User Content Can No Longer Be Sold Through Steam Workshop
Steam has surely set some kind of record this week as they have reneged on their paid mod platform just as quickly as it was announced.
Feedback from the community came hard and fast that this feature was simply a bridge too far and there seems to be thousands of reasons why. Some key arguments were that the revenue share system favors small, easy to build chotchkies over large, in-depth mods, the publisher actually has the right to set the prices, and that mods could contain materials that weren’t even the property or creation of the seller.
It ended up being a mountain of flaws next to the molehill of benefits, and in the end, was not long for this world.
Moving forward, Valve will be refunding any purchases that were made through the new system and will be a little more delicate in their implementation of such systems in the future.
To my eyes the benefits are awesome; anyone could create content as they already do today, but also be rewarded with the instant gratification of a cash payback. A sound alternative to the current model of slaving away on exceptional content that would be consumed and adored, but never result in any real payback. There are the Cinderella stories of people getting noticed and hired by some devs, but the time it took and the odds against you? Sheesh…
Officially, Valve says the system is still on the table awaiting implementation in a more suitable game, and reminds everyone of other successful endeavors like DOTA, Killing Floor, Day Z, and Counter Strike.
Bethesda also shared their (LENGHTY) thoughts, starting with the reminder that they build their games with the intent that the community will use their world tools to build something bigger, better, and more personal, but that only 8% of players actually ever use the mods. Of that same player base, a paltry 1% of users actually create mods.
They go on to explain that they believe most mods should be free, but that the mod developers also deserve to be paid for their work and treated like the developers that they are. Bethesda also expressed that they are against a world where mods are locked behind DRM and fully support the community’s decision on the matter.