One of the great things about gaming on the PC is the option to tinker. More often than not, it’s the modding community – not the original game developer – that’s responsible for taking an average game and transforming it into something spectacular (or simply adding in features that should have been included from the get-go).
Aside from a bit of community recognition, modders often get nothing in return for their hours upon hours of hard work.
Valve is looking to change that by adding new functionality to the Steam Workshop that affords modders the option to sell their creations directly to gamers.
Valve’s Tom Bui said they think this is a great opportunity to help support the incredible creative work done by mod makers in the Steam Workshop. He adds that user-generated content is an increasingly significant component of many games and opening new avenues to help financially support contributors will drive the level of content to new heights.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the first game to support paid mods. As of writing, there are nearly 20 paid mods up for sale ranging in price from $0.25 to $4.99.
Reactions to the move haven’t exactly been favorable thus far. Many believe Valve has simply erected a paywall to mods and that modding is a hobby, not a career. Others, however, don’t seem to mind paying a few bucks in return for a quality mod that adds true value to the game.
Personally, I’d be interested in hearing what modders have to say. Do they truly do it for the community or would they like to make some extra money for their hard work? And how do they feel about the revenue share (modders only get 25 percent of what each Skyrim mod sells for – publisher Bethesda gets the rest)?