Mods for Money is DLC for Money

So Steam is making it so people can now charge money for the game mods they create, and it’s started with Skyrim. Of course gamers all over the globe are up in arms about this because, as usual, they feel they shouldn’t have to pay money for this type of service. Gamers in general hate paying money for anything and always seem to feel like they’re owed something for nothing. Unfortunately, that’s not how the world works, and the world of video games is no different.

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magiciandude1060d ago

It's a fair idea IMO. Modders deserve to be rewarded for investing potentially hundreds or thousands of hours creating something they're willing to let the average gamer enjoy. Time is money, as the saying goes.

mydyingparadiselost1060d ago

To be fair though, this deal with the modders isn't for the people making mods but for Steam to make money for allowing you the privilege of buying these mods. Steam takes massive amounts of the profits from these purchases and leaves the creators with leftovers. I think there's some room for finding ways of getting modders paid, but this is definitely not it.

MeteorPanda1060d ago

the thing is modders also have a donate button. The thing steam is currently setting up is basically 25% for steam, 45% for the games developers...and the scraps for the modder so what, you think a $2 mod is going to be incentive for a modder?? It probably wont..

So at the end all this helps is steam and the games developer who don't have to do jack

deathtok1060d ago

Economics 101...

Yesterday that modder made $0.

Now they can make something... $2 x a million units IS a big deal.

Remember Counter Strike started as a mod.

pompombrum1060d ago

Haven't looked into it much but I'm supportive of the idea of modders being rewarded for their work but seriously, they get just a 30% cut from the work they've done? Yeah I won't support that.

morganfell1060d ago

someone else posted this


People who claim to "not understand" the backlash are either being cute in an attempt to make a point or are blessed with an incredibly short memory. Much of what now costs money in gaming used to be just a part of the experience. Some monetization is to be expected, but if you can look at the state of DLC, paying for the privilege of playing your games online and companies creating more and more vectors for DLC injection and be happy with the situation, I don't know what to say.

PC and mods have gone hand in hand since day 1. Mods have fixed broken games that have become known as the best the platform has to offer, from Arcanum to Baldur's Gate II to Oblivion. Bethesda allowing this for their games is particularly abhorrent, as much of the enjoyment out of every single one of their games has come from the long shelf life provided by modders.

Modders like Oscura have made careers out of their abilities and naturally formed fanbases. OOO saved Oblivion and Bethesda hired him. Very often, modders like him would create things that would be much better than anything the base team could come up with.

Just as often, though, they would create something that would break your game and you'd have to either uninstall or fix it. But hey, they were free, so no worries. Now, unlike say, DLC on XBL, there is no quality control and a price tag. Valve cannot reasonably test every mod that goes up for sale. But they can still make money off allowing the sales of broken mods through their service.

If you're still "confused" as to what the big deal is, Valve has essentially set up an easily abused system of monetization, with no possibility of oversight, no possible repercussions for people selling broken mods and no actual benefit to the end user. Combine that with their legendarily bad customer service, the immediate censorship that took place following the decision and the fact that this flies in the face of the very heart and soul of PC gaming as it has always stood, and maybe some of the "confusion" will start to fade.

Ironthighs1060d ago (Edited 1060d ago )

I'd really like to reply to Morganfell's reply to you:

Where is everybody's complaining stemming from? Gabe and Valve giving modders the opportunity to sell their mod? That doesn't make sense because they're not forcing anyone to buy a mod and mods can still be free. So is it the game developer? Hmm, well no, I guess not because they are just creating an entire base game and allowing it to be modded still at no charge to anybody (giving modders the ability to gain reputation and start their careers, as you say). Well who is left?

Oh, I guess the modder is left. Is that where the complaining stems from? I guess they are the ones who make the mod and trends show that the quality is variable. Yeah, yikes! It kinda sounds like if you buy a piece of crap, you didn't take enough time to inspect the product. If the product is good then surely the modder should be supported for their work, as well as the people that made it possible for the modder to even do that work. Okay, well I think we're finding the source of the whining now. But come on, there's more right?

Oh, I guess the modder is the one who determines whether to sell their mod or not. Hmmm...well if modders are these pure and great people that agree with your holistic view of "PC and modding" then this shouldn't be a problem right? Oh! I get it! You and all the other whining gamers are afraid of the fact that the modders will now charge for their mods making you pay money or possibly missing out on a mod.

I think we found the source of the complaining: People are afraid modders are going to start charging for their mods. Instead of getting angry at the modders when they charge for their mods and letting their money talk, people are getting angry at the distributor for giving content creators the OPTION of selling their content.

It's not that modding has been a part of PC history for ever and now they're ruining it. It's that you've been getting a free ride for this long and now they're trying to finally make a little profit from all the kickbacks they're not getting when someone uses their game to launch their career.

morganfell1060d ago

A free ride? Ahahahaha! Ridiculous. Mods in the past were never about money unless some modder was attempting to garner a studio's attention. There is no free ride when something was freely given. What a ridiculous remark. Absurd really. Studios have been getting a free ride if anyone because modders extended the life and viability of their game. I do not see you attempting to vilify them. You are being a corporate shill.

And you are naive as well because you do not see where this is heading. It is sliding to the place where every mod, regardless of what the modder desires, must be paid for in cash. Valve is absolutely stupid for not seeing they have opened Pandora's Box.

You yourself are completely missing the entire point of the individual's comments I posted. This is indeed a slippery slope. Then again, why bother with you. You are one of those persons that can only see a day or two in front of them. The same people said there was no concern when the first piece of paid DLC surfaced and now look where we are.

Ironthighs1059d ago


Hey, how about trying to calm down? You're calling me names, trying to berate me, acting like you know what I'm all about, etc when really, you know nothing about me. However, I do know that you're a whiner. Valve gives people the option to charge money for their mods? You whined. When I disagreed with you? You whined. Try to stop whining, develop a cogent argument, and deliver it.

That said, it is my opinion that it is actually you that does not understand what *I* am saying. The "free ride" is the fact that modders haven't had to pay to use a company's product in a way unintended. Yes, some developers support modding, and that's fine. However, there never really has been a way for people to make money from the people that use THEIR PRODUCT to make mods.

And anyways, like I said: Valve is simply providing the option to sell mods. Why would anyone get angry at Valve for doing that? It's not like modders haven't already tried selling their mods. Valve is just implementing an infrastructure to allow modders to do it easily.

Who is really killing the whole idea that mods should be free? Valve? No. Game developers? No. Modders? Yes. Modders will decide to charge for their mods because they will think "Why shouldn't I get paid if people like my mod so much?" And I think deep down you know this is true and just. However, I think that once we get past the unjustified, baseless ideals you and all the anti-"corporate shills" have, it all comes down to people who just don't want to have to pay money to support content creators.

Anyways, good luck on improving the way you deliver your opinions. I'm finished with this.

morganfell1056d ago

If you think the word naive equates to name calling then perhaps you should go back to school and stay in class this time.

Or you can simply look up the definition of the word naive: "...showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment." Those latter 3 qualities you handily demonstrate, hence naive.

I am hardly the whiner. I am not the one crying under the false assumption someone called me names. What's next? I pulled your hair too? Took your lunch money?

Your words:

"The "free ride" is the fact that modders haven't had to pay to use a company's product in a way unintended."

What? Unintended? It wasn't intended for Skyrim to be modded? How is it possible Skyrim wasn't intended to be modded?

You do realize the charges at Steam were for Skyrim Mods, right?. You know, the game that released a full blown mod kit...for modding. You know that, right? No company in the last 10 years has released such a fully featured mod kit for their game. You know that, right? Actually, it wasn't a mod kit but rather a tool kit as used by the devs to build the actual levels for Skyrim. You know that, right? And then they released 10 of these videos:

You knew that, right? Modding Skyrim was FULLY INTENDED.

Facts are stubborn things, wouldn't you agree?

"Why would anyone get angry at Valve for doing that?"

There is that naive issue again. 99% of the people in the gaming community can see where this would lead. 1% cannot. 1% lacks foresight. Enjoy your time with the 1%. Like everything else it would lead to more and more charges. Anyone could understand this but it is obvious you did not bother to read the opinions of the majority. Nor did you visit the Reddit discussion with Ser Gabe.

Modders could always charge for their mods. They just could not previously do so on Steam or at Nexus. They were completely free to set up their own site and charge. Oh wait, they couldn't do that without corporations being the ones that actually made the decision. See how that works? It wasn't the modders pushing for money. And just who recieved the majority of funding from the mod costs?

Modder - 25%
Steam - 30%
IP Owner - 45%

Yeah, some modder said I will give myself the least amount. Apparently in your world modders wanted the money so bad they took the smallest cut. No, just no.

The ideas a few people like me have? Who won on the issue, besides gamers? Who won? This group called the majority triumphed. The majority of which you are not a member. But then again everyone else is wrong and the 1% is right. Ha ha

Anyways, good luck with the way you attempt to ignore the facts in order to voice some naive opinion. You certainly are finished.

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1060d ago Replies(1)
Hoffmann1060d ago

Are community bloggers and reviewers on N4G, Gamespot, Destructoid, Gamefaqs also deserving money now for their hobby contributions? What about wikipedia article editors, fan art artists and fanfiction writers that used many hours to create something for others?

Mods were a pure hobby just like the ton of other contributions we gamers like to do in so many different forms. It was good they were a pure hobby.

Ironthighs1059d ago

If it's pure hobby and that's how the modders feel about it, then they won't have a problem exercising their option to not charge for their mod. Where's the problem?

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1056d ago
MeteorPanda1060d ago

I don't think mods should be forced paywalls. Think about it; a DLC is officially supported by the games developers and comes with bug fixes and support...A mod has none of that and mods may or may not work with others, may f up the actual game, etc.

Mods are not the same thing as a games official DLC and paying for such a gimmick is not right, donate if you love it so much

iSuperSaiyanGod1060d ago

So people should give away they're stuff for free? If they can make money off it more power too them . Personally I would too . Nobody is in titled to anything . I can't stand when people think that . You don't have to buy the paid dlc , games mods , games ect . Go download a free one or a buy a different game . Why should stuff be free when they worked hard to get nothing back

MeteorPanda1060d ago

You'd pay for something that could wreck your game?

There would be no quality control or regulations on what mods should be worth...

Some mods are not worth even downloading...not all mods are skyrim 'build your own house' and have pornstar companions you know.

There is a donate button for modders, l've donated so much over the years for old game mods XD

iSuperSaiyanGod1060d ago

Then don't buy it . If I like it then yes . Nobody is making your purchase it , why don't you people understand that . Not everything in this world is meant for everybody . Not everything in this world is free or ment to be .

ArcticWolfUK1060d ago

It's down to the person who builds the mod whether to release it for free or not but if they had the incentive of earning money im sure we'll get bigger and better mods which could be a good thing.

Omnisonne1060d ago (Edited 1060d ago )

I wouldnt be too sure of that

Wherever there is a coin to be made there will be people trying to rip you off somehow, or just sell half assed products.

Imagine this:
Some dude is selling his new mod claiming it adds a ton of new content, upgraded visuals, quests, you name it.

You, as a lifelong fan of the respective game goes and buy it. Then after one hour or so playing the mod your game crashes due to a serious problem with the mod.

You try contact the modder and ask whats up, but no response. He might not have the time to fix it, the know-how to make a proper working mod or he simply just wanted a quick buck from the few hundreds/thousands that fell for it.
(assuming word will spread that this mod is no good)

Edit: You could be extra careful what mods to buy ofcourse, but this kind of stuff is bound to happen

Somebody1060d ago

I see this paid mod scheme more as unofficial micro-transaction items instead of DLCs. DLCs are stuff that game devs have planned from the start while mods are just random stuff that modders think might be cool.

Valve is technically by-passing the DLC scheme(not many will react positively to Day One DLCs and Season Passes) into the potentially much more lucrative, constant mods(as micro-transaction content). They have dabbled in this with their TF2 and DOTA games where they made millions from unofficial 3D artists making vanity items for those games and now they are extending this scheme to regular modders of other games.

Of course there will a lot of negatives but there will also be positives that will always get lost in the rage. Just remember that six months ago the Steam Store page was riddled with stupid old games that a lot of small devs dumped into it but that all changed when curators, user reviews and ratings were introduced. A similar thing will happen to the paid mods scheme where it will face a lot of problems in the early days but gradually it will find a middle ground.

SnakeCQC1060d ago

Horse armour for exchange for money

Roccetarius1060d ago

Time to thank Bethesda for that mess, huh? Not to mention what they're doing to mods right now.

SnakeCQC1060d ago

I just wrote it because i thought it was funny but imho valve seems greedier than bethesda and apparently it was only bethesda who wanted to give the creators the 25%. I blame valve more because beyond the whole 75% they also are censoring donation info for creators etc.

Roccetarius1060d ago

Hmm, i wonder how many console users are thinking this is a great idea, while lacking the foresight to see where this is going. Now we'll see things such as branding free mods as Piracy, while good old Publishers smell a new revenue stream to take advantage of.

SnakeCQC1060d ago

It's valve fanboys defending it if anything and console players don't really care whats happening. Also nexus mods is a much better place for mods imho.

Rachel_Alucard1060d ago

Free mods for 22 years
Made from passion rather than a paycheck
Suddenly have to start paying for some
No longer made from passion anymore

You see where this is heading?

thricetold1060d ago

I see passionate people finally getting guaranteed compensation for their passion instead of relying solely on the kindness of others to donate.

Isn't it up to the individual modders? Time will tell how they feel about it. 25% might not seem like much and maybe valves greed does play a factor, but compare that to music artists who a lot of times get as little as 15% of album sales.

Free for 22 years? Not long enough? To infinity and beyond? Everyone should be allowed guaranteed compensation for their hard work, regardless of how passionate they are about that work. For every one person that donates ten do not, because free is always better than paying for something, no matter how much you enjoy it.

Rachel_Alucard1060d ago

We need to stop using the amount of downloads as a measuring stick to determine how much someone should get. If 10 people donate out of 100 people the creator still gets 100% of it as opposed to a 25% cut, much lower download numbers, and most important loss of respect from a ton of people.

If valve backs out of this now anyone who uploaded to the paid workshop will still have their reputation in ruins and penniless. The entire design of this whole thing requires sacrificing your invaluable reputation, dignity, and respect all for a few hundred bucks. Definitely not the smartest thing to invest in.

thricetold1059d ago

Loss of respect from individuals who only do so because they are getting free content? Not quite sure how much I value those individuals respect over paying my bills. I think my dignity will be fine knowing that those few hundred dollars will help keep the lights on.

Instead of working some regular job to pay the bills and making mods in their free time modders can quit that crappy job and spend more time doing what they're passionate about with guaranteed compensation.

If we are not going to look at total downloads, what are we to use? Thumbs up? Likes? No, if 100 people thought it was worth downloading for free yet won't pay for the same quality their respect has little value.

People need to stop hiding behind false pretenses simply because they feel entitled to free content. Modders wouldn't have to hope for studios to hire them, could remain independent from studios and continue delivering awesome content without outside interference with something like this in effect.

How much time have you sacrificed creating mods that you are totally ok with zero compensation besides a pat on the back or a generic good job?

Rachel_Alucard1059d ago (Edited 1059d ago )

For the many years modding has been around, it has always been free with their only motivation being to make the game they loved even better. This allowed talented, and passionate gamers to learn and improve their skills in game development. Motivating with money brings out the worst in people especially if handled incorrectly, this being one such case.
(see link:

Now the worst people are flocking to become "modders" and self-righteous silver spoons who's life was probably all about money or self-entitled gutter trash trying to get dollars. This has already split the modding community in 2, and this wouldn't have been an issue if corporate suits weren't after effortless money.

A far more suitable approach would have been to allow support through donations easily via steam (probably granting everyone more money in the process as a lot more people would be willing to donate $10 dollars for something they truly appreciate over paying a mandatory $3 dollars for something that might be a piece of shit), encouraging those who actually put thought and effort into their projects and weening out all the garbage trying to make a quick buck.

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