What developers and Steam users think about paid mods on the Steam Workshop

What developers and Steam users think about paid mods on the Steam Workshop

Valve introduced paid mods into the Steam Workshop today, and the move has already proved to be, unsurprisingly, rather divisive among developers and Steam Workshop users. And of course there’s been the usual melodrama and threatening behaviour, because this is the internet and it’s driven people mad.

Rust and Garry’s Mod designer Garry Newman reckons that it’s just capitalism in action.

While Simon Roth, creator of Maia, the offworld colony management game, is less impressed.

Mohawk Games’ Soren Johnson and Campo Santo’s Jake Rodkin are more interested in how much money Valve will be making out of this. 

And Notch thinks it’s “neato”.

Leaving Twitter behind, we head into the darkness, the now rage-infested warrens of the Steam Workshop comments section. 

Commenters who are copying and pasting this make up most of the comments: 

“The Steam Community is about sharing your work.
Have good ideas and help to improve each other.
That makes us diffrent of the gaming companies.
>>>> Post this on every and each paid mod you see in steam <<<<
Because we don't wan't to let steam end up in a
greed for money- gaming platform
Make Valve add a "donate" option instead!”

I’m fairly appalled that not one single commenter took a moment to fix the typos. What a world!

There are some good points being made amid the copy and paste jobs and commenters flipping the bird at DLC, however. 

One user in the Wet and Cold mod comments notes that it uses other mods, which is pretty common. Countless mods use, with permission, parts of other mods or user-created tools which are required to make them work. Will those modders be receiving a cut? 

It's worth noting, as well, that Steam Workshop is far from the only place where you can get mods for Steam games. Most Skyrim mods, for example, are featured on both Steam Workshop and Nexus Mods. Will the modders be removing the mods from the Skyrim Nexus? At the moment, they are still there, for free. 

Others seem content with the changes, seeing it as paying a modder for their hard work.

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Lord Bones avatarTovias avatarajt09 avatarUntoldAv3nGer avatarQDP2 avatarJenks avatar+9
QDP2 Avatar
809
QDP2(15 hours played)
2 Years ago

Sorry, isn't there already an option for modders to chose "pay what you want" (i.e. donate button)? I get people are angry that mods is no longer a flat free community, but surely people would look into the topic before they start complaining..

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Lord Bones Avatar
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Lord Bones(5 days 4 hours played)
2 Years ago

Pay what you want?

You can't pay 0. There is a minimum payment to be made.

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QDP2 Avatar
809
QDP2(15 hours played)
2 Years ago

That's because the mod producers chose that payment method.

Quoting the previous article, "The price of a premium mod will be up to its creator, and modders will be able to use a pay what you want model, too."

Source: http://www.pcgamesn.com/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim/valve-introduces-paid-mods-into-the-steam-workshop

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Lord Bones Avatar
10
Lord Bones(5 days 4 hours played)
2 Years ago

But it is not a donation in any way. Especially as the developer only gets 25%

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Tovias Avatar
1024
Tovias replied to Lord Bones
2 Years ago

Any of that money goes outside Steam's little sandbox? Or they are only getting fill for their steam wallets?

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ajt09 Avatar
45
ajt09(22 hours played)
2 Years ago

I think this is a bad idea tbh. I don't begrudge giving modders something in return-there are some truly awesome mods out there that deserve something in return, for making some games like Oblivion and Skyrim so much better. But it's a bad, bad system that's going to be exploitable. People who have poured such hard work into a hobby they love to improve a game, share their work with fellow gamers....only to see either a) someone else downloading it and selling it as there own and b) only getting 25% cut? Surely a donations tab would have been better? If you make a game changing mod, which makes a game x2 as good as it was originally, release it for free only to see someone else getting credit for it....yeah.... I really hope Valve have a foolproof way to confirm the real author for each mod. And to only give 25% cut to a mods author, that has vastly improved a game for millions for all that work......it stinks. Valve have dropped the ball in this one and need to rethink it before a lot of great modders get screwed over. I don't dislike the modders for this. I dislike Valve for they way they've done this and I don't say things like that very often at all, as I'm a major fan of Steam/Valve.

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Zennethe Avatar
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Zennethe(71 days 17 hours played)
2 Years ago

This is... there's already a stolen mod on there. This system has and will be exploited.

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Jenks Avatar
308
2 Years ago

"The Steam Community is about sharing your work," said someone who probably never created or shared anything on Steam and happily consumes the labor of others for their own entertainment without paying a penny back.

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subedii Avatar
752
2 Years ago

I don't have any issues if a mod maker wants to make some money off of something they took time and effort to make.

.

Will I buy? Depends if it's good or not. The dude that lost his job when Maxis went belly up and then started making mods for Cities: Skylines seems to be doing OK for himself so far, and that's off Patreon and the premise that people pay him before even knowing what he's going to put out next. I could imagine him getting more through by putting individual items on sale that people can take ore leave.

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He also made a fairly relevant point during a recent interview, in that him being paid for these mods basically meant he spends a lot more time and effort on them to make sure people get value from them, and that he can _afford_ to do so specifically because he's being paid.

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Tovias Avatar
1024
2 Years ago

Those scenarios are quite different tho, a Patreon is people paying someone at the end of each month money so he can keep doing whatever they are paying him for, like with the SimCity guy, he is getting pay to make new models for buildings, it's something close to a salary for his work. This whole mess with steam is different becaus you are paying for a single product, you are not paying the modder so he can keep working on it or so he can keep doing more mods, no, you are giving him money for that one mod, a mod that he could easily just drop the next day when you can't get a refund, or a mod that could easily take a turn you dislike, something that happens pretty often in mods.

And this is ignoring that A LOT of mods depends on the works of different parts of the community, things like FNIS, SKSE, SkyUI, etc. What about them? Are they gonna get the axe? Are they gonna get a cut from that piss poor 70%?

It's not the same situation ya know?

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subedii Avatar
752
2 Years ago

Actually no. The Patreon is a subscription that is paid per building. And as I said, the people paying don't even know what they'll be getting for that money or whether they'd want it when the next item comes out (short of the dev previewing it during development, but that's not the same as a completed item to try).

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You can also stop your Patreon support at any point, but by that stage you've already paid.

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Tovias Avatar
1024
2 Years ago

You are right, I confused the Patreon mode some people use where they get monthly paid.

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DiGiTaL CLeaNeR Avatar
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DiGiTaL CLeaNeR(74 days 20 hours played)
2 Years ago

When you have an existing mod that has been around for over 2 years with over 50,000 subscribers it would be unfair to start charging without a warning. Why? Because they not only will lose all the stuff stored in the mod, their saves will become corrupted. Incase people don't know it, Skrim takes a snapshot of all scripts, objects, meshes when you make a save. So if someone puts their mod "pay to play" then it gets yanked off of their Skyrim mods list! This will cause major issues for the former sub.

So, I won't be making my existing mods a "paid" mod. Even though I don't know my subs personally, I love them, and it shows in all the time I take to build FAQs and answer questions promptly.

However, I feel valve's offer is a great one. We mod authors spend 100's of tedious hours learning, creating, debugging and then supporting our subscribers. In my eyes it is a wonderful thing that Valve and Bethesda finally give back to its authors, if not only for hosting but for monetary gains.

Thank you Valve and Bethesda for knowing how hard we work and showing your appreciation and for giving us the chance Gary had with his mods.

Again I'd like to iterate that I feel only new mods should try the pay option for the reasons I stated above about corrupted saves. Other than that no harm comes from this. If you don't want to pay for the mod, then make your own mod privately and move on your way. The community should support mod authors that put in the work. After all, if the mod is garbage you can just opt out within the allotted 24 hours.Everyone wins here. I don't see what all the crying is about, honestly.

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Lord Bones Avatar
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Lord Bones(5 days 4 hours played)
2 Years ago

"Will the modders be removing the mods from the Skyrim Nexus? At the moment, they are still there, for free."

That has already happend.

iNeed, Wet and Cold and Midas Magic Gold have made updates that are only available on the Steam workshop behind paywalls.

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Tovias Avatar
1024
2 Years ago

lmao 5 bucks for W&C.

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Zennethe Avatar
2
Zennethe(71 days 17 hours played)
2 Years ago

W&C stole assets from Frostfall too! Damn ingrates.

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Longkatt Avatar
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Longkatt(5 days 3 hours played)
2 Years ago

I see nothing wrong in this really. Everyone seems to be up in arms around the 25% cut however I think its actually quite good. Bearing in mind all server hosting distribution and such is handled by Valve, which is not negligible, and that there making content for non-valve games most likely incurring charges by those 3rd party publishers. Plus not all mods use only there own work, many rely on assets and such already found in game which are the property of said third party, incurring IP problems if the publisher wished. 25% is actually a very reasonable cut indeed.

The problem of stolen authorship will most likely only create fringe cases which can be delt with.

Are they refundable as if not I can see a problem with scammers or shit mods making sales before there is a good set of reviews for them.

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subedii Avatar
752
2 Years ago

From doing a little reading, it appears the 25% may be a Bethesda thing.

.

https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/workshoplegalagreement/?appid=72850

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"The percentage of Adjusted Gross Revenue that you are entitled to receive will be determined by the developer/publisher of the Application associated with the Workshop to which you have submitted your Contribution (“Publisher”), and will be described on the applicable Workshop page."

.

Things become fairly complicated here, way more than most people seem to be characterising it (largely in terms of "good" and "evil" for some reason). The problems start because well...

.

They haven't made the game, they haven't made the engine, they haven't made the mod tools, they're probably making use of a tonne of existing assets (and features) from that game, they haven't made the community that now exists to buy the mod... I mean that's all the original devs. Then of course, they haven't made the marketplace, they haven't made the infrastructure to seamlessly and transparently integrate their work with the title, they haven't put up their own hosting or bandwidth...

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But then I think that becomes a bit more problematic as the mod becomes more and more ambitious. I mean DOTA for example was responsible for keeping sales of Warcraft 3 going and effectively spawned an entire genre.

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But then that was technically all done for free regardless and those guys either started their own companies or went on to work for some serious big hitters,

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In general, the whole issue of how much value someone is adding VS. how much of the original base product needed to be present for their mod to even be _a thing_ is something way beyond nebulous for me to get my head around.

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Tovias Avatar
1024
2 Years ago

24 Hours refund policy. I am sure you are aware how extremely volatile is the Skyrim engine and that an update for one mod or third person aplication can easily fuck over your game. Or worse, what if a modder stops support for his mod?

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Longkatt Avatar
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Longkatt(5 days 3 hours played)
2 Years ago

Those are true, but as I see it shitty mods wont sell. If it breaks games then it will have problems getting good reviews and making sales or keeping them. As for "what if they stop support?" they might, and you might go out of pocket, but if its earning them money then they have a far better incentive to support it long term don't they? Better than mods do now, also they have a better incentive to make sure it dosn't break the game unlike now when people don't really worry if it runs for them.

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warrantgames Avatar
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warrantgames(19 days 1 hour played)
2 Years ago

So, a lot of the nexus modders are taking their stuff down.

Only to put it up on workshop for 4.99.

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Tovias Avatar
1024
2 Years ago

It's not even finished mods, the fishing one is stated as an early access mod, what the fuck.

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KeefBaker Avatar
392
KeefBaker(6 days 11 hours played)
2 Years ago

Ok.... Two things can happen here...

1) Bob makes a rubbish sword for £5... nobody buys it.. fail...

2) Dave and frank have spent two years crafting what is essentially a full on expansion pack and now charge £2.50 for it, releasing a free cut down version as well so people can upgrade if they want to. They make money from it, possibly enough to warrant them working on more stuff.

With the mod developers being how they are I think we're likely to see primarily free content still, but I also think we'll see some people having a go at first, and it'll take them a while to realize their crappy sword isn't worth £5

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Tovias Avatar
1024
2 Years ago

You have to be delusional if you believe Nexus won't be rotting in a matter of years is this keeps going, people will go for the money. Let's hope that SKSE guy can shut this shit down before he even gets eaten by the greed as well.

What a terrible time to play video games.

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UntoldAv3nGer Avatar
399
UntoldAv3nGer(11 days 6 hours played)
2 Years ago

What a disaster... literally. Some famous modders are under fire because of their greed, and people are spamming the comments without abandon. I would advise not getting involved in it XD

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unwanted Avatar
773
unwanted(15 hours played)
2 Years ago

I agree with all of this. And it won't get any better anytime soon.

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Shriven Avatar
3449
Shriven(8 days 18 hours played)
2 Years ago

Oh...dear...

Only issue i have is retro actively applying the paid stuff. New games? Sure.

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Tovias Avatar
1024
2 Years ago

What about the weight this will have with Bethesda's future titles? They were already lazy with modding around because they were certain the community would keep their game alive, now that they get money for mods, god damn, they will release a corpse and throw the modders some bits of skin.

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TsunamiWombat Avatar
626
TsunamiWombat(8 days 7 hours played)
2 Years ago

Heart in the right place, Valve, but you just oepened a huge can of worms.

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