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Valve, Bethesda remove Skyrim paid mods

Valve and Bethesda have reversed their decision to sell a select number of mods through the Steam Workshop, amid a violent backlash from gamers that saw thousands around the world up in arms over what many perceived was an assault on the community driven mod scene. While initially talked about with much enthusiasm, the entire paid modifications feature is now being reconsidered, with staff saying they will chew over fan feedback to see how best to potentially implement it again at some point in the future.

“After discussion with Valve, and listening to our community, paid mods are being removed from Steam Workshop. Even though we had the best intentions, the feedback has been clear – this is not a feature you want. Your support means everything to us, and we hear you”, reads the Bethesda blog entry discussing the paid mods system.


This was backed up later by a blog entry from Valve on the Steam Workshop, which echoed Bethesda’s points. On top of assuring everyone that anyone who spent money on a mod in the past couple of days would receive a full refund, it attempted to explain what it had been trying to do.

“Our main goals were to allow mod makers the opportunity to work on their mods full time if they wanted to, and to encourage developers to provide better support to their mod communities,” it said. Valve went on to say that it hoped the paid mods system would allow for the creation of more industry changing games like DotA, Counter-Strike and Killing Floor.

“We understand our own game’s communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating,” it said.

It did however say that it thought there was a “useful feature,” somewhere in there, so don’t rule out paid mods never making a comeback in some other guise.

For the community’s part, the general consensus in response to this news is that if Valve wants to allow paid mods, it needs to do two things: 1: make it a voluntary donation system, so mods can be ‘purchased’ for whatever amount people are willing to pay and on top of that, incorporate other modding communities like the Nexus, otherwise a paid system on just Steam had the potential to fragment communities and lead to mod stealing.

Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.

KitGuru Says: This seems like a good move from Valve and Bethesda. Would you guys be happy if they came back with a donation system instead?

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  • Gabriel MIranda

    Had they split the profit 60-40 or even 50-50 it would’ve been acceptable, but no they went with 25-75, so saying they wanted to create industry or foster modders is total bs.

  • John Bain

    A donation button is the way forward i think

  • Patrick Todd

    Want to bet future Bethesda games have zero mod support of have a strict EULA that gives them full rights? “But people buy for the m-” people bought the crap out of it on consoles. They will still make their money. The way the community clashed against this was childish and lacking perspective. The cut wasn’t right and donate should have been an option (though pay what you want was from the very start…), but this gave modders legal rights to their work, it gave them a payment system and a trusted platform. This could have ushered in a new era where modding turned legit, it was the first step and it was spit back in their faces by Nexus looking out for his subscription-based ad-supported cash cow and kids too stingy to drop a fiver on a quality work that someone spent their talents on. Valve backing down on this is disgraceful.

  • Shnurui

    it would of worked if they hadn’t borked the Mod tools, taking power PC builders out of the MOD maker options.

  • The ability to pay, as an option period would have sufficed. This means that generous and honest users can contribute to a value of it’s worth, similar to humble bundle in it’s design. Would’ve taken off better if they simply considered a more flexible, and safe approach, rather than a rigid, static retail state of mind on sales.

    Still I was for the idea, and was hoping for it to be ironed out, into a safer, and more so as I glossed over above. But this is the way of things.

  • Halosheep

    “Valve went on to say that it hoped the paid mods system would allow for
    the creation of more industry changing games like DotA, Counter-Strike
    and Killing Floor.”

    The problem here is we’re comparing two entirely different things: entire games/mods with lots of development to custom skins and models for a game that already exists. We’re not talking mods like Nehrim or Enderal, we’re talking a sword for $4.00, which is about how much I paid for CSS and the first KF.

  • Halosheep

    I agree, if the pay what you want feature featured an option for $0, I think this could have ended very differently.

  • Wolfie


  • MadDoggyca

    the bigger issues here is DOTA2, CS:go ect do have modders getting paid.. They been doing this for a long time now.. The main difference here is Valve IS paying the moders.. NOT the Users..

    This is the only acceptable way for moders to get paid… The Dev should have to pay the moders not the community.

    If the mod becomes super successful then it gets turned into a full fledge game (IE Dota2, and DayZ)

    this hole moders getting paid isn’t anything new… The way they tried to do it on steam.. That was new… and wrong, and broke, and differently not the way to do it

  • Bansaku

    When Trent Reznor released NiN’s first completely free album online with the ‘donate what you want’ option he made more money than all of his previous CD releases combined. This is not new and is called Freeware and has worked incredibly well over the years with programs such as GraphicConverter; going strong for 20 years.

    That said, adding a donate feature to mods would work incredibly well. Granted Steam should get a cut of the donations, but it has to be small like 5%. Anything greater people will simply continue to use Nexus and give the double fisted one finger salute to Steam.