Valve Ends Steam's Controversial Paid Mod Program

Dango

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Feb 11, 2010
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Honestly, just include donations to mod makers through the steam wallet.

That way Valve still gets a cut and the modders can still make money.
 

Lightspeaker

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Dec 31, 2011
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Requirements for a future "paid mod" system:

- Don't call it "paid mods". Because its no longer a "mod" if you're charging for it. "Mod" has certain implications associated with it. Call it "Community DLC". Because really that's what it is. Its a product someone has made as an addition to the game. The moment you start charging upfront its a business transaction, not a community project.

- Some damn accountability for the quality and stability of the mod by someone, anyone. I don't care if its Valve, the modder, the Publisher or the original Developer. SOMEONE has to have responsibility for the product being sold. Which means it needs to be QA tested and ongoing future support. Unfortunately this would also mean Valve would have to sort out their shocking community support.

- Some actual curation of the stuff that's going to go up there. This follows on from the above point but if you just dump any damn thing on there as paid you're going to have a mass of junk which people have made and thrown up to make a couple of quid quick. DOTA2 gets around this because items have to go through a process of being selected and then tested by Valve themselves, so you're less likely to get garbage and/or stuff that's been stolen. Having a totally open market on this is absurd.

- Paul Tassi over at Forbes did a very good article in which he suggested an "audition process" whereby you need to submit several free mods which are downloaded by significant numbers of people and/or are highly rated before you can submit paid mods.


Alternatively don't do paid mods and instead have a "tip jar" on each creator's page that people can send money to if they like their mod (NOT a "pay what you want" system because that implies paying before you've decided if its any good).


In any case I'm delighted this thing has been brought down for now. But have a rather ominous feeling we'll be revisiting this for Fallout 4 and TES6.
 

ShakerSilver

Professional Procrastinator
Nov 13, 2009
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Conrad Zimmerman said:
"stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating."
So they'll probably try harder when TES VI or Fallout 4 come out. Bethesda may even make some sort of sneaky drm for the Creation Kit that only allows you to upload to Steam workshop, along with Valve forcing mods on the workshop to be paid for.

Then again, I may just be too cynical for my own good. Can you blame me when something like paid mods came into existence?
 

SlumlordThanatos

Lord Inquisitor
Aug 25, 2014
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Denamic said:
I was almost losing faith in the Glorious Gaben, but I knew in my heart that the messiah would not truly betray us in the end.
Don't go at it with this attitude.

GabeN and Valve fucked up. Big time. Don't congratulate them for doing the right thing; you shouldn't be rewarded for doing what is expected of you. Just let it die, but always keep this affair in the back of your head.

And never let them forget what they tried to do.
 

Karadalis

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Apr 26, 2011
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RJ 17 said:
I still say that modders deserve to get paid for all the time and effort they put into creating things we all enjoy, but the system Steam had set up was absolutely atrocious. Try it again with a "tip jar" system so people can support their favorite modders - if they so choose - by tossing them some money in appreciation would be better...but even then, there's still the legal can of worms that gets knocked over by the very premise of getting paid for mods.
Modders dont "deserve to be paid"... because at the end of the day what they are doing is suposed to be a hobby

HOWEVER: They do "deserve to be supported" and that includes giving them money, after all they do share their hobby with everyone.

But by demanding pay... you turn a hobby into a business... and businesses play by other rules then mere hobbyists that share their passion with a community. Suddenly sharing assets between teams becomes a economical foolish decision, suddenly everyone needs working contracts to make sure no one runs off with your teams trade secrets, suddenly everyone wants a cut of the money the mod makes and you have to deal with who gets what share of the revenue in a legally binding way (aka working contracts... you actually need to HIRE people now)

Then there was the issue of absolute ZERO quality control... those "pending review" mods? They would have gone through aslong as no one disputed them... and looking at the sheer number of crap being uploaded... who has the time to sift through thousands of 1 dollar mods? It didnt work for greenlight.. and it didnt work for early access. Also people stealing from each other left and right, not giving credit to original creators and the cherry ontop: Steam saying that you can take what you want for your mod aslong as its not on steam workshop and was freely available on the net.

Valve learned a valuable lesson this week:

Even they cant bent over gamers like this. We have endured alot of bullshit from big publishers, but this was definatly a step to far.
 

f1r2a3n4k5

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Jun 30, 2008
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You know what they should do, and this might sound ridiculous, but let you "tip" in Steam items.

Got a freebie game that's tradable? Tip-it. Got a few digital cards? Hand 'em over.

Most of those items have some real-world value, with many cards floating around ~30 cents or so. It would be enough for the dev to buy themselves a cup of coffee every now and then, Valve would still get their cut, AND it wouldn't require gamers dish out cash if they can't afford it, they can just give the cards they get from playing away.

Of course, that would require Steam to develop an inventory and Marketplace that doesn't interact like trying to sell molasses in Alaska.
 

AstaresPanda

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Nov 5, 2009
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Well to their credit i knew when they fucked up and boy did Valve fuck up. Greenlight is fucked but its a good start they just need to police it, or at least make it a point to make sure ppl dont just buy shit willy nilly really look into a game before buying it. I mean real mods will always stand out from the shit and if they get to a point like Black Mesa for example they are able to sell their mod on steam when they complete the last few stages. If they feel the need to someway pay modders then a donate button would be best. And have lay it out in such a way that shows you whats had the most donations you shud get a good idea of whats worth you cash.
 

Denamic

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Aug 19, 2009
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SlumlordThanatos said:
Denamic said:
I was almost losing faith in the Glorious Gaben, but I knew in my heart that the messiah would not truly betray us in the end.
Don't go at it with this attitude.

GabeN and Valve fucked up. Big time. Don't congratulate them for doing the right thing; you shouldn't be rewarded for doing what is expected of you. Just let it die, but always keep this affair in the back of your head.

And never let them forget what they tried to do.
You don't get to dictate how or what I should feel or do. I'll go at it with whatever attitude I please. I will show gratitude when they do the right thing. But I will also boycott and campaign against them should they betray the status quo like this. I will even praise EA should they stop being cunts, but until then, I will keep boycotting them.
 

Adultratedhydra

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Aug 19, 2010
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People yelling "PRAISE GABEN" like this wasnt his fault to begin with. Dont flock back to being a mindless Valvedrone because they got called out on their bullshit because that is exactly what they expect.

The flock decided they had enough of being buggered by the farmer so they started rebelling until the farmer said "Ok fine I'll stop for a week." Then suddenly they decided they were fine with it for some reason.

Dont get complacent and certainly dont think Gabe is done with this idea, He and Bethesda are probably thinking up Paywall 2.0 as we speak.
 

Hochmeister

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Jun 2, 2011
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Well I'll be darned, they blinked. Still, paid mods cough*3rd Party DLC*cough are something to be wary of in the future. After this debacle I'm definitely going to try and buy purchase games from sources other than Steam, I've lost a lot of trust in them.
 

Erttheking

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Moments like this make me wonder how we expect people to fix things if we say that we hate something, then criticize the people for listening to us and changing their policy.

On a side note, damn, that was quick.
 

JET1971

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Apr 7, 2011
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AstaresPanda said:
lay it out in such a way that shows you whats had the most donations you shud get a good idea of whats worth you cash.
I disagree. Any donations should be kept private for 2 reasons. 1 is the reason you mention and that will cause a new mod to be a failure even if it is better than any of the ones similar that came before it, we had the same thing On Nexus with the endorsements and people refusing to try a mod because it had few. And that causes the mod to not get endorsements because fewer would play it, donations would cause that same problem. 2 is if the author made the best mod the world has ever seen and he has a few hundred dollars worth of donations someone could see that and decide not to donate because "clearly he is making allot of money" even if the last donation was a year ago and 5 updates has been done since as well as being the best supported mod.

Plus he or she isn't a corporation so any income doesn't have to be made public and shouldn't be for general privacy reasons.
 

SecondPrize

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Mar 12, 2012
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Very nice. Smart move on Bethesda pulling out. It was never a bright idea to do this when there is the widespread belief that you let your modding community fix all of your games. Now I've got to go find the dance thread on infinichan.
 

Darknacht

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May 13, 2009
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Karadalis said:
RJ 17 said:
I still say that modders deserve to get paid for all the time and effort they put into creating things we all enjoy, but the system Steam had set up was absolutely atrocious. Try it again with a "tip jar" system so people can support their favorite modders - if they so choose - by tossing them some money in appreciation would be better...but even then, there's still the legal can of worms that gets knocked over by the very premise of getting paid for mods.
Modders dont "deserve to be paid"... because at the end of the day what they are doing is suposed to be a hobby

HOWEVER: They do "deserve to be supported" and that includes giving them money, after all they do share their hobby with everyone.

But by demanding pay... you turn a hobby into a business... and businesses play by other rules then mere hobbyists that share their passion with a community. Suddenly sharing assets between teams becomes a economical foolish decision, suddenly everyone needs working contracts to make sure no one runs off with your teams trade secrets, suddenly everyone wants a cut of the money the mod makes and you have to deal with who gets what share of the revenue in a legally binding way (aka working contracts... you actually need to HIRE people now)

Then there was the issue of absolute ZERO quality control... those "pending review" mods? They would have gone through aslong as no one disputed them... and looking at the sheer number of crap being uploaded... who has the time to sift through thousands of 1 dollar mods? It didnt work for greenlight.. and it didnt work for early access. Also people stealing from each other left and right, not giving credit to original creators and the cherry ontop: Steam saying that you can take what you want for your mod aslong as its not on steam workshop and was freely available on the net.

Valve learned a valuable lesson this week:

Even they cant bent over gamers like this. We have endured alot of bullshit from big publishers, but this was definatly a step to far.
Lots of thing that use to be hobbies are now paying jobs, so something currently being a hobby is not a reason that it can't become a paid job.
Valve learned a valuable lesson this week:
Make it a launch 'feature.'
Their statement made it clear from their point of view this failed because Skyrim has been out for too long. This will become a thing that Steam users will have to accept.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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May 15, 2010
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Valve is a strange company for even letting this get public... it isn't hard to imagine the publicity monetizing the workshop content would bring (and did) and one wonders if they really intended to keep it or were just testing the waters... I don't fully trust Valve, though I do a lot of business with them. I'd rather be able to have my Steam library with NO DRM like my GoG library, that would make me feel better about so much of the investment made in Steam.
But I just feel they never intended for this to succeed, just to gauge the knee-jerk responses and I'd bet you something else new will still be added to Steam as a feature, slid in the back door while everyone else was out front screaming about the mail...
 

truckspond

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Oct 26, 2013
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If they had made payment OPTIONAL or even allowed people to donate to developers that make good mods then this would not have happened.
 

Darknacht

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Johnny Novgorod said:
This should set a nice precedent for "bitching works".
It only delayed implementation. Everyone yelled, "No paid mods" but Value heard "No paid mods in Skyrim."
truckspond said:
If they had made payment OPTIONAL or even allowed people to donate to developers that make good mods then this would not have happened.
I'm somewhat surprised they did not start with something more like this, Value is usually better at easing it in with a bit of lube rather than just ramming it in dry down to the hilt.