That Was Quick: Paid Mods on Steam Now Dead

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

That Was Quick: Paid Mods on Steam Now Dead

The idea of paid mods on Steam was one that left a lot of division in its wake. While most everyone liked the thought of modders being able to take some payment for their hard work, the scheme as envisioned just didn't work out so well. Indeed, it worked out so poorly that Valve announced that paid mods on Steam were now a thing of the past, and those who already bought in will get refunds.

Valve pled a kind of ignorance in explaining why the move was shut down after just a few days, saying that "'s clear we didn't understand exactly what we were doing." Indeed, Valve noted that it had offered several features in recent years designed to let creators get a piece of the action, but as Valve elaborated "It's obvious now that this case is different."

Valve's stated motives here appeared to be for the best, as Valve noted that it wanted more mods available in the community, and wanted such a thing to "...happen organically for any mod maker who wanted to take a shot at it." Bethesda, meanwhile, said something similar, suggesting the move was launched with "...the best intentions...", it was clear that the community wasn't happy with the move.

Indeed, the move was problematic on several fronts. Some were outright displeased with the idea of having to pay for something that was free, which is a pretty standard reaction from a certain part of the population. Others were a bit disturbed by the percentages of the take, with the modder actually getting just 25 percent of the cash involved and Bethesda and Valve splitting the remainder.

This is a particularly sticky point here, as it doesn't seem like either Valve or Bethesda have considered the value that the modder community brings to the table yet receives no compensation for as is. Modders keep old games fresh; for all of Bethesda's protestation that the gaming community's support is invaluable to it, Bethesda's been sitting on the news of new product releases for some time now, particularly in the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. Mods, meanwhile, help give these old games new life, and considering that Skyrim is now approaching four years old, and Fallout: New Vegas is closing on its fifth birthday, both titles should be grateful for new life. That's where modders are providing real value, not to mention the fact that modders are drawing users to Steam. Really, both Bethesda and Valve should be paying modders for bringing traffic to old properties and the site alike, not taking most of the profit from mods sold.

It wasn't a bad idea, necessarily; modders have to eat too, and if they're not working day jobs they can make more mods that we can play and enjoy. But the execution didn't exactly come off without a hitch, and this is an idea that might be better expressed later on.

Featured Events