Valve and Bethesda have jointly agreed to stop their experiment with paid mods, as the creators reveal the online abuse they’ve suffered.
Considering the size and complexity of some of the mods (fan-made adaptations and expansions to existing games) created for Skyrim you’d think the idea of the creators being paid for their work wouldn’t be that controversial. But apparently not…
According to an article on Polygon modders James ‘Jimo’ Ive and Thiago Vidotto have received a wave of abuse from PC gamers for ‘destroying the gaming world’.
‘I’ve received countless death threats, attacks and hateful comments. Just about everything you can think of,’ says Ive.
Although the intention was eventually to allow paid mods in other titles, Valve started the experiment on the Steam Workshop with Skyrim.
But Steam users became concerned that this would signal the eventual death of free mods in general, while also complaining at the revenue split between Valve, Bethesda, and the creators – with the person making the mod only getting 25 per cent.
Bethesda tried to address these worries in a blog post, before Valve co-founder Gabe Newell took to Reddit to explain things. But it all fell on deaf ears and now Valve has refunded all purchases and given up on the idea.
In a final statement on the matter Valve apologised and admitted that while they would try to revisit the idea in the future, Skyrim, with its pre-existing mod community, was probably not the best place to start.
‘To help you understand why we thought this was a good idea, our main goals were to allow mod makers the opportunity to work on their mods full time if they wanted to, and to encourage developers to provide better support to their mod communities.
‘We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free and paid. We wanted more great mods becoming great products, like Dota, Counter-Strike, DayZ, and Killing Floor, and we wanted that to happen organically for any mod maker who wanted to take a shot at it.’