Valve open to the idea of modders charging for their mods; considering how to distribute films made in Source Filmmaker


With the Steam Workshop, Greenlight, the Source Filmmaker and the billing controls built into Steam already, Valve have all the plumbing in place to effect a major change within PC gaming: to allow amateur creators to charge for their work. They’ve already taken some steps towards that with the community workshop for Team Fortress 2 and DOTA 2, but we asked Valve’s Jason Holtman if they’d be willing to go further in providing a platform for modders to charge for their work.

He was open to the idea, with caveats. Valve are still in the early stages of working within the Steam Workshop, and there’s a lot of learning to be done.

“All the models that could be around the Steam Workshop are still emerging,” says Jason. “Each game we bring out changes it a little bit. Like, Skyrim changed what we did. It was the first time you could go in and actually upload and download directly.”

But, certainly, there is the potential there. “I could see making that connection, but I don’t quite know what demand looks like. I think it depends on the game. People are going to look at it and think ‘free money,’ but I also understand why they want to sell it. I think each new game, be it big or small, is going to teach us more.”

Meanwhile, there’s a slightly more pressing question. With the Source Filmmaker, Valve have given gamers a superb tool to cut and create short and long films using in-game assets. Creators can do what they like with the films made with the tool as long as they don’t use Valve’s assets. So; an obvious question: will Valve help by putting the films on Steam?

“We may,” replies Jason. “It depends on what customers ask for, and what we can be good at it. Maybe it comes through Workshop and maybe it comes through store. We don’t know, but definitely.”