Paid mods are now gone from the steam workshop

So for the most part, all you need to know is in the title. Paid mods are now gone from the steam workshop. You can read the official statement from Valve here


What’s more important though is the discussion that went on here. If you take a look at that link, what you’ll find is a pretty large thread in the gaming sub-reddit lead by Gabe Newell (The CEO of valve) himself. What it goes into is an intense discussion of the pros and cons of Valve’s attempt at making a system where people can pay for mods.

Praise GabeN!

And what it seems to come down to primarily is an ideological issue of copyrights. I included the “ideological” part because it isn’t quite an issue of copyright law itself, as it is an issue of trying to actually enforcing copyrights.
One of the questions that occurred to some users was the question of determining whether a mod qualifies as a derivative work or not. What would stop people from taking mods for games from websites and passing them as their own? While there are a number of changes which qualify a picture as a derivative work, a mod is significantly more complicated, and one mod will not always appear in the same form as another mod; i.e. there’s a significant difference between a mod that makes a gun look like a banana, and a mod that makes a gun shoot bananas. While the two may both be mods, they may both have very little in common.
But beyond questions of practical implementation, the main issue that arose among gamers was the basic idea of changing a system that already works well, and replacing it with something reminiscent of DLCs. Some even went as far as to say that modding is a concept that defines PC gaming as it exists now, and is one of the primary benefits it has over console gaming. For a full list of reasons, you can read this comment here. It gives a good outline of the overarching reasoning that people think paid mods are a dumb idea. And overall, I agree with them. Paid mods are a terrible idea.

In any case, GabeN in all his glory has decided to include a donate button on mod pages for people to give modders money if need be. It allows the modders to set a minimum donation if they’d like.

Praise GabeN!

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3 Responses to Paid mods are now gone from the steam workshop

  1. Bradley Keith Ragazinsky says:

    I think your post highlights the overall biggest issue with the modding controversy: Gaben played damage control and everyone immediately forgave him and Valve. The idea valve had was great. Pay modders for the work they provide. Their execution some of the worst I have ever seen. They have always had this issue, where they have little to no communication with their community. Not one word was mentioned of this or probably even tested before implementation. This is not the first time valve has released in this way, and I doubt it will be the last. Counter-Strike has had a development cycle of the same way, and it is leaving the games community in shambles by forcing them to play games filled with cheaters and people abusing the game. This whole controversy at least proved that if the community speaks loud enough that you will get results.

  2. Terry Lee Miles says:

    I believe paid mods could have been a great investment in the industry. Company’s could have had high quality additions to there games while focusing on other key aspects. The amount of revenue these mod creators made wouldn’t matter due to the fact that they were already doing these mods before they got paid. The addition to people paying for these mods would help the mod creators get the attention of studios who would be looking to hire new developers for their team.

  3. bdk5043 says:

    I think that Value should have involved the community in the original decision to provide paid mods on the Steam Workshop. There was such a huge outcry about this issue. However, this entire debacle could have been avoided if Value had asked the gaming community for its opinions on this matter beforehand and incorporated that feedback into the paid mod system.

    However, I still think that the advantages of paid mods might have outweighed their disadvantages. With paid mods, we might have seen mod making companies pop up and begin making professional quality mods for games. Although, I doubt a system like that would ever happen if gaming companies, such as Bethesda, continued allowing modders to keep only 25% of the revenue generated by their mods.

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