one getting money not Valve. But then you must also be held accountable for bugs, copyright material, stolen assets, establishing and holding your IP,...
Dumping the whole dumpster on the ground and putting price tags on shit however is completely moronic. Most mods do not work properly or only ever for once specific version, they were made by several people who might or might not know, they borrow and upgrade on one another with no solid track record where things came from, copyright characters and textures are all over that shit and most really are of no value as they are so badly made.

And then there is the community aspect, modding communities have sprung up because it was a big open collaborative effort to improve a game. When you put money on that stuff people can no longer be open and collaborative because that causes legal issues, money needs to be split, someone might steal your assets, someone might take your idea, you have to go after anyone doing similar things to yours,... the moment money is involved this turns into a wolves den, everyone needs to carve out their own piece of meat before anyone else can get it.

Ok, I just discovered this:


Yes, you are reading that right. Somebody is already trying to do an Early Access paid mod.

I can't even joke about this.

CpT_x_Killsteal:
I've been gaming since I could hold a bottle in my mouth without holding it with my hand. In everything that's ever happened in gaming in all the time that I've been alive, I've never felt physically ill because of something that happened, in the industry, public perception, or in a game itself. What a milestone to kick over.

Oh if thats the case then stay the hell away from iOS/Android games. You might just end up with cancer.

Shamanic Rhythm:
The more I think about this, the more I hate it. Especially when it's only added to their Steam Wallet, meaning they can only buy more fucking games with it.

It's like being in the 1700s again with Food Stamps and company stores... But seriously, I'm sceptical of this, I've seen it mentioned in a number of places but reading the terms and FAQ Valve is asking for bank details. So why would they need bank details if it's just going into their steam wallet and you can only trade is US$? I could be missing something though. If it's true it's a massive slap in the face, the modders are essentially getting nothing.

Speaking of the split, which is completely stupid, apparently the seller can register other creators to supposedly share profits with (which sounds good for those whose resources you use). But a different part of the FAQ says that they can't split profits between accounts... so... which is it?

Also Steam is actively removing 'donation' links off of free mod pages.

Aeshi:
Ok, I just discovered this:


Yes, you are reading that right. Somebody is already trying to do an Early Access paid mod.

I can't even joke about this.

Don't worry, FNIS already shut him down because...

image

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=430324898

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