You should have acted. They're already here. The Elder Scrolls told of their return. Their defeat was merely delay until the time after Oblivion opened, when the sons of Skyrim would spill their own blood. But... there is one they fear. In their tongue he is Dovahkiin; Dragon Born!

Post news Report RSS Valve’s Gabe Newell Would Like To See Paid Mods Return

This is despite the “mess” that was the paid Skyrim mods situation.

Posted by on

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At a recent press roundtable held at Valve’s offices, PC Gamer covered Valve CEO Gabe Newell’s response to a question from GamesBeat about Valve’s feelings on paid mods today. Valve’s previous foray into paid mods in 2015 with Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim resulted in the company cancelling the initiative after less than a week of being live.

Newell’s candid response to the situation at the recent roundtable was enlightening:

“The Skyrim situation was a mess. It was not the right place to launch that specific thing and we did some sort of ham-handed, stupid things in terms of how we rolled it out.”

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Newell went on to say that it was Valve’s Erik Johnson who suggested the company withdraw from the paid mods initiative and cancel it. However, Newell still believes that “the fundamental concept of 'the gaming community needs to reward the people who are creating value' is pretty important.”

“The degree to which Valve helps contribute to efficiency in the system is one of the ways in which we're adding value to the system as a whole. So, you know, we have to just figure out how to do it in a way that makes customers happy and that they buy into it, it makes creators happy because they feel like the system is rational and is rewarding the right people for the work that they do. Does that make sense?"

So Valve is open to revisiting the idea of paid mods, but in a form that serves both the mod creators and the mod enthusiasts. Newell says that Valve’s foray into paid Skyrim mods gave the company “a ton of information”, but “...there was also a little bit of 'That burner is hot. Maybe we wait awhile before we put our fingers on that burner again.’”

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Comments  (0 - 50 of 116)
Guest
Guest

Yeah, pay the mod author and valve gets 40%
Of course they want paid mods.

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ZoneOP ☢
ZoneOP ☢

Typical Valve greed.
People get all excited about getting paid, until they read the fine print and what their cut will be. It's a bad joke.

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SPTX
SPTX

I came here pretty much to say that.
Most mod sites have a donations button. Valve can't cash in on that therefore...

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vader333
vader333

But how many people actually donate?
I can't recall where, but it's something like 0.001% or so. You can check that yourself.
A small cut is larger than a 100% of nothing.

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gnear
gnear

Steam is bad and only getting worse, thank goodness we have GoG and indy development on Unreal engines and beyond

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bluewario
bluewario

I just hope you're right.

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DarkKnightGareth
DarkKnightGareth

CD Projekt and Red Hook (Darkest Dungeon) are two examples

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~X~
~X~

Some people, myself included, just prefer modding offline.

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gnear
gnear

since my comment got nuked since yesterday, i'll reiterate ---

if you want to make a PAID for mod, talk to the original game publisher to get the rights to make money from THEIR WORK.

ALL THIS IS, IS RESTRICTING TOTAL FREEDOM TO MOD, FOR THE SAKE OF A MIDDLE MAN TAKING A MONEY SCRAPE.

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agentdoublesc
agentdoublesc

like mods becoming official DLC with official support from the Dev...?

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gnear
gnear

how it used to be done before DLC was coined by a sales team... good old day of Mission Packs --- I could go further into the buisness practice that Valve scraping money from everyone in the channel without adding a thing or them even trying to uphold copyrights etc etc but thats to long winded to be bothered with on this website

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INtense! Staff
INtense!

Mod creators, would you like to be able to sell your mods?

Gamers, would you pay for mods?

I really find this topic fascinating as both sides are so divided and seem to think that "donations" are the answer... but who donates? Take ModDB for example. We earn all of our money from advertising (I wish it wasn't so), and 46% of our visitors adblock so we generate no revenue from them. We offer a $10 a year sub to see no ads (a little hidden) Moddb.com and well despite reaching 2million readers a month, get donations from less than 5 people a month. I'm personally fine with this, having people here exploring and finding content is what makes us most happy, but this is why I believe "donations" is not the solution.

Reply Good karma+32 votes
Omegakill
Omegakill

What would happen to games like Morrowind or Half Life if people start releasing paid for mods? Morrowind has been supported by a cult like following of modders for over 10 years, bring in paid mods and the potential to keep giving awesome games like that life dies. I play Jagged Alliance 2 which came out in 1999 because it has been modded to add features and change maps and I probably couldn't go back to the vanilla game, however it would put me off if I had to pay for a mod. On the other hand I know some people put a lot of effort into mods (especailly things like full conversions) and some of those do deserve money for their efforts, I personally believe that if people want to earn money from games, they need to make their own. Also as mentioned quite rightly by gnear below, wouldn't the publishers/developers require a cut of that money as you're using their game to make money yourself? By the time Vavle take their slice of the fat pie the modder is left with pennys. This would do nothing but kill gaming even more than the stupid minor DLC packs (Sims comes to mind) some people are releasing now (unlike proper content like Witcher 3 DLC).

I also think some people have forgotten what happened last time, people took things from places like nexus and uploaded them onto steam claiming to be their own, how is vavle going to police this? How would someone prove that they've created a mod?

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JachAnen
JachAnen

I agree, some really do deserve payment with how much effort they put into it, and I wouldn't mind paying them. If they just make it an option, it's going to be the wilds west, people will want money for nothing like always. But I also trust that serious modders would adjust pricing properly, otherwise we can get it turned off again as long enough doesn't get suckered. Personally I think one good way would be to only demand money for the newest version. That way both sides can still enjoy it, although not together, but only after the second release, their first will therefore be free. But we'll see. Donations is not good enough, as long as modders get the freedom to charge or not, how much and when, I think it will be doing well, at least after some time.

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Rad4r
Rad4r

Long live 1.13, AIMNAS, every other mod and every modder that still tries to improve an old game out of sheer love.

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Omegakill
Omegakill

God yes, I will always be grateful for mad mugsy for helping start the 1.13 project (which I have a hand in testing! :D) and for helping bring JA2 to what it is today, I'm currently playing Vengence reloaded and having a blast.

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REDDQ
REDDQ

One could argue that devs and Steam shouldn't ask for a cut because of game-mod symbiotic relationship resulting in game sales. I sure bought a couple of games because of mods I was interested to explore and mods being free was ofc a big plus. But Gaben and Bethesda saw it differently and asked for solid cut and that is fair enough as well I suppose.

INtense! thinks that donations are not the way. Well, their voluntary nature is an advantage of sorts. Unlike products with a solid pricetag players are not entitled to anything as donation was made out of free will even though full version of a product was available to them beforehand. Price tag is a serious can of worms.

What else can be said about paid modding what wasn't said a year ago? Not much I gather. Imho it will have a lot of serious and negative consequences which won't be covered by "people will have incentive to mod" blanket.

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KillingSpreeHUN
KillingSpreeHUN

I didnt even know there is a donation option at moddb.com.

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Robok
Robok

I'm honestly in favor of paid modding if the system benefits everyone, i.e. the cut for the modders is significant enough to encourage higher quality/effort and maybe support, it'll help the modding ecosystem to the point it might be viable way to generate income (that's a stretch and probably will apply to only the top percentile of modders, but still the prospect is appealing).

That said, they need to address a few issues first before that can be a thing:
-Refunds (should be a first priority, and fair enough for both the players and the modders).
-Curation, automated systems can only do so much before stuff slips between the cracks.
-Mod requirements, by that I mean things like SKSE or SkyUI, there needs to be a way for the modding scene to support them without pay-gating these mods, maybe a different monetization method for them where they get a percentage of any mod sold that requires them while staying free for the players themselves.

All in all the idea definitely has potential, but the implementation needs to be well thought-out.

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JachAnen
JachAnen

Thanks for the guilt trip :(

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INtense! Staff
INtense!

Not at all intended, was merely making a point!

Reply Good karma+2 votes
NeoTheLizard
NeoTheLizard

"a little hidden" might be an understatement. I had no idea such an option existed and right now I want to subscribe despite the fact that I'm already using an adblocker.

I have no job and no income at the moment (I'm a student at a higher education) so I can't really afford to pay for mods on an individual basis, at least nothing short of nominal charge breadcrumbs and picking and choosing which deserves support and which doesn't out of all the fantastic things people create is a nightmare. Supporting communities of modders generally seems like the much more managable choice.

And maybe it would be okay if the donation system was slightly more explicitly mentioned on the main page here.

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dibdob
dibdob

"I can't afford to pay for mods"

yet you're on the 'internet' via a 'computer' ?

i bet you buy all your pc games though ,eh ?

p.s:
just saying :)

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Mr.John
Mr.John

I think it generally depends on what you believe. Your outlook on "Having people exploring" is something I find noble, but in the end it's business. Sure mod authors might want a few caps for their work, but generally I believe mods are made for passion rather than cash. Would Enderal be as widely played if it was paid? I doubt it.

Donations are a double-edged sword. It could be the noblest of the choices, saying that "if you make the choice yourself, you can give us something in return", which I find very good. Most of us are cheap bastards and won't shell out for what we do not need, but there are kind souls who would return value. What little wealth you earn is earned with good grace. Until you start gating off content for donators (my choice of example is Cry of Fear, locking off a weapon behind a paywall. I loved the mod, would like to strangle them for that practice). It essentially becomes Activision levels of gating content, a "light" pay-to-play-easier sort-of thing. And we do want completion, but instead of getting 100% for $1, you get a small thing.

Advertisements for websites? My thoughts on the matter is that it is handled so poorly that it has become an abomination of pure evil, that we have to allow to fester just to view content that people make for a living. Most of them are just wrong, intrusive and might actually break a site (Nexusmods do suffer from this in my opinion). Many pages benefit from better viewability once the ads have been cut, this page included (sadly). I understand things from both perspectives, but then again I am mostly a viewer and will do what is best for me. However, what I am speculating on is if some form of VPN adblock, which would load the original site in and then chop ads after the connection has been made, would still be able to generate ad money for sites. The sites get paid, the users don't see ads. Win, win and **** the advertisers.

But lets go to Steam Workshop and see the abominations there. My prime examples are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare and Killing Floor 2. Workshop enabled, but the wrong kind. The "microtransactions-for-viewable-skins" type. Counter-Strike: Source is still the prime modded game on Gamebanana, having skins ~24000 of them at time of writing this. 13 years and 24000 skins. Now look at Global Offensive. The thing is, every skin is local; others do not see them. To me this is enough. Insurgency does this with workshop and is brilliant. I love the content and it improves the base game, which is win-win. But for Global Offensive, Chivalry and Killing Floor 2 I am appalled. If I would like my broadsword in Chivalry to look like another sword, that should be my ability to make so. Limiting us to "voted" content that you must purchase after already shelling out a price for the "full" game means that they've essentially robbed you. Global Offensive is in essence a pure cash-grab pay-to-skin hackjob of Counter-Strike. But there are salvations for it, such as Classic Offensive here on ModDB. And you'd not guess when I found out one of my lovely titles of coop zombie shooters Killing Floor 2 has had the same philosophy of gated skin content and roll-the-dice loot drops. This is the same part of Steam that allows hackjobs to enter Greenlight, the greed part.

What set mods apart from other content is the motivation behind it. It is the same thing that separates music apart from garbage that is put out today. Its the analog, pure and basic love, hate and joy, someone putting in effort beyond reward. This is the same thing that sets YouTubers who do spare-time efforts rather than full-time apart. What seperates a finely crafted mod such as Enderal from something like Dragonborn. It isn't influenced in a great deal by greed or expectancy of monetary reward. And that does matter. You see it everywhere and anywhere.

Once you add greed into the pot, to make mod-creators expect monetary rewards for their efforts, then you've corrupted the pot. There is no reason to go back until the pot of gold has run dry. Early ValVe was a technological advancing company, initiating modern game design with bone animations, physics and the like. Now they've resigned from their position and settled into siphoning gold from others, and in turn become corrupted. And it is pure greed in form of gluttony, straight out of Dante's Inferno. A fat insatiable blob of gold, always lusting for more.

/rant over.

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shishman
shishman

Exactly!

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dibdob
dibdob

yep ,very frigging game will have 2 billion skins for sale .

if we thought cs:go spam was bad on steam ....just wait .

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piotrburz
piotrburz

I would never pay for a mod that fix the bugs that were in the original game, or fix the obviously broken mechanic. That's the devs job, not modders. Mostly that also mean the game is ****, if modders have to do the devs job.

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Pre-Zenith
Pre-Zenith

The only reason why people even make mods IS because it's free, I'm not gonna pay to play a mod. It's just another way to squeeze money out of something that is free

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agentdoublesc
agentdoublesc

i would pay for DLC (like viking conquest in warband) but not for mods... most mods also also use copyright material that paid mods would not allow... since there are free they do not bother as much... mods are MODIFICATION not DLC (even the most complete mods like total conversion are still not DLC but modification) if the ModDB team would sell there own games and DlC i would not mind but if they would sell mods ill go elsewhere... im premium at nexus mod for having acces to faster server no ads... but all i have access there is still free... im premium cuz i want to support the site and the comunity (same with moddb...) and for faster download but seeling mods and supporting website are 2 different thing...

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SPTX
SPTX

Paid mods are also a death flag risen for moddb. I don't think you fully grasp the situation and the possible consequences.
And don't call me gamer, it's not a real word. Player is the word you're looking for.

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Maggy_

I wouldn't pay for mods. Honestly i don't have that much money. Also the modders are going to be ripped off (Valve taking 40% of revenue) and piracy is going to be even bigger thing than it is now.

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INtense! Staff
INtense!

Imagine if DRM was applied to modding to stop piracy. Now that would be a bad thing!

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Maggy_

Hell

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gnear
gnear

it'll end up meaning restrictions to mod development as quality and/or policy adherance will be the limiter.... Valve are just a paid for hosting service these days like rapidgator etc

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feillyne StaffSubscriber
feillyne

Not only that, all kinds of "outside" people will start to be involved in the modding world, which means fandom mods, poorly made mods, mods with random graphics taken from somewhere or assets "converted" or ripped from other games will feel the heat and may be judged inappropriate by various third parties and taken down much faster just because mods would no longer be on their own fully noncommercial ground, without any financial gain or loss intended, but out there in the market. (Paid mods will put free mods under a lot of undue scrutiny.)

Reply Good karma+23 votes
gnear
gnear

exactly! glad you're on staff @ ModDB

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feillyne StaffSubscriber
feillyne

Ah, that does not matter really.

So, to reiterate, conversions such as these Ppmforums.com (and scores of others, especially Mount & Blade Warband mods that include tons of 3d models/textures converted from other games) would be in peril as they are questionable but harmless now, in the future they could be viewed only as potentially harmful, or as other community members have already mentioned, they could become paid mods which would be even worse. Because they are noncommercial and fan-made (original authors do not have to endorse or be responsible for them) now, not much harm (or none at all) is done.

Reply Good karma+13 votes
agentdoublesc
agentdoublesc

AMEN!!!!

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dibdob
dibdob

Yeh ,they're slowly morphing into a dumping ground for poop of all sorts.

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EmperorNiko
EmperorNiko

Modding is a hobby and the payment is the appreciation from those we share our mods with.
No one goes into modding like it's a job, it's time we chose to put into something we enjoy doing. If you want to get paid then get a job with a game studio.

Modding is for your own enjoyment before anything else, If you need money then get a job. (The other option is to ask for donations if you have a large and devoted enough fan-base)

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gnear
gnear

wonderful to see people still exist who follow these values!

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Omegakill
Omegakill

Exactly, I don't see people on twitch EXPECTING to get money (unless they've become popular enough that they bring in enough money to support themselves, in which case they've made that choice) They stream for enjoyment and people are given the choice to donate if they enjoy the content, same should be applied to mods, how sucsessful do you think twitch would be if you were forced to pay before you even viewed any content? How would refunds work while playing a modded games?

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dibdob
dibdob

Modding is also a training ground for future devs.

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Mr_Douglas
Mr_Douglas

Long time no see, Gabe is so old......

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Vuud
Vuud

This ends up being good for everyone! Besides, Gaben's got his eye on this new mansion for his yacht.

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Daniel.Hindes Author
Daniel.Hindes

When a mod becomes something large-scale and significant, like The Dark Mod, or Enderal, I'd be more than happy to pay for the experience - provided I'd be able to trial it first (just to see if it works) and that future updates to that mod or total conversion did not require additional purchases.

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INtense! Staff
INtense!

So not cosmetic mods, but total conversions deserving?

Reply Good karma+5 votes
Daniel.Hindes Author
Daniel.Hindes

Total conversions at the high end, sure, but also something like a deep survival mod that at least changes the game in a significant way. I personally wouldn't put up cash for skins or new items.

Reply Good karma+8 votes
dibdob
dibdob

A lot of total conversions are the work of many many authors ,not sure how the payments would be made.

Could even result in legal action with modders screaming "I am Spartacus" ! No! I'm Spartacus !" :P

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gnear
gnear

Having it free leaves no expectations of working / greatness, as soon as (like a LOT of devs have found out) you start asking for money for your work you'll be getting the shitstorm which is customer service

a lot of mods are based off previous work from others, how could they sell that( legally they can't without permissions ) all you'll have are skin mods and mods that can be made by a person or two much like apps on the android app store, 1000 clones all of which are not worth while, steam is already going that way this will just be the next level

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INtense! Staff
INtense!

well I suspect a lot of modders would create from scratch if revenue was there to be made. But you are right money changes peoples mindsets and people may mod for less than pure reasons like they do currently

Reply Good karma+4 votes
Omegakill
Omegakill

Sorry but you're naive if you think people will work from scratch, just like when paid skyrim mods first came round, there were a LOT of instances where people downloaded mods from nexus and then uploaded to steam just to try and make a quick buck before anyone noticed.

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