Gabe Newell Speaks on The Whole Paid Skyrim Mods Debacle

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Gabe Newell Speaks on The Whole Paid Skyrim Mods Debacle

good ol gabe

Valve's top dog Gabe Newell addresses concerns fans are having over paid Steam mods.

On Friday, Valve announced that it was bringing paid mods to Steam, starting with modder favorite Skyirm, and the response was not entirely positive. Today, Valve boss Gabe Newell himself has taken to reddit to personally address any concerns people have over the system. "On Thursday I was flying back from LA. When I landed, I had 3,500 new messages. Hmmm. Looks like we did something to piss off the Internet," said Newell.

First and foremost, Newell stresses that Valve will not force paid mods if it is clearly not something the community at large wants. "Our goal is to make modding better for the authors and gamers. If something doesn't help with that, it will get dumped. Right now I'm more optimistic that this will be a win for authors and gamers, but we are always going to be data driven," he said.

He went on to say that he believes Valve and the community's moderation would be effective enough in stopping unscrupulous modders from stealing mods and re-uploading them as paid mods, that "censorship" of people complaining about paid mods on the official Steam forums was an error that will be rectified, and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.

Unfortuantely, Newell was unable to, in the words of NexusMods owner Robin, "put his foot down" on the "'DRMification; of modding, either by Valve or developers using Steam's tools, and prevent the concept of mods ONLY being allowed to be uploaded to Steam Workshop and no where else, like ModDB, Nexus, etc.?" Newell instead replied that Valve would never force a developer to do anything, as it goes against its core philosophy.

If this kind of thing interests you, you should just go ahead and read the rest of the AMA, as Newell discusses quite a few concerns fans have.

Source: Reddit

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I love steam, but only console children and console presents use the steam mod library.

If you really want to mod Skyrim, go to the Nexus and use their mod manager.

This highlights where the problem lies with Valve. Based on stories of how they conduct business, the decentralised structure where anyone can pitch and idea, work on it and implement it is starting to fall apart at the scale that Steam is at right now.

Consider this: in both of these recent controversies(Hatred being removed from Steam and the paid mods), Newell had to step in to circumvent or undo the decisions made when they got out of hand, meaning that someone else implemented these ideas, ergo, Valve has trouble focusing and controlling itself as a company.

It makes sense: the paid mods seem like a spur of the moment idea that no one veto'd. Only on reflection does Valve, through Newell's leadership understand that it's better to offer an integrated donation system to not completely break the current model of mods(otherwise, you get immense pressure on modders to monetize, which results in users going to external sources to find mods as a reaction, which creates this horrible Catch-22(modders want to get paid->migrate to Steam, players don't want to pay->migrate to Nexus)).

This sort of creative freedom is great when designing games, it truly is(Half Life 2, Portal, Team Fortress 2, etc.) but as a way to manage business? Not so much. It then makes sense why Early Access and Greenlight are still rocky and why their refund policy is crap.

I get the feeling that Valve needs to have a separate branch that is established old-guard style to manage the business side of Steam and let the creative guys do creative stuff that doesn't mess with our wallets.

FogHornG36:
I love steam, but only console children and console presents use the steam mod library.

If you really want to mod Skyrim, go to the Nexus and use their mod manager.

That's true for now, but with Steam offering payment for the mods a lot of future ones will likely only be offered there. What's the point in charging for your mod in one place and offering it for free everywhere else, after all?

OT: Sounds vaguely promising, but only in the sense that it might mean they'll be getting rid of the system in the nearby future. There's not really any kind of middle ground that will appease me other than that. Modding is major aspect of PC gaming, and a really amazing situation where a ton of people just make content for the sake of sharing it with other people for free. It benefits all PC gamers, and its existence is pretty miraculous to begin with. What Valve is doing may kill it for good.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
I get the feeling that Valve needs to have a separate branch that is established old-guard style to manage the business side of Steam and let the creative guys do creative stuff that doesn't mess with our wallets.

I think you might have just proposed the best solution to a number of Valve's, and by extension PC Gamers', problems. Sadly, until they actually DO something about any of the problems they've created I'll just keep buying from GOG and Humble Bundle whenever possible.

OT: I read some of the AMA, but the answers were often so vague as to be useless. Valve is notoriously bad at explaining anything and this is apparently no different. Newell even admits they know where their problems are, and that they're trying to fix them, but could they at least disable the offending systems in the meantime? If only on the main version of Steam? They can leave it in the Beta, but at least give people a choice man.

At least there's going to be a proper pay-what-you-want system now. Sadly that payment skew is not likely to be fixed any time soon since Bethesda gets to make 45% of every sale while doing no work.

Lunncal:
That's true for now, but with Steam offering payment for the mods a lot of future ones will likely only be offered there. What's the point in charging for your mod in one place and offering it for free everywhere else, after all?

Given the rampant theft, modders moving to distance themselves from the whole thing (or spitting feathers that someone else uploaded their mod onto the store), Valve's extremely poor attitude towards infringement/enforcement and the insultingly low cut of the money being offered (that was hidden by Valve being vague ahead of time) I don't think this is going to last long.

It's only a matter of time before it disappears under a cloud of DMCA claims, both from modders seeing their work ripped off and IP holders seeing 'themed' mods being charged for. Blizzard in particular I'm expecting to bring the hammer down.

One of the primary concerns that I have is that once mods is that mods are currently very collaborative. Many mods use aspects of other mods to improve on one another, or are entirely dependent on something. Like SKSE, the Skyrim script extender. Many, many mods use the extended scripting functionalities that it offers, including some that are on sale now. Someone is using work they made available and gets paid for it. It also prevents other people to make mods that synergise with one another when they're behind a paywall.

Another concern is that publishers gets a HEFTY portion of each sale. This will promote them to release buggy games that people will make mods to fix, and they can get paid to make their customers fix their game. Whether this will actually happen doesn't even matter; it's the fact that there's nothing stopping them from doing this that's a problem.

Finally, one of the most retarded things about this has already made itself apparent. Midas magic, a spell mod for Skyrim, has made it so that there's a 4% chance every time you cast a spell introduced by the free version of the mod, you get a popup telling you to buy the mod. We now have popups in our mods. Wonderful.

Well the petition is over 100k signatures now, it was at half that when I looked yesterday.

This is a horrible implementation of a theoretically good system. A system like this, if done properly, has the potential to attract the more skilled modders to pursue bigger projects, like, Falskaar sized projects. While I've always thought mods should be free, with the option to donate to the modder if you really want to, I honestly wouldn't have a problem paying for things like that, if they were reasonably priced of course.

But all this is going to do is attract opportunists that don't have the same passion for the game or their projects that a lot of modders do. The sort of people that will try to re-skin a sword and sell it for £5, and I can see the workshop being flooded with this kind of crap quickly.

One of the things that outrages me the most is that the modder only gets 25% of the sale. I've donated some money to a few modders in the past myself, and that's because I was a fan of that modder's projects and I wanted to support them. If I were to buy a mod it would be for the same reason: I want to support the modder. So why would I buy a mod from the workshop when I know that the person that actually did all the work is getting the smallest cut? That's just fucking wrong.

It's easy for Gabe to say he's confident that Valve and the community's moderation would be effective enough in stopping people from stealing mods and re-uploading them as paid mods, but Valve's quality control and moderation is fucking awful, so stuff like that would mostly fall to the community and it's not the community's fucking job.

EDIT: What if you were to buy a mod that didn't work? Sure, they give you a 24 hour refund period, but the refund only goes into your steam wallet. That's bullshit. The Steam Faq basically tells you to contact the modder if there's problems with a mod, so Valve aren't even taking responsibility for that.

There are just as many buggy mods out there as there are ones that work perfectly as intended, and if people are paying for something they're going to be expecting it to work as intended. What if it doesn't and the modder decides he can't be assed fixing it? Sure, Vavle could make them sign an agreement making them obligated to fix a paid mod if it's broken, but what if they can't fix it? These people aren't professionals, they do this as a hobby. Broken mods aren't as much as a problem when they're free.

Steven Bogos:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.

Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
image

FogHornG36:
I love steam, but only console children and console presents use the steam mod library.

If you really want to mod Skyrim, go to the Nexus and use their mod manager.

Or better yet - IMO, of course - use Mod Organizer. It supports Nexus integration the same as the site's own mod manager does, but has a lot of desirable features that the latter lacks.

Mean while on Steam, DMCA take downs are being used because of mod dependencies, the modder cut is still 25 cents on the dollar, and mod curation is a bigger mess than steam Greenlight.

CpT_x_Killsteal:

Steven Bogos:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.

Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
image

Wow, Gabe got #rekt.

Honestly though that just sums up the whole debate so succinctly. Valve have seriously fucked up on this one. Of course there's a few people (mainly non modders or console gamers) who agree with the policy and its implementation. I've never seen public opinion turn on Valve so harshly. They've got to realise they really fucked up and hopefully they'll be back pedalling soon on this.

endtherapture:

CpT_x_Killsteal:

Steven Bogos:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.

Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
image

Wow, Gabe got #rekt.

Honestly though that just sums up the whole debate so succinctly. Valve have seriously fucked up on this one. Of course there's a few people (mainly non modders or console gamers) who agree with the policy and its implementation. I've never seen public opinion turn on Valve so harshly. They've got to realise they really fucked up and hopefully they'll be back pedalling soon on this.

I want this to go the way of Microsoft thinking they could get PC to pay for GFWL. Buried in the deepest darkest pit to never be brought up again.
I never thought to ask if the people agreeing with all this were PC players or no, cos it has Zero effect on anyone who doesn't play mainly on PC.
There's already a subreddit dedicated to mod pi- erhm, acquiring paid mods through a different storefront.

People might say the nay-sayers are overreacting, but unless the backlash is extreme it's staying.

CpT_x_Killsteal:

endtherapture:

CpT_x_Killsteal:

Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
image

Wow, Gabe got #rekt.

Honestly though that just sums up the whole debate so succinctly. Valve have seriously fucked up on this one. Of course there's a few people (mainly non modders or console gamers) who agree with the policy and its implementation. I've never seen public opinion turn on Valve so harshly. They've got to realise they really fucked up and hopefully they'll be back pedalling soon on this.

I want this to go the way of Microsoft thinking they could get PC to pay for GFWL. Buried in the deepest darkest pit to never be brought up again.
I never thought to ask if the people agreeing with all this were PC players or no, cos it has Zero effect on anyone who doesn't play mainly on PC.
There's already a subreddit dedicated to mod pi- erhm, acquiring paid mods through a different storefront.

People might say the nay-sayers are overreacting, but unless the backlash is extreme it's staying.

It's got such a backlash because modding has been engrained in PC gaming culture since day 1. When you told a friend to get a PC game, modding was one of the pillars you mentioned to them as so good, along with cheaper games, more games, better graphics etc. Valve is trying to take one of the reasons we game on PC away from us by hiding it behind paywalls.

Additionally it's been something we've had for 10 or 20 years now, and to try and monetise that, when the system has worked fine, and even thrived, for 20 years, its pathetic. It's greedy and anti-consumer and I'm glad people are outraged about it.

It's worse than the move to paid micro-DLCs in my opinion, because at least those micro-DLCs go through professional QA and fund the developers.

CpT_x_Killsteal:

Steven Bogos:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.

Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
image

image

There ya go. It can be a bit hard to find specific things he said because lots of people are just downvoting his replies...

I have to laugh at the supposed claim that Steam's moderation would be able to curate unscrupulous modifications. Sonny Jim, have you been paying attention to the way your company has been handling things in the past year and a half?

Heaven knows the people who actually are actively working with Steam don't care about curation, and relying on the community has resulted in Greenlight becoming a massive laughing stock that's not even worth glancing at any longer unless you're trying to find something to throw in Jim Sterling's direction.

Ohhh god, I love how you pluck one little string and all hell breaks loose. You wake up one morning and the grass is green, sky is blue, the sun is shining and everyone is enjoying their PC gaming thanks to the pseudo-monopoly Steam has on everything...the next day, however, the grass is blue, sky is green and you realize "Holy shit! I've been teleported to Namek!" You go to check your steam library and see "PAID MODS ARE NOW A THING!" and proceed to run towards the nearest living thing and kill it. :P

Honestly, I'm actually with Total Biscuit on this one: I fully agree with the concept that modders deserve to get paid for all the hard work that they put into making the games we love even more enjoyable in countless ways. This, however, is not the way to go about that. Indeed, adding a tip-jar functionality to the workshop would have been a much better situation. That's the "middle ground" that needs to be reached if Valve is insistent upon doing this. That and in no way should Valve be getting 75% of the cut...that's just insulting. Even then, however, the problem remains that by monetizing mods, you enter Willy Wonka's Wonderful World of Copyright Claims.

I do love the willy-nilly manner in which this was implemented...as if they were in a board meeting and someone said "I know! How about we make them pay for mods!" to which the reply was "DONE! Make it happen!" No forethought put into it, no consideration of the copyright shitstorm that this was most assuredly going to kick-up, no discussion of possible pros and cons or getting the community's input...they just slapped together a make-shift plan and put it into play as though they weren't expecting the world's biggest can of worms to be opened over this.

So in short "we might scrap this system because you hate us, but we would really rather not".
To be honest this is far more then any other major site would do but it's really not much of anything, one of these days Gabe will be fed up with reading Reddit and then all this shit will stick permanently.

On this day Statues of Gaben were torn from their plinths, Steam Trading cards were burned in ritualistic pyres.

OT: In other words today Valvedrones learned just how out of touch their lord and master is with gaming.

Steven Bogos:

CpT_x_Killsteal:

Steven Bogos:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.

Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
image

image

There ya go. It can be a bit hard to find specific things he said because lots of people are just downvoting his replies...

Ah yes I saw that one.

It's not a donation button if they can set a minimum amount and you can't touch the mod unless you pay up. It's essentially asking for a price and encouraging you to pay more for... no reason really.

I wish they would release some stats on how many people actually bought mods so far. For all we know, people actually don't mind this kind of thing.

RJ 17:
Honestly, I'm actually with Total Biscuit on this one: I fully agree with the concept that modders deserve to get paid for all the hard work that they put into making the games we love even more enjoyable in countless ways.

Sorry, no, I fundamentally disagree with the word "deserve" here. Because it implies people are entitled to it. Would be it be NICE for modders who put a lot of time and effort into a mod to get paid? Sure, that's what donations are for. But the idea that they're entitled to money because of what they do as a hobby is nonsense.

I've played the clarinet for approaching two decades now. I'm pretty decent at it. Do I "deserve" to get paid a performance fee every time I play because of that? Am I entitled to payment whenever anyone overhears me play? No, because its my hobby, I do it for personal entertainment and to bring joy to people, not because it makes me money. If I want to make money I go get a job. Not everything has to be a job and if I don't enjoy playing anymore I can just stop playing, similarly if people don't want to keep modding anymore there's nothing stopping them from just not modding.

The moment you bring getting paid into the equation (in a non-donation way) you completely change the dynamics of it. You are no longer a hobbyist with no responsibilities, you are a professional running a business. Its not necessarily always a BAD thing to turn your hobby into a job, but it comes with strict expectations and legal requirements. But everyone involved is trying to get around that by saying "its just a mod". Valve and Bethseda are declaiming responsibility for anything at all by saying its up to the community and simultaneously saying that its up to you to talk to the modder to fix things. This is ridiculous.

People comparing this to youtubers and artists are missing the point. Each of those produce products that are then "sold" as-is and are not required to interact with anything else. If you buy a painting you're not going to get home and find its incompatible with your existing paintings and causes them all to turn green. If you watch a poor quality youtube video that's been uploaded its not going to effect other youtube videos you watch. A poor quality mod that is incompatible with certain other mods can absolutely destroy your game and write-off your saves. And there is zero requirement for the author to do anything about it or to help you with it because "hey its just a mod". You're sight-unseen buying something that you don't even know is going to work which is absurd.

To continue the previous analogy if I play for a bunch of people and I'm good on the day they might tip me. If I'm not very good on the day then I get a bit of embarrassment at being bad and my audience is unimpressed. If I charge money in advance and then play badly on the day then I have a bunch of annoyed audience members who paid money for a good performance and didn't get it. A monetary transaction, especially in advance, changes the expectations and is very different to a donation. There's a good reason that typically you don't pay workmen the whole amount in advance. Its because you want to see that they've done a good job before they finish; you don't know how its going to turn out until after they've done the work and you can have a look.

On reflection games are very unusual these days in being one of the few commodities that change after the point of sale but that we buy outright. When you buy a car or a TV or whatever you don't have the manufacturer come around a few months later to have a poke at it and change a few things, but that's effectively what patches are. It was very different back before the internet was a big thing (for PC) and, in terms of consoles, in the PS2 era. Games either worked out of the box or they were bad, broken games. Nowadays we're in this nebulous time of "well its broken NOW but we'll fix it, really!" Which has its advantages and disadvantages, but I'm going off topic a little here.

endtherapture:
Additionally it's been something we've had for 10 or 20 years now, and to try and monetise that, when the system has worked fine, and even thrived, for 20 years, its pathetic. It's greedy and anti-consumer and I'm glad people are outraged about it.

It's worse than the move to paid micro-DLCs in my opinion, because at least those micro-DLCs go through professional QA and fund the developers.

I'm with TB on this one. The argument that mods have always been free so they should always stay free doesn't fly with me. Its a bad argument because it doesn't allow for actually good options in the future simply because somethin has always been some way.

Modders should be able to be paid for their work. They spend far more hours workin on mods than I do playin the game most of the time. There's a ton of mods that are meh reskins, but there's also tons and tons of mods that outshine anythin that the actual developers created. To simply say they shouldn't get any form of monetary compensation if its offered simply because they've never gotten paid before is outright ridiculous.

That being said, as nearly everyone else has said the system put in place now is bad.

Lightspeaker:
Sorry, no, I fundamentally disagree with the word "deserve" here. Because it implies people are entitled to it. Would be it be NICE for modders who put a lot of time and effort into a mod to get paid? Sure, that's what donations are for. But the idea that they're entitled to money because of what they do as a hobby is nonsense.

Let me go ahead and stop you right there, because unless you can prove that modders only mod out of the goodness of their heart and not - for instance - because there simply hasn't been any easy - and legal - way for them to get paid for their efforts, your argument is pointless. Whether someone deserves to get paid or not is entirely subjective...as in I personally feel that modders do deserve to get paid. If you think they don't deserve to get paid, well then that's your business.

Beyond that, your comparison is a bit askew. Are you honestly saying that if someone said to you "You've been playing the clarinet for a while and we really enjoy it. Now we're going to start paying you to play the clarinet regardless of if you play well or not" that you would, in turn, take the moral high ground and say "NO! AWAY WITH YOUR MONEY! I REFUSE TO GET PAID FOR DOING WHAT I ENJOY DOING!" If so, then if only for an moment I wish I could experience the enchanted world you live in. Because I imagine the standard response is "You mean you're going to start giving me money for something that I've been doing for free? Yes please."

Greed is contagious, my friend, and Steam's new policy fosters that notion. That's why I disagree with the policy in principal...it's a messed up way to implement this. The better way to implement it would be - as I mentioned - a donation/tip system. It would be the equivalent of you deciding to go out to a street corner and play your clarinet with an up-turned hat in front of you for tips. You're doing what you love regardless of whether or not you're getting paid, but if some people happen to think you "deserve" (by their opinion) to get paid for your performance, well there's nothing wrong with getting some money as a sign of their appreciation for your work.

part of the reason mods are so popular is due to them being free so any flaws or short comings is forgiven as its free such in the pc gaming community. Mods if popular enough would get money for them CS or use their skills and team making the mods into somthing more Black Mesa. Does not need to be a dam price tag on everything. You use those mod skills to start a career. its abit much but it seems fair to me.Also the reason why modders did what they did was due to being a fan or like hackers they have a good poke around the game files and play. It was more about getting your name out there and making a great game that you and freinds etc wud play. The end game was never im going to make a mod and im going to make loads of money, if that were the case then it was more of a building a portfolio as its better for a game studio to see that you are making mods then coming out of uni with a game degree as they are worth shit to game studios. A tip button would be better. If its good then you will get tips, i mean shit if CS back in the day had a tip jar you could donate wot ever you wanted to they would have been minted long ago.

I really wish he never even made that thread. He pretty much just came in and told us all to get fucked because all he cares about is how much money he can make off of it. All we learned from it was that it's not going anywhere because it's going to make them a fortune, that there isn't going to be a donation system because they can't profit from that and that Gabe is a big old hypocrite because he outright says that Team Fortress, Dota and Counter-Strike would have never been the success that they are today if they didn't start out as free mods.

Steven Bogos:
There ya go. It can be a bit hard to find specific things he said because lots of people are just downvoting his replies...

That's not a donation system, that's a 'pay what you want' system. If it were a donation system, all of the money would be going to the modder. Sure, there's not a lot of difference for the customer, but there's a massive difference for the modder, or to use the actual numbers, it's around $25,000 worth of difference.

SOE did a good job with user created content for it's library of games. This was mainly due to a quality control where the created items had to be approved before being allowed to be sold. Also SOE did not just give the creators some in game credit, they actually cut a check. Now, if Valve had a department that handled quality control over modded content (please hold the laughter down a bit) then in theory this could be a win/win/win for the modder, publisher and Valve. But we all know Valves track record with quality control...it's nowhere to be found. This is all just my opinion of course.

If he thinks 25% for modders who only get paid if their mod sells for at least 100$ (which turns into 400$ required revenue to be paid at all due to the 75% reduction) empowers modders and if he thinks introducing a money flow into something that lives off of cross-pollination and community cooperation supports the system, he either didn't think this through at all or is lying.

RJ 17:
Let me go ahead and stop you right there, because unless you can prove that modders only mod out of the goodness of their heart and not - for instance - because there simply hasn't been any easy - and legal - way for them to get paid for their efforts, your argument is pointless.

Are you serious here? I can prove it, outright, right now, with one sentence: modding has been happening for decades without monetary compensation.

There, done. If people weren't doing it for non-financial reasons then the modding scene wouldn't exist in the first place. Because people wouldn't have been doing it. People mod games for a variety of reasons which include gaining experience, showcasing their work, keeping themselves amused and bringing other people joy. Payoff does not have to be monetary, and to date it has NOT been monetary. Therefore all modding to date has been "out of the goodness of their hearts", as you put it.

Beyond that, your comparison is a bit askew. Are you honestly saying that if someone said to you "You've been playing the clarinet for a while and we really enjoy it. Now we're going to start paying you to play the clarinet regardless of if you play well or not" that you would, in turn, take the moral high ground and say "NO! AWAY WITH YOUR MONEY! I REFUSE TO GET PAID FOR DOING WHAT I ENJOY DOING!" If so, then if only for an moment I wish I could experience the enchanted world you live in. Because I imagine the standard response is "You mean you're going to start giving me money for something that I've been doing for free? Yes please."

Wrong, your comparison is the faulty one. Valve is not offering modders money here, nor are they offering them a job, they're basically offering a publishing deal without a contract or any responsibility on their side. If someone came up to me outright offering me money I'd say sure. If someone heard me and asked to hire me then I'd say sure. If someone came up to me offering to advertise and the rest is up to me I'd tell them to bugger off; because that puts the onus on me to be the business person in the arrangement.

It would be the equivalent of you deciding to go out to a street corner and play your clarinet with an up-turned hat in front of you for tips. You're doing what you love regardless of whether or not you're getting paid, but if some people happen to think you "deserve" (by their opinion) to get paid for your performance, well there's nothing wrong with getting some money as a sign of their appreciation for your work.

I literally said more or less those exact words in my post so I don't know why you're bringing that up. "Deserve money" implies entitlement to monetary compensation. "Be entitled to" is a synonym for deserve. Its not the same thing as a donation.

For the most part, these new mods that people are charging for are total shite and don't deserve to ask for money. One is just an over-powered, enchanted Daedric sword that you have to developer code into the game yourself. Another is just a poorly made house in the ground. We also have one that simply re-codes an AI with pre-made script. People think it is okay to charge for these. Once all the joke mods are cleared out and this really starts trucking, I foresee this trend continuing. The mods that actually deserve to be given money or whatever for, won't be the ones asking for it. It will be those people who half-ass a mod and then ask for money.

This whole situation doesn't seem to benefit the modders, seeing as how little they actually get. This just looks like Bethesda is trying to turn modding into some sort of lite-DLC they can profit from.

Steven Bogos:
First and foremost, Newell stresses that Valve will not force paid mods if it is clearly not something the community at large wants. "Our goal is to make modding better for the authors and gamers. If something doesn't help with that, it will get dumped. Right now I'm more optimistic that this will be a win for authors and gamers, but we are always going to be data driven," he said.

"We understand your frustration, but we like money so we're gonna keep doing this."

He went on to say that he believes Valve and the community's moderation would be effective enough in stopping unscrupulous modders from stealing mods and re-uploading them as paid mods,

I have a hard time believing that their current moderation which is absolutely terrible at moderating Greenlight will be able to crackdown on this. Also, leaving it up to the "community" to do moderation makes them seem lazy as hell.

that "censorship" of people complaining about paid mods on the official Steam forums was an error that will be rectified

"My b"

and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.

Not exactly true.

He was saying that the mod authors can set the minimum to $0 for their pay-as-you-like mod. Mods can still have a minimum price above $0 or just have a set price.

So he basically said a whole lot of nothing on the matter. Thanks Gabe.

Lightspeaker:
Are you serious here? I can prove it, outright, right now, with one sentence: modding has been happening for decades without monetary compensation.

You're leaving out the bit about "they couldn't due to legal reasons." Modding already exists in a grey area as it is. I'd imagine if the legality of the matter was black and white favoring the notion of modders getting paid, then modders would have been getting paid decades ago. Now Valve has turned a blind eye to that saying essentially "Who gives a shit? Come on and get paid!"

If your view holds water, then Skyrim's paid-mod workshop would be populated entirely by scams or mods that had been ripped from Nexus and posted on the workshop by someone that's not the author. To my knowledge: this isn't the case as actual modders have moved their mods to the workshop in hopes of getting paid, so clearly there are modders out there who would be more than happy to get paid for their efforts.

Wrong, your comparison is the faulty one. Valve is not offering modders money here, nor are they offering them a job, they're basically offering a publishing deal without a contract or any responsibility on their side. If someone came up to me outright offering me money I'd say sure. If someone heard me and asked to hire me then I'd say sure. If someone came up to me offering to advertise and the rest is up to me I'd tell them to bugger off; because that puts the onus on me to be the business person in the arrangement.

Nope, they're holding a sign saying "Post your mods here and you will get paid for them." That's all they're doing. They're not advertising your mod. They're not promoting your mod. They're saying "come here to get money"...it's as simple as that. If you take that bait, you're one of the following:

A: A modder who would like to get paid for your efforts.
B: A person who has stolen a mod from somewhere like Nexus to try and get paid for someone else's work.

If the former (which this conversation is dealing with): you're already making quality mods as-is, so absolutely nothing changes about your arrangement other than the fact that you're now getting paid.

I literally said more or less those exact words in my post so I don't know why you're bringing that up. "Deserve money" implies entitlement to monetary compensation. "Be entitled to" is a synonym for deserve. Its not the same thing as a donation.

And as I've said twice now: whether someone "deserves" to get paid is subjective. Once more I'll say it: I personally believe good modders should be paid for their efforts. As such, I would be someone to donate to a tip jar. I'd toss a couple dollars into your hat for your street-corner clarinet recital. Does that mean the person behind me will feel you deserve a tip? No. Because, once again...say it with me: "who decides whether something deserves something else is a subjective notion"

In other words: you can argue semantics and definitions as much as you want...that won't change the fact that I feel if someone pours countless hours into making a quality something, then they deserve compensation for their efforts, especially if I intend to use that quality something on a daily basis. As I previously said: if you disagree with that notion, then that's your business.

He had to realize that introducing a payment system to something that was previously 100% free is going to piss people off.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't there more to this. Isn't this giving modders the option of charging for their hard work in changing the game? And isn't it your choice in buying these mods?

And before you go on about the amount the modders get, You might want to research how much money developers actually get, once they BREAK EVEN.

I think this could be a good idea, as it would encourage people with ideas for mods to come out of the woodwork, and maybe collaborate on projects, or come up with new ways to play the game.

shintakie10:

endtherapture:
Additionally it's been something we've had for 10 or 20 years now, and to try and monetise that, when the system has worked fine, and even thrived, for 20 years, its pathetic. It's greedy and anti-consumer and I'm glad people are outraged about it.

It's worse than the move to paid micro-DLCs in my opinion, because at least those micro-DLCs go through professional QA and fund the developers.

I'm with TB on this one. The argument that mods have always been free so they should always stay free doesn't fly with me. Its a bad argument because it doesn't allow for actually good options in the future simply because somethin has always been some way.

Modders should be able to be paid for their work. They spend far more hours workin on mods than I do playin the game most of the time. There's a ton of mods that are meh reskins, but there's also tons and tons of mods that outshine anythin that the actual developers created. To simply say they shouldn't get any form of monetary compensation if its offered simply because they've never gotten paid before is outright ridiculous.

That being said, as nearly everyone else has said the system put in place now is bad.

I disagree because modders haven't been modding as a job, or a duty. They've been modding as a hobby and something they do primarily to fun, not as a service for other people. Turning a simple mod into a product throws up a whole load of issues regarding consumer rights, and for a lot of people it will turn a fun hobby into something far more serious a stressful. Fans using mods will now have higher expectations, and modders will be required to deliver a level of customer service to their customers. It destroys the fun dynamic and as you can see is immediately causing problems just due to the outrage. 3 days ago modders weren't some oppressed underclass who did a thankless and payless job and died alone in starvation. Extra money for them is a benefit of course, but it is not a necessity.

Then there's the fact that a commodity which has been free for 20 years suddenly as a market value on it. Who decides how expensive a mod is worth? Some of the packs out there cost more than the actual base game of Skyrim. Modding then turns from something universal to something akin to DLC where only the gamers with more disposable income can afford it. That is wrong. Games are expensive enough as it is without adding extra layers of money you have to pay to unlock previously free services.

I believe that whilst modders do us a good service, price tags should not be slapped on mods willy nilly. Contributions should be voluntary in order so that the hobby is still inclusive, and there should be better systems in place for donation, but not crappy tacked on paywalls with no pricing structure or anything.

Mod piracy is now a thing thanks to Valve. How crazy is that? 3 days ago it would have been considered a joke.

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