Oh shit... Steam Workshop now allows mod authors to charge for them


#1

This should be a real pretty kettle of fish.

Current target: Skyrim mods. Gabe must really hate the Nexus.

And I wonder how the ubiquitous "borrowing" of mod content from other mods is going to be handled.

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#2

Will Valve get a cut of the profits made by the mod makers?


#3

This is…um. A bad idea.


#4

Why?

If the developers, publisher, content creators, and Valve all agree why not test the market?

-Todd


#5

Havent they been doing this for a while, with skins for…Dota and the shooter the kids play all the time?


#6

Probably what ends up happening is that this ends up more of a “tip” system with most opting for pay what you want, and most paying 0.

What effect this has on modding in general is an open question too. That DMCA takedown form will definitely be seeing more traffic. And always relevent to modding: http://wryemusings.com/Cathedral%20vs.%20Parlor.html.


#7

It’s completely different.

Those are manual affairs, essentially “suggestions” that Valve then must then take and implement in-game (though all the modeling/etc is done, so its probably just plug and play on their end) before selling.

Valve does nothing here other than providing the storefront.


#8

Ever play Skyrim (heavily modded)? Or Cities:Skylines (again modded)? I think the last time I played Skyrim I had 55+ mods installed, admittedly from the Nexus, but it is a far sight easier to use the Workshop.

Now have those modders charge, say, $1.00 per mod. Ouch.

If it is actually a ‘tip i you like it’ system, completely different. And the Skyrim modding community is going to implode with so many people making use of other people’s mods. If Original Modder A starts charging for their content, and Thief Modder B uses it in their mods and starts charging for it, without paying Modder A ‘royalities’.

It’s just a mess.


#9

Well it certainly will require a degree of moderation and self-restraint. Modders charging for access will not be able to use other’s work or licensed properties like Star Trek for instance. I also wouldn’t want to pay an additional ~$55 for a fully modded Skyrim, but that is why I said test the market. Some high-quality content-rich mods may be able to charge a premium, but for many the cost will fluctuate and probably decrease over time. In the long run this may not be sustainable for the vast majority, but it will be an interesting experiment. Modders being able to earn something for their labor may actually encourage higher quality stable mods or more ambitious ones like total conversions or something like [I]Falskaar[/I].

-Todd


#10

This is my only concern. Currently, a lot of mods (Skyrim and otherwise) make use of other mods’ content. There will definitely be incidents of people stealing other modder’s work and basing their for-pay mod on it. Going by what we’ve seen from Valve, I expect they won’t intervene unless shit gets explosively out of hand.

Edit: Cities: Skylines mod community will go nuts.


#11

The biggest problem is that US copyright law is already really, really shaky on this subject. Bethesda has just royally stepped in it here, because up until now, mod creators couldn’t charge for their work without facing a suit for infringing on the IP and using the assets that belong to the game and studio.

NOW, however, Eddie in East Prussia can open his own Mod Resale shop. He can undercut both Steam and whatever cut Bethesda is taking, and charge a smaller pricetag.

Steam and Bethesda can sue Eddie, but now Eddie’s got the law of precedence on his side. Bethesda’s going to have to prove their assets are a license, and that Steam isn’t just a storefront.

That sounds like not much fun.

Fair use laws in Europe are going to giggle at any attempts to shut down third party sites that also sell Skyrim mods.


#12

Not quite sure I see that scenario playing out. If Eddie in East Prussia is reselling mods or assets I am sure the target demographic can get them freely off of torrents or pirate sites. I might be wrong, but I don’t exactly see a gray/black market cropping up that fits somewhere between Steam’s official market and the pirating community.

-Todd


#13

Also, mod incompatibility will also be more of a shitshow if mods people paid for don’t work together. And this is Skyrim, it may not make itself obvious for dozens of hours of playtime (well past the 24h refund window) before destroying a save.

All in all I don’t find the idea of a developer allowing for modders to monetize their work problematic. It’s just that doing so opens such a can of worms of drama (both legal and the more standard internet bitchfests) and corner cases that it simply may not be worth it, and that the optimal course (from a developer POV) is the status quo - disallow monetization of mods.

See also: Minecraft.

EDIT: Also…someone probably WILL try to hoover up the more liberally “licensed” mods and attempt to resell them.


#14

Yes. Mod makers only get 25%.


#15

I wonder who will be the first to sell some horse armor.


#16

They’re already going up. $.99 for some single weapons to $5.99 for the Midas Magic mod. $3.50 for a ‘fiery’ heavy armor and greatsword mod.

Um, no. Stop.


#17

Yep, how long until we see mod packages sold?

But…Antediluvian Ark assures us, it’s going to be no problem.

Nothing but blue skies and smooth sailing ahead on this idea!


#18

So what happens to mods that were subscribed to before they had a price attached?


#19

Great.

Idea.


#20

Enchantment!