User Content Can Now Be Sold Through Steam Workshop
Steam announced last week that they were introducing a new system that would finally see user-generated content trade hands for actual cash money!
As any gamer knows, user created content has long been one of the major driving forces behind the PC community. Fans have long toiled on their own time to build quests, weapons, and other customizations, and today this spirit is stronger than ever. Recent years have brought incredible levels of accessibility that have stretched far beyond the secret lairs of high-dollar development studios, and into the hands of everyone with a computer and an imagination.
Steam has always been open to players exchanging these creations, but they have now opened the door to actually kick back to these independent creators. The first game to be supported will be Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a game which already has over 24,000 listed mods!
All of the content will still be found in the usual Steam Workshop portal, but will now have prices attached which will be set by the creators themselves. There will be a 24-hour window to request a refund for any purchase, and there will still be support for free and pay-what-you-want models as well.
Developers are obviously well aware of the value that user generated content holds. Who better to develop new characters and story lines than the fans who already love the source? And why not utilize a potential team of millions to source new ideas versus a team of a dozen?
Of course, with the good comes the bad… For every epic recreation of Hamlet in the Fallout universe comes a giant pony that shoots dildos out of its rainbow-hole. It would seem the real work now is going to be ferreting out the legitimate, worthwhile content while excluding the perverse or just general crap. But that could also just be left to the usual nature of this free market; gamers will be the true judge and will cast their votes with dollars and cents.
This is a fairly groundbreaking development in the gaming world and hopefully sets a trend for other gaming outlets to follow. It will be great to see the type of new content that this system will foster, being that there are already teams of people pumping out content, for free; imagine what a little cash motivation will breed!
Eyes are also already turned towards Rockstar, who have allowed the creation of innumerable ‘jobs’ for the online portion of GTA V. They were able to ride the wave of user generated missions while they put the final touches on their own ‘heists’ and PC release. Now, will they open their own pay system to give back to these same creators? An interesting prospect indeed…