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


Yes, many creators have admitted that a “donate” button brings in minimal revenue. Apparently, there was a spike during this whole debacle, but that’s chalked up to people donating out of spite against the Steam program.


The donation button does have a free-rider issue. I don’t think anyone is denying that.

You have to provide obvious added value for people to start paying for something that was previously free. Steam itself is an example of this. It turned pirates into customers by giving them something of value. Right now, to consumers- what was proposed doesn’t feel like added value, but added cost.

The only thing that I think could solve this is limiting paid mods to things that are clearly of high-quality, show effort and creativity, and provide a new experience. In other words, heavy curation and quality control, and new mods, not free mods turned paid. That’s more effort than I think companies are willing to put into this.

I do think if this is in Fallout 4, it’s going to cast Bethesda sales. People will not buy the game out of spite- we’ve seen that happen before. What some would call entitled, others can just as easily call making sure they get a damn good value. It’s basically collective bargaining for games.


I think offering an easy donation route there in the Workshop would be better than nothing. But certainly the main route to meaningful money would be enforced payment. I would hope that would be done through aggressive curating and developers working with the best modders.


Maybe a donation system is not crazy talk.

Having a “patreon” like system where you donate to modders from your wallet means modders are free to distribute their time to whatever they think works for their public. Making small mods, making one big mod, making one single crazy feature.

The “pay what you want” model is also good. The Humble store prove is a model people like to use.
Let gamers choose how much money Bethesda deserve, how much Steam deserve and how much the modder deserve.

You can have both at the same time, a… the harder thing is always find the right name for it… “Support and Subscribe $$” button that stars with the suggested donation quantity, but let the gamer choose how much to donate for the mod, and to who. This way if you still want to pay 0 for the mod, you can.

This if we really want paid mods, that I honestly I don’t know if is worth it. Nobody really knows.


He, what about a donation button? I am sure nobody has talked about that.


This is the rub. Bethesda (really Zenimax) loved the idea of free money from the work of others with no actual effort on its own part. If it has to actually [I]earn[/I] the money, by doing quality control, additional patching, or curation, well that starts to suck and be a pain in the ass that exceeds the revenue.

And I think Valve realized this and cut their losses. Free is compatible with “use at your own risk.” Paying money means there are responsibilities to your customers and your vendors. Not to mention the people whose work got swiped and sold by somebody else.


Literally a screen shot of mod directory names I hasten to add, but yeah, child models, genitalia, sex mods, animal sex mods, and various BDSM and murder mods too.

Pretty much The 120 Days of Sodom, the mod collection.

and illegal in the UK, and tbh, if someone is consciously assembling all those mods into a whole for sexual reasons, Im glad its illegal.


Has anybody mentioned Populous, yet?


Thank you for thinking about me.


I believe beyond all the hype the reason Steam pulled the pay-for-mods practice was they saw it was going to open the door for litigation against them in regards to copyright infringement vs the projected money they were going to make - they don’t need that noise and it could get really loud for them both legally and image-wise.

Pay-for-mods will be back when they have a new game that can control how mods can be created (like they do with TF2, CSGO, etc).



@Triggercut - LOL!


I was pretty strongly opposed to this Steam thing (and haven’t kept up with it because the debate is too fast moving for me), but I have to say:
I think I’m OK with FO4 including a paid-mods function if it’s a bit better planned and implemented.

If it turns into a ‘let Indie Devs make DLC for our game, and we’ll curate/check it somehow so we know it’s not going to break the game’, then I think that could be a great compromise that lets modder-devs earn some money for their hard work.

Of course, I’m imagining the best case scenario there, but this kerfuffle shows that Steam/Bethesda have an incentive to be more thoughtful and respectful to their fans with the next rollout.


No, they really don’t. If Bethesda had any respect they would, again, follow the usual process of hiring the cream of the modding crop for the next chapter of their properties. Instead they’ve rested on a rather arrogant system of expecting modders to pick up the dev slack because they somehow don’t have the moneybags to shitcan whoever’s cousin that’s been doing a terrible job on player models since Morrowind. Or take note of the mods that made entire basic builds actually viable.

That’s still going to be the issue. Even for a future title, I don’t want a developer not only relying on free labor to fix things they should have done themselves, but also being so brazen as to attempt to monetize it at a rate that gives them the lion’s share.

Valve? I’m increasingly leery of anything that might recall you-know-who (DEREK SMART), but they pretty much wrote off the whole respecting the audience thing when they killed TF2 in favor of MMO crap. From vaporware to awesome to F2P… oh the humanity!


Except they really don’t.

Back in July we heard about the work of 19-year-old Alexander J. Velicky. He wanted to get a job at Bethesda, so set about creating a mod for Skyrim. But this wasn’t just any mod, this was Falskaar, a mod that has a land mass about a third of the size of Skyrim’s entire world, and he created it all by himself.

However, Bethesda apparently didn’t take any notice and didn’t even offer him an interview for a job. But don’t let that put you off creating your own mod in an attempt to enter the games industry because creating Falskaar has earned Velicky a pretty sweet new role. He is now working, not for Bethesda, but for Bungie.


Looks like they’re back with baby steps.

The Black Mesa mod for Half Life/2 is on the store now as a standalone product. Early access, $20.


I could’ve sworn it was on Steam previously as a free mod. Is that not correct?

Over 10 Hours of single player gameplay, up to the Lambda Core chapter

So part 2 is going to be another $20?


  1. It was released for free in 2012. That version will no longer be worked on.

  2. Xen isn’t coming apparently. The devs are working on MP and have no schedule for the Xen chapters.


I too could have sworn that the free mod was on Steam previously. I am nearly positive I played part one when it was released on Steam then it may have been delisted later. While their price point might be a bit off if anyone could charge for a mod it should be that team. Black Mesa is a fantastic creation! I don’t even mind that it ends before the alien world since that last part was annoying anyway.



So they just threw a dart around the office to see what other project it would land on as a less egregious testing of these waters? And it landed on an Early Access mod? That’s an enhanced remake of an existing mod that took EIGHT YEARS to develop?! Yeah, that is a good choice.

Boy, oh boy did all that hullabaloo fall on deaf ears!

Oh and it’s also plastered all over the store front page:


I’m guessing no-one will care about this one, though. Its not like we haven’t seen mods go payed before.