Gabe Newell Responds on Steam's Paid Mods; Goal Is to "Make Modding Better;" $10,000 Earned So Far

The introduction of mod monetization on Steam's dedicated platform Steam Workshop has caused quite the discussion, enough to prompt Valve Managing Director Gabe Newell himself to sit in a coffee shop for two hours in order to answer questions and address worries of the fans in a Reddit AMA.

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Hoffmann2097d ago (Edited 2097d ago )

You realized that the modders only receive 25% of the revenue while Valve thakes the most for themselfes, right?

Genuine-User2097d ago (Edited 2097d ago )

Reddit user:

We need to get over the idea that Valve is this little game developer whose on our side, the antidote to the EA and Ubisofts of the world. They don't give a shit about gamers and are exploiting their near monopoly position in PC gaming distribution to milk us for money:

• Literally hire psychologists and economists to figure out a way to maximize its TF2 hat sales.

• Stop developing games, completely focus entirely on milking bullshit micro-transaction items and pay to win items on multiplayer games.

• Do not offer any refunds, unlike Origin.

• Create the "Early Access" monetization strategy, selling unfinished garbage based on hype, games that promise the world and offer a non-functional mess and never update after taking your money.

• Create a huge cliff hanger with HL2 episodes, then decide that since they can make so much more money selling casual gamers shitty ass DLCs like this, why ever bother creating Half Life 3? Who gives a flying fuck about PC gamers that want to finish that story and get some closure, the same PC gamers that raised Valve to its current monopoly position by installing Steam to play Half Life 2 back in 2003.

• Unlike GOG which is DRM-Free, the entire Steam exists to be yet another layer of DRM, and it doesn't even do that right as I still have to log into Rockstar Social Club to pay GTA V or Uplay to play Assassins Creed or into GLW for Batman. It doesn't act as a single point DRM, its simply yet another layer that adds another point of failure when the server is slow. They then tempt us with sales on terrible games we don't really want and will never actually play, while keeping high prices on the good games.

• Decide to make mods that gamers create into monetized assets, taking 75% of all revenue while claiming to "support modders". Also makes it so that a modder must have at least $100 sales on a mod before they can take money out, meaning a mod must sell at least $400 before a modder sees a single cent. If it sells below $400, it's all Valve's money.

This is what Valve has become.

Dark_king2097d ago (Edited 2097d ago )

Actually it seems the publisher gets most of it 40% with Valve getting 35% and the Mod creator getting 25%.


morganfell2097d ago

Tripwire just updated the EULA in KF2 blocking paid mods. That insures a day one buy for me.

edqe2097d ago (Edited 2097d ago )


"Create the "Early Access" monetization strategy, selling unfinished garbage based on hype, games that promise the world and offer a non-functional mess and never update after taking your money."

How can you blame Valve if developers are making poor games?
There are great games coming from Early Access. Support and buy them.

"Unlike GOG which is DRM-Free, the entire Steam exists to be yet another layer of DRM, and it doesn't even do that right as I still have to log into Rockstar Social Club to pay GTA V or Uplay to play Assassins Creed or into GLW for Batman."

Rockstar Social Club isn't Valve's decision. Rockstar wants to use it and Ubisoft wants to use their DRM. If you are upset about it you should whine about Rockstar and Ubisoft, not Valve. If you like DRM free games buy them from GOG.

Valve is pushing PC gaming forward more than anyone else. They give great tools for developers and of course there are people who misuses them but unfortunately that's how some people are.

morganfell2097d ago

This pic of Gabe at the Reddit QA just surfaced:

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WildArmed2097d ago

Valve is just having fun charging their cut per transactions.

People willing donate to support mods, esp the free ones.

So making a paywall doesn't really make mods better, an ability to donate directly to the modders steam account on the other hand would be awesome.

Nio-Nai2097d ago

Very few people donated so far to regular mod sites.. You think they are going to magically start now.

I'm sick of people bringing up something they never actually do.

WildArmed2097d ago


You understand that devs don't want people making money off mods on their games right?

Devs even said it's ok as long as the donation is voluntary (which is why Skyrim mods were well DONATED).

You'll be seeing this more and more thanks to this Steam update:

It's easy to not see the bigger picture when you are so focused on the issue of modders being paid. This is much bigger than just modders being paid -- it's how they are paid.

Voluntary donations were widely acceptable by devs, but any sort of commercialization (see: Paywall) has been frowned upon and actively taken action against.

morganfell2097d ago

You do understand it is mod support that insures the longevity of many games, right? The original Half Life is the poster child for mod support driving game sales years after launch. Now Valve in their greed is actually damaging that system. Time for someone other than Steam to be the PC distribution king.

Nio-Nai2097d ago


And now that devs are started to openly support people making money off mods the community is pissed they may not get free things anymore..

Which is pathetic, they are only mad because now they might have to pay for something when before they didn't, and they didn't donate.

NCAzrael2097d ago


You are so far off the mark. The modding community is about creating and sharing content. The good modders use those mods as their portfolio to get hired by developers. Look at Desert Combat, the mod for BF 1942. Completely free mod, one of the highest (if not THE highest) played mods ever. Most of that team was hired by DICE and was put to work making BF2. One of my friends used to make custom maps and models for Counter-Strike, he now works for Rockstar. Charging for mods is a disgusting practice that ruins the idea of "fan made". You don't make mods to make a living, even if your goal is to get a career in game development. You make mods to support the community for your game of choice, and maybe to show off what you can do to a potential employer.

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hiredhelp2097d ago (Edited 2097d ago )

Gabe Im sorry say this is crushing what has made one best features PCs had great MODS open free mods by modders that do this for the love enjoyment of others.
EA MS have all seen ways to exploit gamers in making money for free yes i know there not only ones.
Fact is I hope This fails and yes Valve isnt a small dev team but i much rather they create a IP instead exploiting MODS while screwing over the modders of 75% anyways.. Pointless.

You sir have come up with best idea thankyou. Donation button way of thanks

-Foxtrot2097d ago

Oh please, the goal of all this is to better themselves not mods.

I miss the old Valve

WilliamUsher2097d ago


The first step -- if they really wanted to help modders -- would be adding a donation button, plan and simple.

See what the revenue looks like when people can donate by having the big green button right next to the subscribe button.

Monitor and see what the donations look like after a time and then, if the feedback is positive and the community is willing, introduce the option for some modders to have paid modding.

They also should have done it on a ranking system. Veteran modders on Steam Workshop would have the option of turning on paid mods instead of just letting anyone do it.

This would mean that in order to gain revenue modders would have to produce quality mods that have a certain level of positive feedback (or downloads). At that point, after a certain merit-based threshold, the modder could enable paid mods, if they so choose.

As it stands, it's like the wild west and it's a copyright and community fire pit. I don't see this subsiding any time soon and there's going to be a lot of bad blood between some gamers, some modders and some game developers/publishers.

Greed kills quickly.

-Foxtrot2097d ago (Edited 2097d ago )

Completely agree

The problem is with the respect they've gotten over the years it means more people won't get involved and complain until it's too late.

This is how greed starts and for Valve there is no need. Steam makes a shit load of money yet they seem to keep doing things which will bring in more.

We've gotten so many features and developments over the recent years which only better them, not us. Fans want sequels to their favourite games instead they waste their time on shit like this.

I mean hell they have this "online" and "multiplayer" approach now with their recent games/features yet they were one of the best studios to keep single player gaming alive.

When Portal 2 came out, because of limitations on consoles, they had to cut the script of the story because they needed enough space to add the co-op story. So they cut some of the single player story to add the co-op campaign. Now because of how they do things with free DLC they could easily added the co-op a few months down the line because single player story content is not something you can easily add as DLC months late, especially when people have finished the campaign. You get what I mean they are one of the very few to do this yet they don't. They know multiplayer and co-op features will bring in more of an audience because it means more money for them but they are already rolling in it. It's understandable why other companies do it but Valve is one of those which doesn't need to

I don't no what to think of Valve anymore.

iamnsuperman2097d ago

Gabe (and Valve) have the gift of the gab. I don't see how this will benefit modding in the future. Paywalls have done nothing but stunt growth and limit creativity.

SilentNegotiator2097d ago (Edited 2097d ago )

Valve used to be the cool dev/pub that made some of the best games, offered a fair but regulated channel for developers to get their games out, and made money because they created an awesome store for gamers.

Now they have a near monopoly on PC games, make games far in between, constantly let broken games onto their store because it makes them money one way or the other, and pull stunts like this.

aliengmr2096d ago

We could put all the blame on Valve being greedy, but that ignores the consumer's part in all this. Valve wrote the code, we ultimately decide whether the option actually works. Seriously if no one buys the mods the system will fail. If it brings in less than the cost of having it, it'll fail. Valve's customer base can draw the line here.

We should probably admit that part of the anger toward this comes from the prospect that the consumer will make this successful.

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RedDeadLB2097d ago

I agree this is good for the modders because they can now get something for their hard work (those who actually worked hard on their mods).

However, this is not the way to support them. Building a pay wall in front of something is NEVER a good idea! I agree with the statement above, a donate button is a much better solution. It's a way to keep both sides happy, with modders getting rewarded for their work while still allowing everyone to experience mods for free.

Get real Valve. You're already making enough money with CS:GO and TF2 skins.

NCAzrael2097d ago

Any modder who expects to be paid for his or her work should not be making mods in the first place. Donations I can handle, but if a modder is good enough to sell his work, he should be getting a job with a game developer. Leave fan made mods in the hands of fans who just want to add to the game, not greedy little pricks who think they should be allowed to make money off the hard work of others.

Raider692097d ago

Valve its been greedy nothing more $10.000 for them ,because they recieve 75% not the other way,the modder gets 25% if the publishers let him.Mods were always free Valve ruin it for greed!

uth112097d ago

$10,000 is nothing, Valve couldn't even hire an extra employee for that.

Kevlar0092097d ago (Edited 2097d ago )

This is feeling a lot like Nintendo's Youtube program. They say it's supporting certain people and helping creators, but it's restrictive and helps the parent company more than the contributors. It's a tax where the money ends up helping someone else.

Valve doesn't even directly influence the creation of the mods. If they want to charge for modding assets then fine, but someone who creates their own mods and code should get the money. Allowing people to directly donate to creators is acceptable, but Steam should just stay out of monetizing mods. Anytime you have monetization and ownership rights things get nasty.

Between Greenlight and now profiting from mods Valve is creating a toxic environment for content creators. It's business gone awry.

uth112097d ago

This is good for the content creators, it gives them a marketplace to sell their wares should they choose. Now maybe the percentages are off, but if that's the case then modders will avoid this program.

In the Nintendo situation, don't forget that Nintendo IS the content creator and they are entitled to their royalties. Just because other companies forgo their royalties doesn't make Nintendo in the wrong, the other companies are just being generous right now because they are hoping lets plays open up new market opportunities.

endi1232097d ago

Yes but content creators get almost nothing for their hard work

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