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


Well only courts will decide that for sure and one side is already flush with cash, about to be flusher.


I am a fan of solving problems, so I am going to talk about how to solve this.

Mods and Paid Mods are completely different animals. The solution to this is segregation, I think.

Make so people that don’t want to see paid mods don’t have to see paid mods. Separate the two animals in different places.

Then theres something to do against Sholvelware. Shovelware and opportunist are stupid and disgusting.

Mods that describe themselves as advertisement for premium mods should not be tolerated. Having the free section filled with advertisements will reduce his quality. No free mod should be allowed to exist only to promote a paid mod.

Mods should be entirely be made by the people selling them. Not allowing “free stuff” on them, except if you have explicit permisions to have these things in your paid mod. This is stop any case where people is selling A+B where A is small and B is a free thing included withouth permision.

Some type of filter before they are allowed to sell. It can be a Valve filter, it can be community made, it can be both.

Bethesda or Valve should have the possibility to “like” a mod so much that they change the 25 for the author / 75 for the platform to a more reasonable one. Something that is more like a expansion deserve way more than 25% for their work.


  • Segregate paid mods in their own not-default tab. So are easy to ignore.
  • Curate the paid mods
  • No free components allowed in paid mods. permissions to use stuff must be explicit
  • More fair profit division for mods that are huge and deserve it


So this thread already had mentions to Nazism, Ayn Rand, slavery, the American Civil War, and segregation. Time to move it to P&R or something? :)


Ha! In 2012 this guy was on it!


Tyler Wilde at PC Gamer wrote a pretty good even-keeled editorial on this.

Doesn’t even have godawful art MSPainted onto it for no discernable reason ;)


The kids on Reddit /chan love that stuff.


And free stuff! Boy, do they love free stuff.


I agree with that article, but I expect that the reality will be more negative than positive.


Bethesda responds:

Many have questioned the split of the revenue, and we agree this is where it gets debatable. We’re not suggesting it’s perfect, but we can tell you how it was arrived at.

First Valve gets 30%. This is standard across all digital distributions services and we think Valve deserves this. No debate for us there.

The remaining is split 25% to the modder and 45% to us. We ultimately decide this percentage, not Valve.

Is this the right split? There are valid arguments for it being more, less, or the same. It is the current industry standard, having been successful in both paid and free games. After much consultation and research with Valve, we decided it’s the best place to start.

Some are concerned that this whole thing is leading to a world where mods are tied to one system, DRM’d and not allowed to be freely accessed. That is the exact opposite of what we stand for. Not only do we want more mods, easier to access, we’re anti-DRM as far as we can be. Most people don’t know, but our very own Skyrim DLC has zero DRM. We shipped Oblivion with no DRM because we didn’t like how it affected the game.

There are things we can control, and things we can’t. Our belief still stands that our community knows best, and they will decide how modding should work. We think it’s important to offer choice where there hasn’t been before.


If they’re anti-DRM, why am I not seeing their games on GOG? I’d love to try Skyrim out, but apparently they don’t want my money…




We’re going to remove the payment feature from the Skyrim workshop. For anyone who spent money on a mod, we’ll be refunding you the complete amount. We talked to the team at Bethesda and they agree.

We’ve done this because it’s clear we didn’t understand exactly what we were doing. We’ve been shipping many features over the years aimed at allowing community creators to receive a share of the rewards, and in the past, they’ve been received well. It’s obvious now that this case is different.


But we underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim’s workshop. We understand our own game’s communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probaly not the right place to start iterating. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there’s a useful feature somewhere here.

“Probably not the right place” is a huge understatement, but I’m glad they backed out. Here’s hope they’ll think the things through next time.

Again, I believe paid mods can be a good thing - if done properly. This whole thing wasn’t “properly” at all.

And my previous comment remains - what’s really behind all this is Valve trying to extend its dominance on everything PC gaming. So keep that in mind.


It’s exactly the same reason Blizzard introduced paid mods for Starcraft 2 years ago, then silently killed it before release. It’s impossible to shield the company from liability reselling potentially copywritten assets. The risk margin far outweighs the benefit.

One thing you have to give Bethesda some credit for is being in the front of the wave on this stuff. Whatever you thought of horse armor they really did see the future there. It’s just that in their games the community can’t stand the price/content ratio. Kids are happy to spend $10 on a hot skin for a League of Legends character.


There’s no way to do “paid mods” properly, because you have to vet the copyright of all the content. Either they stole it from other media, or they stole it from other paid modders. How do you disentangle that ball of string? Modding is in most cases based on building upon other modders’ content as well as media/assets that are copywritten.

The crazy thing isn’t that the pulled it but that they let it through at all. Clearly Valve is more amateur hour (Notch-y?) than people give them credit for.


To help you understand why we thought this was a good idea, our main goals were to allow mod makers the opportunity to work on their mods full time if they wanted to, and to encourage developers to provide better support to their mod communities. We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free & paid. We wanted more great mods becoming great products, like Dota, Counter-strike, DayZ, and Killing Floor, and we wanted that to happen organically for any mod maker who wanted to take a shot at it.

Personally, I think those are good goals, for the most part. This was just absolutely the wrong way to try to achieve them, and I’m happy Valve has realized that.


Wow, that’s really … quite responsive. Kudos to Valve.


Props to Valve, I did not expect this.


I’ve been trying to go through how I feel about this.

I rarely download mods. I think the last one I tried was the World of Ice and Fire Conversion for Crusader Kings 2, and that was about 6 months ago at least. I went back to playing the real game after two or three tries. All the same backstabby and crazy dynastic fun combined with better integrated mechanics.

Anyways, I think the real reason I don’t download mods very often, beyond having a huge back catalogue I should be playing, is I just don’t want to deal with all the “mod” issues. So, when I do download a mod, its usually been “vetted” by magazines or a lot of reviews, and it is improvement over the base game. Thank you whoever fixed the inventory in Skyrim!

So, if I very rarely deal with mods that are free, why should I care if people are now asking money for them? They weren’t getting my money before, they won’t get it now.

On the other hand, there is definitely an opening to get me to pay money for mods. Remember, I don’t do mods, generally, because I don’t want to deal with the possible installation and other tech issues. If a company tells me a mod has been “vetted,” that is to say it has been play tested and is gaurenteed to work with my game, I’d be more interested. Actually, wasn’t half of Beyond the Sword including some of the best mods from the community? I Beyond the Sword currently sits as my best PC game of all time. http://www.quartertothree.com/game-talk/showthread.php?75874-Your-Top-100-Games-Challenge&p=3643276&viewfull=1#post3643276

Now, reading through this thread, I find the arguments against “paid mods” to be pretty persuasive. It is a company trying to combine profit with a lack of responsibility. If you want to make money from something, you have to be willing to be responsible for it. I don’t care if you are selling fertilizer or antiques.

Well, LoL is a completely free game though, right? I suppose people see it as a way to game for free and in exchange somebody overpays for cosmetic content. For $60 games, consumers don’t want to feel nickle and dimed after their initial purchase. They are willing to spend more on “gameplay” add ons, but not cosmetics. I can certainly buy into that reasoning.


So we just narrowly avoided an Ayn Rand fever dream consisting of the Third Reich, an unregulated free market, slavery, apartheid, and the death of PC gaming…in one fell swoop!


In all seriousness, I am glad they are rethinking this. I favor the concept of monetized mods, but prefer a heavily curated or PWYW model.



I feel kind of bad for some of the modders who chose to try out this idea, and now have nothing to show for it. Hopefully they won’t be getting too much abuse, but I have my doubts.