Video game development company, Valve is allowing game modders to make money on the Steam Workshop. Game modders are people who make modifications for games, and these can be small changes like new items, updated gadgets and weapons, to bigger changes like a different story line or even a game mode.
Valve is now letting the creators who signed up for the Steam Workshop sell their mods for actual money. Initially Valve used to allow only mods made for their own games, like Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 to be sold, but they have now added The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to that list too. Bethesda Game Studio’s Skyrim added an editor and integrated with the Workshop back in 2012, but the mods were for free then. There are close to 24,000 free mods available for the game on the Workshop, but with the new update, users can support their favorite mod authors by paying for their creations. All the mods have not been put on sale though.
Modders on the Steam Workshop can decide the price for which they want to sell their creations in the new update. They can set a definite price, take donations of any amount or decide to publish their creation for free. They get 25 percent of each sale made via the Workshop, while the rest will be split between the game developer and Valve. The new update also lets users get their money refunded if they do not like a mod. If they find that the mod does not meet their requirements or is not working, they can get their money back within 24 hours of purchase.
Steam has around 125 million active users and the change might prove lucrative for people who produce mods which get quite popular. Until now, 19 mods are being sold for Skyrim and they are priced between 49 cents to $5.99. Valve said that it will soon be adding support for paid mods in other games too.
The announcement for paid mods though, has raised concerns in the modding community. The modding community is worried that paid mods will become the norm. Social media was buzzing with news that Valve’s decision could potentially harm the community and was a capitalistic move. One Steam user posted on the community pages that they thought players made mods for fun while a Twitter user claimed that it was “the beginning of the end for mods” as free mods on other services, like Nexus Mods, has started shifting to Steam.
Yet another user rose to the defense of modders who decided to get paid for their services on the Steam community page. The user pointed out that making a mod was time-consuming and applauded Valve for trying to change the scene. Gabe Newell, Valve co-founder, took to Reddit to talk about the Steam update and also said that their decision made sense as the payment option will let gamers decide which mod is actually helpful. “If something doesn’t help with that, it will get dumped,” said Newell. Newell also spoke about Valve’s customer service which had received complaints regarding the billing and delivery of Steam products. He said that there are long-term solutions in the works.
By Anugya Chitransh
Photo by Performance Gaming – Creativecommons Flickr License