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Topic of the Week: Could paid mods ever work on the Steam Workshop?

Topic of the Week: Paid mods

Last night, Valve announced that it would be removing paid mods from the Skyrim Workshop. The experiment was short lived and divisive, with Valve acknowledging that they didn’t really know what they were doing. But Valve’s been working on this for at least two years, which makes it hard to believe that paid mods on the Steam Workshop are gone for good. 

So for our Topic of the Week, we want to know if you think paid mods could ever work, and if so, how? What would make you comfortable with their inclusion in the Workshop? Let us know in the comments. 

I’ll get the ball rolling.

I think that premium mods are incompatible with the philosophy of mods that’s developed thanks to decades of free content. I personally don’t care if a modder wants to sell their creations (though I’d never buy one because the lack of quality control and the likelihood of compatibility issues make them dodgy investments) but I don’t see how Valve are going to be able to sell mod users on the concept. “Here’s a thing that was once free and now costs money” is a shitty sales pitch.

The main argument for paid mods is that it supports the modders. It’s not about buying a product, but helping a creator out. In the case of the Skyrim mods, though, the modders were getting very little, while Bethesda took the biggest share, but not so big that it made any difference to them.

If it really is just about supporting the modders, then Patreon and donations seem like a much more transparent way to go about things. It might not earn a modder as much, but then it really is just about support, rather than selling something of indeterminate value.

Alright, enough from me. Do you think paid mods could ever work on the Steam Workshop?