Valve will no longer be charging for Skyrim mods on the Steam Workshop. The decision to pull the feature came after PC gamers took to the internet to vent their disapproval of the way that that the system was implemented. Valve has apologised to the community, and will be reviewing the feedback it received during the fiasco.
Paid mods first appeared in the Steam Workshop last week, with Skyrim being the centre of attention. Fans did not appreciate the fact that modders were only receiving 25-percent of the proceeds of the sale (a division of profits that was set by Bethesda); and not to mention the number of stolen mods being sold in the marketplace. This also caused Skyrim’s rating to plummet from 98-percent to 83-percent. A massive drop for one of the world’s most popular games.
Valve CEO Gabe Newell took to Reddit to engage the PC gaming community and was met with hostile gamers downvoting his replies to questions, preventing them from being seen by others. However, Newell was open and receptive to criticism and promised to fix the problem. This, as it seems, has resulted in the paid mods feature in Steam being removed.
The announcement of the feature being removed reads like an apology, which is rather unusual for a large game publisher. On the other hand, the company has said that it still believes that there is a useful feature hidden somewhere in the failed attempt at charging for mods. The full text of Valve’s statement is below.
We’re going to remove the payment feature from the Skyrim workshop. For anyone who spent money on a mod, we’ll be refunding you the complete amount. We talked to the team at Bethesda and they agree.
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.
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 & 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.
But we underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim’s workshop. We understand our own game’s communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there’s a useful feature somewhere here.
Now that you’ve backed a dump truck of feedback onto our inboxes, we’ll be chewing through that, but if you have any further thoughts let us know.
It looks like the PC gaming community has won this round, and mods will return to their original free distribution method. Some are still asking for Steam to implement a donate feature, that would allow the gamers to donate money to their favourite modders; a feature that exists in some other modding communities.
[Source: Steam Community]
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