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Valve wants to bring back paid mods eventually

Back in 2015, Valve teamed up with Bethesda to experiment with the idea of paid mods, giving modders a chance to make some cash for their work on games. However, the paid mods launch for Skyrim wasn’t handled particularly well and it was quickly drowned in controversy, leading to paid mods being shut down. However, it looks like Valve hasn’t lost faith in the idea, hinting that paid mods will eventually come back.

Valve recently held a three-hour press briefing at its headquarters, during which members of the press got to meet with developers for various projects alongside Gabe Newell himself. As PCGamer reports, during this briefing, the subject of paid mods was brought up, with Newell saying: “Modders create a lot of value, and we think that … absolutely they need to be compensated, they’re creating value and the degree to which they’re not being accurately compensated is a bug in the system, right?”

“You want to have efficient ways so that the people who are actually creating value are the people that money is flowing to”, Newell then added that “the Skyrim situation was a mess”, acknowledging that it wasn’t the right game to launch paid mods with, especially with the way Valve chose to roll it out.

So it seems that Valve is still into the idea of paid mods but after the Skyrim situation, they are being very careful about their approach to round two.

KitGuru Says: Paid mods seems like a noble idea but its success will really depend on which game it launches with and the quality of the content on offer. Skyrim’s paid mod launch contained plenty of over priced sword skins, which certainly weren’t going to win anyone over. Next time around, things would need to be quite different. 

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  • Matt Booth

    Ok, but only if publishers and valve agree to share 30%, leaving 70% for the content creators

  • spat55

    Good way Steam to kill of more of the playerbase! I for one won’t be paying for mods, I don’t mind donating but when you do this the original content normally gets stolen from the creator. I hate Steam, it has far to much monopoly over the market and is only here for DRM, it’s a decent platform but has far too much power, one day you could wake up, go onto the account to find it locked and nothing doing, you’ve just lost over £1000 of games.

    Instead of being lazy and trying to make money on mods why not start thinking about making some actual games? Be innovative again!

  • Alex Ray

    setting up a paid mods marketplace opens the whole system up to a ton of problems. prominent ones include.

    1. stolen assets. many of the mods offered by steam during their paid mod fiasco were blatantly stolen from other modders.
    2. divided community. the mod community is a very strong thing for many games. i can’t speak for all games, but for bethesda games its not uncommon for mod authors to release resource packs of their own personally created content to be freely and fairly used within other mods. paid mods would kill off much of this cooperation.
    3. quality control. mods dont always work. sometimes they’re broken, sometimes they only work by themselves, sometimes they require other mods to piggyback off of; but what consistently holds true is that user experience varies.
    4. greedy companies. at its base, a paid mod program is really just another way for steam to rake in more free money. the mod authors will see only a token amount, the rest will be taken by the original game publishers and steam.

  • Gary Keen

    They’re the leading force in the VR market and bolstering that with 3 in house VR titles. I’d say that’s pretty innovative.

    Besides it’s kind of a tough shout calling Valve out for monopolising when the Windows store is getting shut down hard by the community just for attempting to compete.

  • Matt Booth

    The issue with Windows Store, to me, is that it’s entirely unnecessary on many, many levels.

    1. Microsoft aren’t a publisher. They want to be, but they’re not. EA, Ubisoft and Valve have the PC market cornered, with HumbleBundle and GOG covering what’s left.

    2. UWP is shit, poorly supported and simply not as good as Win32, yet all Windows Store games are UWP.

    3. The Store itself is terrible. If I reformat my computer, I have to download the games again, despite all the game data being on another hard drive. EA quickly realised this was a barrier for entry, as did Ubisoft.

    Steam isn’t perfect, but Windows Store is nasty.

  • Alex Ray

    microsoft published games

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Microsoft_Studios_video_games

    valve published games

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Valve_Corporation_video_games

    saying microsoft isn’t a publisher is stupid, especially when you compare it to a company that makes all its money selling other peoples games.

    they opened their own marketplace because they want to push their xbox1 crossplay platform and they want to make it much harder for people to pirate their games. its not consumer friendly, but its driven by profit much like steam’s urge to resurrect the paid mod program.

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  • Matt Booth

    Alright, Valve are a better distributor and has the market cornered. Microsoft’s Store isn’t at all about piracy and more about having a slice of the pie on PC, but they offer sub-par experience. Mainly, UWP, which is inconsistent and performs poorly compared to Win32 titles.