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Of Videogame Modding and Money

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  • AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    I for one will wait patiently for the day when someone puts up a mod on steam that contains assets/copyrighted material from Blizzard, Sony, Nintendo or whoever else which will then be followed by a big fat lawsuit thrown at Valve.

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  • BranniganSeppBranniganSepp Swiss Burrito Enthusiast PSN: ExMaloBonumRegistered User regular
    edited April 2015
    I suggested monetized mods years ago on the EA UK forums, arguing it would be the only way for Battlefield to get mod support again. So yeah, I hope that Valve will be grossly successful with this, so the industry at large learns to monetize and embrace mods, to a degree that modding is so ingrained in the business, that even console makers integrate it into their business and support mods on a OS-level.

    I'd be down for Battlefield mods. All the Battlefield total conversion for BF1942 were the golden years of mods for me. I'd love to see those times return.

    BranniganSepp on
  • DrascinDrascin Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »

    I just kinda disagree with these points, honestly. I mean, "Support from developers"? Bethesda barely supports the game they actually sell, expecting them to provide any kind of useful support to third party random content providers working on their own time with no project or rhyme strikes me as, at best, ridiculously optimistic.

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  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    I have a lot of respect for the folks that spend their time turning good games into great ones, and it makes sense that they should be able to get some level of support without stepping on the toes of the companies that own the IPs being worked with. I just think the way this is implemented seems pretty slipshod, and it's not a system I'll be supporting as it currently is.

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  • Blackbird SR-71CBlackbird SR-71C Registered User regular
    Sell your mods if you want to. Don't expect me to buy them.

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  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    And now Steam has disabled both comments and rating for the paid mods.
    KDeaj6o.png

    That just strikes me as a bit pathetic.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    MegaMek wrote: »
    Iolo wrote: »
    You could just as easily say, "Modders have been making their mods available forever without Valve getting involved." But folks generally saw Valve integrating mod support into the platform as a positive. At least I don't remember this much teeth-knashing when the benefit rolled out. Is the idea of a company receiving some level of compensation for providing a service so anathema in itself?

    I mean, are you having trouble seeing what the difference is here or what? This set up is of negative benefit to consumers, limited benefit to content creators, and infinite benefit to Valve and BethSoft.

    they do get compensation for the workshop in the form of sales

    my friend who pirates everything owns space engineers and skyrim and a few other games on steam because of the workshop

    I'm actually okay with paid mods but they should have some minimum level of weight to them, a strong vetting process by the storefront.

    I'm not sure if any existing skyrim mods are extensive enough to pass muster as far as I'm concerned, combinations of them certainly but I'd expect something a cut above, a series of quests with VO or something

    override367 on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    Drascin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »

    I just kinda disagree with these points, honestly. I mean, "Support from developers"? Bethesda barely supports the game they actually sell, expecting them to provide any kind of useful support to third party random content providers working on their own time with no project or rhyme strikes me as, at best, ridiculously optimistic.

    Independent modding solutions are terribly user unfriendly as is. Customizing a game to have all the mods you want is exactly as easy and accessible as building a computer, especially when you put all the parts together and you get some weird bios beep. Even with mod managers, there is a ton of conflict requiring expert end users or cookie cutter mod packs.

    A fiscal stake, both by modders and developers, may be the solution to that particular problem, but even if it isn't, it's not much worse than what we have now.

    And to clarify, there are a lot of modders out there with passion for their work that get screwed over despite an appreciative community and an appreciative developer because they need a career too, and I feel like we're taking too much advantage of their generosity and time.

    Paladin on
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  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    Derrick wrote: »
    And now Steam has disabled both comments and rating for the paid mods.
    KDeaj6o.png

    That just strikes me as a bit pathetic.

    Wait, even the people who bought it can't rate it or comment?

    That eliminates the sole way that buyers have of trying to sort through the paid mods to find ones they actually want to buy.

    I have zero issue with them restricting comments and ratings to people who actually bought it. But to just disable them completely makes their already troubled system completely useless.

    Geth
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    but basically all mods in existence are done as a hobby, yeah people on the internet can develop shitty attitudes towards something someone is making for free on their own time, but that's true of everything

    I really don't like the idea of monetizing existing mods that have been out forever without major content additions to them

  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    Derrick wrote: »
    And now Steam has disabled both comments and rating for the paid mods.
    KDeaj6o.png

    That just strikes me as a bit pathetic.

    Except you've always only been able to comment/review stuff you own. In fact, it letting non-buyers review/add stuff was the oversight. Go review a game you don't own. Or DLC. See how far you get. I'll wait here.

    I fully support this. Let people choose to try to make money if they can. It is their work, their effort. It's the same concept as expecting people to do unpaid internships. Which is also bullshit.

    Skyrim made a lot of money. Probably even more because of mods. Yet the modders saw pretty much nothing out of it.

    Why do people have such an issue with others actually getting paid for their work? I figure everyone could get behind the concept of people actually being compensated for their labors. As for any infringement: That's an issue in pretty much all mediums. Music, art, whatever. Things improve with systems over time and ways are worked out to resolve issues accordingly. Same will happen here.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    Derrick wrote: »
    And now Steam has disabled both comments and rating for the paid mods.
    KDeaj6o.png

    That just strikes me as a bit pathetic.

    Except you've always only been able to comment/review stuff you own. In fact, it letting non-buyers review/add stuff was the oversight. Go review a game you don't own. Or DLC. See how far you get. I'll wait here.

    I fully support this. Let people choose to try to make money if they can. It is their work, their effort. It's the same concept as expecting people to do unpaid internships. Which is also bullshit.

    Skyrim made a lot of money. Probably even more because of mods. Yet the modders saw pretty much nothing out of it.

    Why do people have such an issue with others actually getting paid for their work? I figure everyone could get behind the concept of people actually being compensated for their labors. As for any infringement: That's an issue in pretty much all mediums. Music, art, whatever. Things improve with systems over time and ways are worked out to resolve issues accordingly. Same will happen here.

    There's zero benefit for me as a consumer though

    but I give precisely zero fucks about paying valve or bethesda more money, and they get fully 3/4 of it, so I am not going to buy shit on the workshop anyway

    if other people decide to patronize it that's their business, but I see no benefit to myself whatsoever

    The best case scenario is this will lead to monetized really high quality mods, as previously mods are done for fun/hobby and not for a source of income. I don't see that happening though, what I do see is horse armor times 500000

    override367 on
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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    but basically all mods in existence are done as a hobby, yeah people on the internet can develop shitty attitudes towards something someone is making for free on their own time, but that's true of everything

    I really don't like the idea of monetizing existing mods that have been out forever without major content additions to them

    Even if they're not crappy and with good intent, we don't have a good track record for supporting modders who want to turn to a career. Granted, a lot do it as a hobby, but those people putting stuff on the market are either stupid or need something more, and we're never gonna tell them to slow down, even if they're at risk of burning out.


    As long as there is a free option so hobbyists can keep being hobbyists, I'm down with the separation of amateur developers.

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  • KadokenKadoken Giving Ends to my Friends and it Feels Stupendous Registered User regular
    What the fuck are they thinking?

    They want modders to be compensated? Put a donate button on their workshop page. Not this 75% Valve/Publisher vs 25% modder bullshit.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    basically my issue isn't modders being able to create a career making mods, that is a pretty great idea, but that's not what we have here

    we couldn't

    the split is so bad that a mod would have to sell a fucking insane amount of copies for the modder to be able to make a career of it

    the split is Nintendo youtube letsplay levels of bad

    override367 on
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  • AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    Kadoken wrote: »
    What the fuck are they thinking?

    They want modders to be compensated? Put a donate button on their workshop page. Not this 75% Valve/Publisher vs 25% modder bullshit.

    They don't want modders to be compensated. They want to make money from mods but they can't take 100% of it without an even worse riot.

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  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    Derrick wrote: »
    And now Steam has disabled both comments and rating for the paid mods.
    KDeaj6o.png

    That just strikes me as a bit pathetic.

    Except you've always only been able to comment/review stuff you own. In fact, it letting non-buyers review/add stuff was the oversight. Go review a game you don't own. Or DLC. See how far you get. I'll wait here.

    I fully support this. Let people choose to try to make money if they can. It is their work, their effort. It's the same concept as expecting people to do unpaid internships. Which is also bullshit.

    Skyrim made a lot of money. Probably even more because of mods. Yet the modders saw pretty much nothing out of it.

    Why do people have such an issue with others actually getting paid for their work? I figure everyone could get behind the concept of people actually being compensated for their labors. As for any infringement: That's an issue in pretty much all mediums. Music, art, whatever. Things improve with systems over time and ways are worked out to resolve issues accordingly. Same will happen here.

    As I said before, they're turning a largely open source, community effort mod scene into a 3rd party developer for DLC scene (or trying to, at any rate).

    If your mod uses code and assets from another free mod, how much of your profit should you give to those mods? 75%? Because that's Valve and Bethesda's cut, so that only makes sense to me. 75% of 75%. Looking like a real sweet deal if we're being ethical, right? Wait, but your mod actually uses more than 1 free mod to work, so maybe it's 75% off the top, and then 75% split 3 ways, and then maybe you get whatever is left? Fractions of a cent?

    That's an extreme case, of course. But in practical terms what is happening is that the mod scene as a whole is damaged when asset creators don't want people to cash in on their work, so they stop contributing. Free mod makers don't want people to steal their work and then try to sell it (already happening), so they don't upload and take down what they have for free (hundreds of mods disappearing from Nexus right now because of this). Most of all you lose the spirit of cooperation that has been vital to mod making in the past. All that good will has made most of these mods possible, as the expertise and tips and tricks have worked their way through the community. And now that goodwill is being taken advantage of. Cooperation will give to competition.

    On balance, it isn't worth it for the health and goodwill of the game. On the one side, you have the possibility that better quality mods will be available for purchase (currently not the case. It's the same shit). On the other side, you have massive damage to the scene as a whole. Destruction, really, because you're changing the entire spirit of the endeavor from a community standpoint.

    And all so Valve and Bethesda can take a 75% cut. (More, actually, because a mod has to make $400 before they pay a cent. My money says that Valve and Bethesda pocket the money on any mods that don't hit that threshold.)

    Steam and CFN: Enexemander
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    Another issue is that most skyrim mods are made with components of other skyrim mods, a mod that changes animation might use a modified skeleton from the titty jiggle mod

    modding for skyrim is a largely collaborative community thing, or has been, this is going to be a cluster fuck once the knives start coming out

    also every good mod requires the skyrim script extender, what if he starts charging for the script extender? how much of their cut should go to the skse guy?

    override367 on
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  • AstaleAstale Registered User regular
    I'm totally fine with this, but I fully expect it to be an absolute shitshow for awhile, probably years, before the system is beneficial.

    Which describes an awful lot of things I guess.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    Astale wrote: »
    I'm totally fine with this, but I fully expect it to be an absolute shitshow for awhile, probably years, before the system is beneficial.

    Which describes an awful lot of things I guess.

    This should have launched with a new game

    launching it with a game from 2011 with a mature modding community is just dumb as fuck imo

    Bethesda taking such a big cut is equally dumb, skyrim is one of the most successful PC games ever because of the large open modding community, the greed is palpable

    override367 on
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  • BurnageBurnage Registered User regular
    Why do people have such an issue with others actually getting paid for their work?

    The vast majority of mods aren't worth paying for, to be blunt. Are they enjoyable? Yes, of course - that's why so many people use them. The problem is that they also tend to be janky, rough around the edges, incompatible with others and require a lot of fiddling to get to run.

    For a free product, that's fine. For a product open to donations, that's fine. For something locked behind a paywall? I'm going to pass. If they want to charge, modders need to massively step up the quality of content and support that they provide. If they do, then great!

    I'm just not optimistic that they will.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Burnage wrote: »
    Why do people have such an issue with others actually getting paid for their work?

    The vast majority of mods aren't worth paying for, to be blunt. Are they enjoyable? Yes, of course - that's why so many people use them. The problem is that they also tend to be janky, rough around the edges, incompatible with others and require a lot of fiddling to get to run.

    For a free product, that's fine. For a product open to donations, that's fine. For something locked behind a paywall? I'm going to pass. If they want to charge, modders need to massively step up the quality of content and support that they provide. If they do, then great!

    I'm just not optimistic that they will.

    of course not, that would require them to become professional modders, something that sure as shit can't happen with them only getting 25% of sales

    Dr. Chaos
  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    Astale wrote: »
    I'm totally fine with this, but I fully expect it to be an absolute shitshow for awhile, probably years, before the system is beneficial.

    Which describes an awful lot of things I guess.

    This should have launched with a new game

    launching it with a game from 2011 with a mature modding community is just dumb as fuck imo

    Bethesda taking such a big cut is equally dumb, skyrim is one of the most successful PC games ever because of the large open modding community, the greed is palpable

    Zenimax (owns Bethesda) is that kind of company. Which is to say, a normal one I suppose.

    Here's the choice- you tank the modding scene on a game that's four years old and has already paid for itself multiple times over, or

    -you tank the launch of a new game (that's only been on the wrong side of the balance sheet for years) with a wildly unpopular monetization scheme.

    We know which one they picked. They're hoping people will get over it when they introduce this system with Fallout 4, which will probably have a few more restrictive things thrown in (such as only getting mods from Steam Workshop).

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    I got no interest in buying bethesda products that don't support modding

    and if their intent is to create a new source of shovelware DLC that takes zero investment from them, which I think it is, I think they're going to be disappointed in long term sales

    override367 on
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  • MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    Burnage wrote: »
    Why do people have such an issue with others actually getting paid for their work?

    The vast majority of mods aren't worth paying for, to be blunt. Are they enjoyable? Yes, of course - that's why so many people use them. The problem is that they also tend to be janky, rough around the edges, incompatible with others and require a lot of fiddling to get to run.

    For a free product, that's fine. For a product open to donations, that's fine. For something locked behind a paywall? I'm going to pass. If they want to charge, modders need to massively step up the quality of content and support that they provide. If they do, then great!

    I'm just not optimistic that they will.

    If you don't want to pay for enjoyable yet janky and rough around the edges products that take a lot of fiddling

    You probably shouldn't be buying Bethesda games

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  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    I like that the gif is janky and rough around the edges. Well played.

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  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    I have no issue with the concept of modders being able to sell mods. I have an issue with the numbers at play, and I have an issue with the fact that Steam's system is not setup to handle this well.

    I think like most things in the game-o-sphere the reaction to this has been so over the top and silly as to drown out any real issues. If you go look at reddit, most complaints aren't legitimate concerns as much as "I'm an entitled little twat and I should get everything for free", which is simply not a compelling argument. The feature has merit, but it is not even remotely baked enough yet. The numbers are completely ludicrous, and Steam's system has no good way of handling copyright and fraud issues.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    As totalbiscuit points out, people stealing mods and charging for them is already happening

    we're just at the tip of this shit iceberg

    I would have loved to have seen a thing on the workshop where you can pay directly through steam to modders you like with Valve taking a small service fee (5% or something)

    override367 on
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  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    I mean, here's where the rubber meets the road: Arguably the most powerful game engine on the planet readily available to people charges a 5% royalty (Unreal). How in gods name do Bethesda and Valve think 75% is fair for distribution and tools? Bethesda's 45% cut is fucking crazy.

    From Valve's point of view, 30% is their standard fee. It's stupidly high, but there you have it...but Bethesda wanting 45-fucking-percent? That's the ludicrous number to me.

    Sagroth wrote: »
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  • WyvernWyvern Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    I may be really out of step on this, but I have absolutely no problem with this.
    • If modders want to continue to mod for the love of modding, they have that option.
    • If modders want to continue to mod and to receive donations, there's Nexus.
    • If modders like being paid for it, and feel that they could receive more money from using Steam's system than from using donations, there's that option too, and I'm fine with that.
    • If users are mad that they now have to pay for mods that they have for free or had donated for in the past, then they should take it up with the modders who've chosen to be paid for their mods.
    • If users are mad that modders are only getting 25% of the cut on Skyrim, they should take it up with Bethesda - as I understand it, Valve is taking a 25% cut (basically, the same as they'd take on games) and Bethesda is taking a 50% cut.
    The only people in this I have a problem with are modders who are stealing resources from other modders for monetary gain or to reduce the monetary gain of others. We'll see how well that works out. Hopefully, with tarring and feathering.

    I'm going to assume that people have the best of intentions when they say that they think that modders would make more money through donations than through paid mods, but I strongly suspect that the majority of people who use mods don't actually donate. I suspect that the well-known and popular mods being some of the early options on the new model indicates that the creators have done the math comparing downloads to donations and that they feel that they'll make more money this way. I could be wrong. People might be more generous and altruistic than I'm willing to give them credit for in this situation. But my strong suspicion is that most modders will make more money on their hobby this way, or believe that they will, and that's the primary reason for their choice.

    What are the odds that the Midas Magic person has made $25,000 on his mod through donations? $10,000? $5,000? I could easily see a scenario where Midas Magic could lose 75% of its user base and still make more for the person at 25% per sale than it could via donations.

    The reason paid Steam mods don't work, and will most likely never work, is that there isn't one iota of quality assurance on the part of the modders, and there wasn't one iota of effort on Valve's part to make sure the technological environment was built to support the new economic environment.

    Imagine these three scenarios, just off the top of my head:


    You see a cool mod and buy it. 25 hours later, the game developer releases a patch. Steam auto-installs it without permission (apparently you can't even disable this anymore). The update breaks the mod. The modder never updates it, and the mod remains permanently unusable.

    A modder throws some sort of temper tantrum and wants to delete a mod. Steam won't technically let them. Instead they release a mod update that deliberately unbalances the mod and undermines its appeal. Steam forces you to update the mod, rendering it mostly unusable. Eventually the above happens, rendering it literally unusable.

    A free Workshop mod has been in wide circulation for years. The creator decides to convert to a paid mod. The changes in the mod are dramatic enough that all your saves will break unless you cough up the money.


    A real developer could never get away with shit like this. If a developer releases DLC, you can be reasonably assured that if you buy it, the developer will not go on to abruptly delete it from your account and give you no refund. You can reasonably assume that a developer won't release DLC that breaks all your saves if you don't buy it, or will randomly break all your saves at some future date. No such assumptions hold to mods, because modders aren't really accountable to anybody. Valve doesn't give a shit if you get ripped off, as long as it happens after 24 hours. For all Valve's song and dance of making everything all neat and "official", in practice mod-buying plays out like a sketchy gray market and it always will.

    The bare minimum Valve would have to do to make paid mods even halfway reasonable would be to give users full version control. Let them roll back their games to previous patches if they want, and probably do the same for mods. That solves at least some of the problems, and makes Workshop mods about as reliable as pre-Steam mods were. But Valve has shown zero inclination that they'll ever want to move in that direction. They want a quick cash payout off of the backs of modders without actually putting any genuine effort into supporting the modding scene and it sucks.

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  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    You do realize Bethesda stands to make a lot more money off this than Valve right? Why are we only shitting on Valve for making a cash grab, when it's Bethesda getting 45%?

    Sagroth wrote: »
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  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    They must be banking on professionals getting in as third party developers and selling a ton of their DLC. That's the only way the 75% cut makes sense.
    On the other hand, is 25% really enough incentive to get professionals involved in a game so far past its prime in terms of sales?

    I mean, the whole thing kind of stinks of poorly thought out ideas and a greed motive, but I'd really like to know exactly what their expectations were and are.

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  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    I mean, to sell the workshop stuff you have to put in verifiable bank and tax info.

    They know who these people are and can take any legal steps necessary once the dust settles and things become more organized.

    The only real issue here is, again, the amount being paid and better ways to help creators keep their content under control.

    steam_sig.png
    GnomeTank
  • IoloIolo iolo Registered User regular
    MegaMek wrote: »
    Iolo wrote: »
    MegaMek wrote: »
    Iolo wrote: »
    Suriko wrote: »
    So, a good idea implemented in a really terrible way?

    I put forward that a good idea with no possible good implementation is not, in fact, a good idea.

    If the idea is "we should enable modders to receive compensation for their efforts", then couldn't some kind of tip jar be a workable implementation?

    Modders have been doing the donation thing forever already without Valve and BethSoft trying to get a cut.

    Yes, that's true. But not on Steam.

    The idea is for "Valve to enable modders to receive compensation for their efforts."

    It's not inappropriate for Valve to take a piece, since they are hosting files and moving funds. I think a lot of people don't see it as problematic that the company that made the modded game receive something, although that's likely a smaller number than the first group. The actual percentages that Valve launched the service with, though, aren't making consumers happy.

    You could just as easily say, "Modders have been making their mods available forever without Valve getting involved." But folks generally saw Valve integrating mod support into the platform as a positive. At least I don't remember this much teeth-knashing when the benefit rolled out. Is the idea of a company receiving some level of compensation for providing a service so anathema in itself?

    I mean, are you having trouble seeing what the difference is here or what? This set up is of negative benefit to consumers, limited benefit to content creators, and infinite benefit to Valve and BethSoft.

    The set up is of negative benefit to consumers who are used to getting something for free and now will sometimes have to pay. There is a very real possibility that it will be a benefit to consumers once the histrionics and hyperbole die down and some adjustments are made to the system. A stable market of curated mods with revenue going to the creators is potentially a benefit for the consumer.

    It is also a benefit for the consumer in that it reflects the possibility that developers, publishers and IP owners will be willing to come to the table to support modding. Paid mods are not a foregone conclusion. Locking PC software more along the consolization route and going after unapproved license users (or sites that host their work) a la the recent Twitch and Youtube fracases is a very real possibility as the dominant trend. This is a more constructive path to explore, although it was launched poorly and obviously needs refinement.

    It is potentially of great benefit to content creators who will be able to choose to utilize Steam to derive revenue from their work that previously they did for free and or relied on donations. There's support for this idea in the DayZ dev remarks and the Garry's Mod comments that Paladin posted.

    There are major concerns with this new program. Maddoc articulated the biggest, in my opinion, that this is disruptive to an existing community with a long history of collaboration and working with no expectation of financial gain. So some of this conversation that's exploded across the Internet in the past few days is productive and necessary. But the hyperbole and vitriol and the accusations of pure, mustache-twirling villainy seem to me to just draw from the deep wellspring of gamer entitlement.

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  • WyvernWyvern Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    You do realize Bethesda stands to make a lot more money off this than Valve right? Why are we only shitting on Valve for making a cash grab, when it's Bethesda getting 45%?
    It's Valve's storefront. They have final say on how it functions and what you are and are not allowed to do on it, and if they release a feature that results in a fucked up user experience then they bear the responsibility for it.

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  • KadokenKadoken Giving Ends to my Friends and it Feels Stupendous Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    You do realize Bethesda stands to make a lot more money off this than Valve right? Why are we only shitting on Valve for making a cash grab, when it's Bethesda getting 45%?

    Because they are enabling it to happen.

    Edit: Beat by Wyvern

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  • AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    IMHO unveiling this, thing, with Skyrim/Bethesda was probably the worst way to go about it. I mean mods are so intrinsic to the experience with Bethesda games and there are so many mods that require other mods which in turn require other mods in order to work. Very poor partnership for a grand unveiling.

    That said, something like this for Shadowrun's player made campaigns would be great. Or Legend of Grimrock.

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  • WyvernWyvern Registered User regular
    I mean, to sell the workshop stuff you have to put in verifiable bank and tax info.

    They know who these people are and can take any legal steps necessary once the dust settles and things become more organized.

    The only real issue here is, again, the amount being paid and better ways to help creators keep their content under control.
    There are no legal steps "necessary", from their perspective, outside of stolen content. It says right in the FAQ that if you buy a mod that breaks and it's outside of the 24 hour grace period, then you're shit out of luck.

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  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    Wyvern wrote: »
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    I may be really out of step on this, but I have absolutely no problem with this.
    • If modders want to continue to mod for the love of modding, they have that option.
    • If modders want to continue to mod and to receive donations, there's Nexus.
    • If modders like being paid for it, and feel that they could receive more money from using Steam's system than from using donations, there's that option too, and I'm fine with that.
    • If users are mad that they now have to pay for mods that they have for free or had donated for in the past, then they should take it up with the modders who've chosen to be paid for their mods.
    • If users are mad that modders are only getting 25% of the cut on Skyrim, they should take it up with Bethesda - as I understand it, Valve is taking a 25% cut (basically, the same as they'd take on games) and Bethesda is taking a 50% cut.
    The only people in this I have a problem with are modders who are stealing resources from other modders for monetary gain or to reduce the monetary gain of others. We'll see how well that works out. Hopefully, with tarring and feathering.

    I'm going to assume that people have the best of intentions when they say that they think that modders would make more money through donations than through paid mods, but I strongly suspect that the majority of people who use mods don't actually donate. I suspect that the well-known and popular mods being some of the early options on the new model indicates that the creators have done the math comparing downloads to donations and that they feel that they'll make more money this way. I could be wrong. People might be more generous and altruistic than I'm willing to give them credit for in this situation. But my strong suspicion is that most modders will make more money on their hobby this way, or believe that they will, and that's the primary reason for their choice.

    What are the odds that the Midas Magic person has made $25,000 on his mod through donations? $10,000? $5,000? I could easily see a scenario where Midas Magic could lose 75% of its user base and still make more for the person at 25% per sale than it could via donations.

    The reason paid Steam mods don't work, and will most likely never work, is that there isn't one iota of quality assurance on the part of the modders, and there wasn't one iota of effort on Valve's part to make sure the technological environment was built to support the new economic environment.

    Imagine these three scenarios, just off the top of my head:


    You see a cool mod and buy it. 25 hours later, the game developer releases a patch. Steam auto-installs it without permission (apparently you can't even disable this anymore). The update breaks the mod. The modder never updates it, and the mod remains permanently unusable.

    A modder throws some sort of temper tantrum and wants to delete a mod. Steam won't technically let them. Instead they release a mod update that deliberately unbalances the mod and undermines its appeal. Steam forces you to update the mod, rendering it mostly unusable. Eventually the above happens, rendering it literally unusable.

    A free Workshop mod has been in wide circulation for years. The creator decides to convert to a paid mod. The changes in the mod are dramatic enough that all your saves will break unless you cough up the money.


    A real developer could never get away with shit like this. If a developer releases DLC, you can be reasonably assured that if you buy it, the developer will not go on to abruptly delete it from your account and give you no refund. You can reasonably assume that a developer won't release DLC that breaks all your saves if you don't buy it, or will randomly break all your saves at some future date. No such assumptions hold to mods, because modders aren't really accountable to anybody. Valve doesn't give a shit if you get ripped off, as long as it happens after 24 hours. For all Valve's song and dance of making everything all neat and "official", in practice mod-buying plays out like a sketchy gray market and it always will.

    The bare minimum Valve would have to do to make paid mods even halfway reasonable would be to give users full version control. Let them roll back their games to previous patches if they want, and probably do the same for mods. That solves at least some of the problems, and makes Workshop mods about as reliable as pre-Steam mods were. But Valve has shown zero inclination that they'll ever want to move in that direction. They want a quick cash payout off of the backs of modders without actually putting any genuine effort into supporting the modding scene and it sucks.

    Also, hot damn, you must be new around PC gaming. I point you at something like Postal 3 which was just a barely working shitshow of a game from day 1. Or the latest issue with SpaceBase DF-9 where they basically decided they didn't want to work on it anymore so hey it's done lolz! Updates break saves all the time!

    Also, hey, again? Modders can choose to just not play the pay game. That is 100% their right and currently way within their ability. The only time anyone is 'profiting' is when the person who makes the work decides they want to tango. If it isn't worth it to them, they can just keep on doing free work. This is 100% a decision the modders make.

    Valve offered a system.
    Publisher accepted a system.
    Modder became a part of the system.
    Buyer bought into the system.

    Lots of responsibility to go around. At any point anyone in this chain can just say no.

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  • StollsStolls Brave Corporate Logo Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited April 2015
    Now that I've had time to mull over the idea - both the concept of paying for mods, and the way it's currently implemented - I'm still very not okay with how this happened.

    There are certainly mods that could pass for official DLC and I'd be fine paying money for; professionally produced, well supported, with quality content. I'm also fine with a modder trying to make money off their work, and companies have been selling cosmetic DLC for years. Even so, as I said in the Steam thread this would be controversial even if every thing about the launch had gone right: most mods don't rise to that level of quality, and this raises the issue of what other fanworks could be monetized. Dare a talented fan artist charge for their work? A fanfiction writer? If there's a line, it just a hell of a lot less clear.

    All that, if the launch had gone right and all practical concerns had been addressed; clearly it did not and they were not. Others have pointed out that mods can be derivative of each other, or of other games entirely, or even be bugfixes that the developers themselves should have done. Mods can be unpacked, tweaked slightly, and packaged into "new" mods for sale, or they can even be just compilations of mods custom-edited to work with each other. Hell, that's what I did for Stalker: I didn't make any significant contributions to individual mods, but I spent time making sure that conflicting mods worked happily together. Does Valve have an arbitration system in place for such issues, a recourse for the original modmaker or the means to credibly determine what portion goes where? I would be shocked if they did.

    On top of this, many mods are just god items - super-powerful weapons or armor, in locations easy to reach from the start of the game - and charging for them could create a de facto pay to win system. Mods also don't offer a guarantee of functionality that an exchange of money would imply; the 24-hour refund system somewhat mitigates this issue, but it's broken twice over by the possibility of patches rendering the mod unusable. Then you have Valve's cut from the revenue, and "early access" pricing (I'm told this developer is reputable; many will not be), and the possibility of mods being pirated and requiring protective measures... there are just so many problems, both potential and actual, that I must conclude Valve didn't do nearly as much work preparing for this as they should have.

    These could just be the rough early days of a great idea, but I'm growing more convinced that Valve has bought into their own hype: Steam is wildly successful, ergo everything Valve does will be successful. This could very easily backfire and probably already has. They were not ready for this. Maybe they couldn't have been.

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