Valve pulls paid Skyrim mods

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Uturn sign

It all started with a seemingly good idea. Valve has let people make money from their creations in Dota and other games, why not reward those modders who make games better? Well, because apparently the internet will riot.

In the fastest 180, Valve has undone its decision from last week, the one allowing creators to charge for Steam Workshop mods. I do believe their heart was in the right place, as was Bethesda’s based on the original blog about it:

We believe mod developers are just that: developers. We love that Valve has given new choice to the community in how they reward them, and want to pass that choice along to our players. We are listening and will make changes as necessary.

Of course, they were listening, and when the internet rose up with criticism and later hate for the idea, they quickly backed down:

After discussion with Valve, and listening to our community, paid mods are being removed from Steam Workshop. Even though we had the best intentions, the feedback has been clear – this is not a feature you want. Your support means everything to us, and we hear you.

Valve made a similar statement. Not only will the payment feature be removed from the Skyrim workshop, anyone who spent money on a mod will be getting a full refund.

We’ve done this because it’s clear we didn’t understand exactly what we were doing. We’ve been shipping many features over the years aimed at allowing community creators to receive a share of the rewards, and in the past, they’ve been received well. It’s obvious now that this case is different.

The move to allow modders to make money from their creations is an extremely tricky balance. Some people are willing to pay for massive modifications to games, while others feared it would become like DLC with people making mods as a quick and easy cash grab. Of course, some modders actually make certain games worthwhile – so why so many issues with Skyrim? Then again, I think Markus ‘Notch’ Persson hit the nail on the head with his tweets.

That’s just it, for some games people demand the right to pay for mods, while with other games they are outraged at the suggestion of it. Valve seems to have made the right decision in this case – better to pull the feature than deal with ridiculous internet rage. But why are these paid mods so upsetting compared to ones for other games?

Last Updated: April 28, 2015

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