Skyrim

BLOG PIECE: Modding as a hobby versus modding as a career, and the position of the Nexus

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Ever since Valve announced their curated Workshops update for Steam Workshop back at the end of January and Bethesda announced an update to their Skyrim Workshop to remove the 100MB file size limit I've been meaning to write one of my long-winded, often nonsensical blog pieces that goes off on extreme tangents rife with radical speculation. It's been quite a while since I've done one of these, so excuse me if I'm rusty.

I'm going to begin by clarifying that I still stand by the fact I think Steam Workshop has been great for modding, great for bringing modding to the forefront of showcasing the qualities of PC gaming and great for introducing otherwise sceptical people to the merits of modding your game. My one and only gripe remains the same; that because you need to own the game on Steam in order to use Steam Workshop it essentially DRMifies modding, limiting it to just Steam's platform. Saying you can only get mods from a platform if you've bought the game from their platform is a bit like saying you can only get mods from the Nexus if you've become a Premium Member and use NMM. It makes more sense if the game is a Steamworks game; the user has already had to buy the game through Steam, or at least verify it through Steam so limiting mods to Steam makes more sense. But doing the same to games that aren't Steam exclusive? No, I'm not a fan of that.

With that said, I raised an eyebrow when Valve announced that they were expanding the remit of Steam Workshop to allow what they call "Curated Workshops". Up until that point the only games where mod authors could upload their mods and, if accepted by the developers, sell their mods were Valve games; TF2, DotA 2 and CS:GO. As far as I know, the system works by allowing mod authors to upload their mods to the site. The mod is then placed into a queue of unaccepted mods that users can vote on to be accepted. If the file gets enough votes, and the developer agrees that the mod is good, then the mod is added to the game and the catalogue of others mods available to purchase. The mod may or may not be accepted, but if it is, the mod author will receive a 25% cut (Valve take 75%) of any revenue generated from the sale of the mod. Curated Workshops follow on from this concept coined with Valve's games, but opened up for other developers and publishers on Steam to make use of.

The first two games announced to be making use of these Curated Workshops were Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare with the promise of more to come. Valve were also happy to announce at the same time that mod authors for TF2, DotA 2 and CS:GO had been paid over $57 million between them thus far, an impressive number, and with a bit of maths voodoo on a napkin based on the 25/75 revenue share deal you can work out that roughly $228m has been spent on mods for these three games alone over the past few years, of which Valve took a $171m cut (note: these are not official figures and I'm just simply going off estimations based on the figures provided by Valve of a 25% revenue share and $57m paid out to modders).

What these figures show is that modding, or user generated content (UGC) as it seems to be called now, can make some serious bucks. So serious that I think most developers and publishers would be crazy not to be considering it. What UGC does is open up an entirely "new" previously untapped revenue stream for developers and publishers with crazy potential. UGC can not only make a ridiculous amount of money, as Valve's figures show, but also radically increase user engagement and user satisfaction in their game and community while expanding the longevity of those games way beyond their original scope. And all this comes from something the users put most of the work in to (sure, the developers still need to create the tools, but still). Of course, this is something we've all known for a long, long time, and I'm sure a lot of you are sat there wondering why it took so long for developers and publishers to work it out. But they have! And once again Valve are at the forefront of this spearhead in to UGC, pioneering and shaping the direction of modding like they did game sales platforms before this.

Now this is where the community gets divided. I'm sure a lot of you are sat there feeling slightly uncomfortable with the direction modding is being taken by Valve, while I'm sure others among you are chomping at the bit, desperate for this to come out for more games. I think it's safe to say that, no matter which side of the fence you sit on this issue, change is coming to modding.

My eyebrow raised a little higher at the start of this month, just a little over a month after Steam announced their Curated Steam Workshops, when Bethesda announced they were updating the Creation Kit for Skyrim and removing the 100MB file size limit on mods uploaded to the Skyrim Workshop. The timing, to me, seems curious considering they haven't touched Skyrim in years, and I'm looking for a motive. Are they simply doing it because they've found the time to do it? Considering they haven't announced the new game they've no doubt been working on for over 3 years now and will still be working away at that, I find it hard to believe they found the time out of the goodness of their hearts. But they might have! Which would be awesome. Is there a link between Skyrim Workshop and the new Curated Workshops announced by Valve? As in, would Bethesda be interested in releasing a Curated Workshop for Skyrim and removing the file size limit is a precursor to that? It seems a little late now, but I think it could still work. And based on the earning figures Valve released I think Bethesda would be crazy not to consider it. Or could this be Bethesda doing some preemptive testing ready for the announcement of their next game, which everyone is strongly speculating will be during their first ever E3 conference on June 14th? Announcing a game followed by Curated Steam Workshop support where you can sell mods straight from the get go? I honestly don't know, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say all those possibilities seem plausible to me.

I don't want to be sceptical. I don't want to instantly fight this change without good reason to. I don't want to be one of those people because lets face it, change definitely isn't always bad. What I do want to do is sit down and try to rationalise things, probably in futility considering this is all based on conjecture right now, and point out some of the potential issues that money could bring, the issues that Valve or anyone else seriously contemplating this has to take in to account. We know change is coming, but the worrying thing for me isn't the change itself, it's that we won't know how this change will affect and has affected our communities until the change has happened, by which point we can't go back.

Up until this point modding has been a hobby. As a modder, starting on your first mod, you know you're doing it because you have some spare time and you want to give it a go. You enjoy doing it. You want to do it more. You're not doing it for money, you're doing it for the fun of it. You join communities and share your thoughts and ideas with others, you contact and converse with other mod authors on forums to see how they've done things, ask them for permission to use their work in your work, you begin to become part of a like-minded community of people who are all enjoying the things you're doing or enjoy doing the same things you're doing. That's how I've seen modding for the past 20 years.

While the introduction of money doesn't change this entirely; you could still happily mod for the fun of it with the added bonus of actually earning money from it, I think we'd all be lying to ourselves if we said paying for mods, and earning money from mods, wouldn't change things. And I mean fundamentally change things at the core of the modding communities out there.

Even right now, in the world of open and free modding, things are competitive. Lots of mod authors like to fight for that hot file, for that file of the month vote, they want more views, more downloads, more endorsements. I wouldn't say it's an unhealthy obsession, not yet anyway, but it's always been there, that stark contrast between those mod authors who don't care about such "trivial" things, and those mod authors who really do, who really want their mods out there as much as possible. And sure, we have to sort out some squabbles every now and again, but such rivalries and competitions don't turn sour often because the thing being sought after is not some sort of finite resource with only so much to go around. A download, an endorsement; users can download and endorse more than one mod. They can do that for a lot of mods. Money, however, is finite. When you're competing to make your mod the top mod, the most bought mod, when you're trying to earn more money than your peers are you telling me that things don't change? You're now competing over a finite resource. Users only have so much money, after all. How does this change and affect other areas of the community?

How many mods on the Nexus use assets made by other mod authors? How many are made better by this? Such assets are used with the express permission of the creators of those assets. If a mod author came to you and asked if he could use some of your work in their mod that they were planning to sell for $5, would you feel more or less inclined to give him that permission? Would you, perhaps rightly, ask for a cut of the proceeds, a revenue share of your own? If you're one of those great authors who releases your mods freely for others to make use of in their mods, or a modder's resource developer, are you going to think about revisiting all your permissions in light of money entering the modding community? Are you still thinking about being so generous with your work?

How many mods have been developed by a team of mod authors? Lots of people working together to develop something amazing. Look at Nehrim or Falskaar, two epic, highly rated mods made by extensive groups of modders. I think a lot of us will have said at one point or another, either about those mods or about others, "I'd definitely pay for this". And my god, there are so many mods out there that are so good, so professional, so well done that yes, I'd pay for them in an instant! I mean, once you get SkyUI you don't ever want to think about going back to the way it was before again, right? But how are you going to sort out who gets what from selling such mods? We get lots of drama now, without any money changing hands, over permissions and credits, I don't even want to think how horrible it would be to try and sort out such issues when money is involved. That's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Curated Workshops have worked great for TF2, DotA 2 and CS:GO not just because they're extremely popular games, but also because the type of mods sold are "simple" in the grand scheme of things. Skins and hats. Things that typically only one person works on, which means the issues mentioned above aren't as relevant. Will it work as great for RPGs like Skyrim and Fallout? Well, it could, but there's a hell of a lot of hurdles to overcome. A hell of a lot of complications. And I hope Valve (and Bethesda, if they do pursue this) know what they're getting themselves in to.

I try hard not to say that many mod authors "deserve" money for their work. Modding is tough. Modding is a skill, a talent, and one that is getting more difficult as the technology in games becomes more complicated. And many modders are paying money out of their own pocket so they can buy and use more sophisticated and powerful software just so they can make better mods. Some of the mods people make are astonishing, some can even be better than what the original game developers could do. But modding is, and has been up to now, a hobby. Something done for the fun of it, and mod authors have entered in to this tradition knowing full well that they won't make money from it. So I think the word "deserve" isn't right, as being paid for mods shouldn't be and isn't expected.

And so, up to now, I've likened modding to Sunday League football. I don't know if you have the same traditions over the pond or with your national sports in other countries, but here in the UK Sunday League football is when a group of friends get together, form a football team, and play against other teams in the region in amateur leagues, sharing their love (and hate) of the game. Some take it more seriously than others. They do this for the fun of it, not because they think they'll become the new Messi or Ronaldo (or Brady, for our American fans), but because they're big fans of the sport and they want to play and be a part of it. They do this at their own expense, buying their own kit, their own boots, paying a fee to play in the league and sorting out travelling expenses to and from games. They don't get that money back. And modding, to me, is very similar, you mod and improve your games because you love what the game developers, your Messis, Ronaldos and Bradys, have already done and we want to be a part of it. You pay money to buy software that can make you mod better like you buy new and expensive boots to help you kick footballs better. And you do it knowing full well you won't get paid for it.

Just like how amateur football changed and "progressed" back in the late 1800s, we're now seeing the formation of the Premier League/NFL of modding, where the pros go to make their money, in Curated Steam Workshops. And that's really how I see it. Grass roots football has suffered from it, but it has also grown, the Premier League and NFL bring more people into the game that would otherwise never have bothered to play a game of football. In the same way, Curated Steam Workshops can, if done right, bring more people into modding that would otherwise not have given it a second look.

The worry is with the introduction of Curated Workshops that free and open modding will be removed entirely, as in, it just won't be possible to do. You've seen the arguments before with developers like BioWare and DICE no longer supporting modding with their games, they say it's because it's too complicated for modders or because they don't have time to work on the tools, many users argue it's because they don't want mods to cut in to DLC sales. I don't know any more about it than you in that regard, but if you're running a curated modding marketplace and there's a site out there with lots of mods available for free (note: probably not the same mods, as that wouldn't make sense!) will you willingly let that continue or would you try to ensure all your mods were going through your curated marketplace? I guess it would entirely depend on the developer and publisher in question, but if you ask me, my main concern now is the DRMification and closing down of free and open modding, the concept that modding can only take place if it's done through one official platform to the detriment of all others. Because up until now that's definitely not what modding has been about at all.

And so, if you're wondering where the Nexus sits in between all of this, then you'll find us sitting where we've always been sitting, right here, without fundamentally changing. We're still going to be about the free and open distribution of mods for everyone and I don't see that changing any time soon. Sure, I've had offers. Lots of offers. And I don't discount anything at all, but right now, for the foreseeable future, there are no plans to shake things up at all. I have absolutely no idea how these changes within the modding community are going to affect the community here at the Nexus, but I think that there's still going to be a market for a site that continues to offer a free and open sharing platform, away from money, where people who want to continue modding as a hobby, not a career, can shine.

661 comments

  1. Dark0ne
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    Which video, Ethreon? It must be old!
  2. Ethreon
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    Ignore me. I've grown old and youtube played a farce :)
  3. mac3498
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    666th Comment >:3

    (Why Did I Post This??)
  4. unity100
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    DRMification and closing down of free and open modding

     
    that is the real problem and threat, and the solution to this is the wordpress plugin method :
     
    mods are kept open source and as free as possible, whereas mods are downloaded via a token payment through steam workshop or modder's own site. or even mod packs/distributions which comprise over one mod.
     
    naturally the mod in these sources are well curated, up to date, bugfixed and neatly packed - which justifies for saving the hassle of making sure the mod works. 
     
    its how wordpress became to handle ~20% of the websites on internet. (yeah, thats the actual statistic).
     
    the threat of closing down of modding is real. this is what private corporations do - use any/all means to maximize their profit, regardless of what it does to anyone/anything. look at EA. 
     
    in another regard though, if they do that, bethesda would end up shoving their game up their ass.
     
    probably an open source project would start to create a framework to use for modding (what skyrim basically became with modding) and a new world and its community would be founded, without bethesda or its private owners/shareholders being anywhere in it.
     
    examples of that have happened in different aspects of software. and games are no exception.
  5. MrPandaCommando
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    I think that this quote from John Green suits this situation perfectly.

    "Don't make stuff because you want to make money, it will never make you enough money. Don't make stuff because you want to get famous, because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people and work hard on making those gifts in the hopes that those people will notice. Maybe they will notice how hard you worked, and maybe they won't. And if they don't notice, I know it's frustrating. But ultimately, that doesn't change anything because your responsibility is not to the people the gift is for, but to the gift itself."

    I honestly do feel that modders should be rewarded for their work. However, that reward should not be to satisfy monetary greed. Modders make mods because they want to make mods, and that passion and energy is what makes mods (and the modding community) amazing. The introduction of monetary reward for any kind of hobby is a double edged sword, or rather a flail mace wielded by an untrained 12 year old with ADHD. It's going to have major repercussions. True, modders would be able to make money from what they're good at, but at what cost? Mods for games like Dragon Age Inquisition won't likely have many mods (if any) because it's hard to mod the game and even harder to make mods for it, and people will be scrawling for an easy paycheck. The only reason DAI has mods is because some 'Gods of Modding' decided that they wanted mods and knew others wanted them too. There always will be modders that won't sell their mods, Gopher, being one of the most well known of them, because they are making the mod for the mod, not money.

    Could these potential changes kill modding? No. Will it hurt modding? Yes. By monetizing something you limit your audience. An example of this is that people don't go to the movie theatre as often as they would have 10 years ago, because now they can just wait for it to pop up on Netflix and pay next to nothing. Another is that piracy is so prevalent in the PC gaming community, because games are so damned expensive and people don't want to hash out $80 on a game and season pass.

    People undervalue everything, we have for thousands of years, that won't change. People will always undervalue the work a modder puts into a mod, but modders shouldn't be creating mods for the masses, the money or even the pride of having a popular mod, but rather the modding experience and the end result. The modding community is one of the tightest knit communities I have seen on the Internet, despite it's inherent flaws. When someone decides to make a mod for the sole purpose of selling it, they will have alienated a large portion of their community. This community is built around a hobby, just like a book club, a backyard baseball team or even a crochet club. When that hobby becomes a business, the community will dissipate and be rebuilt around aforementioned business. That community will be vastly different from this current one, and far less enjoyable. The modder's community as a whole would become something that people would despise as people so detest micro-transactions now. I would hate to see that happen to my most beloved Internet community, but it's up to the modders if they so choose to make a business out of this community, or have it remain their hobby.
    1. Arthmoor
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      One question, not necessarily directed at you, but you're handy

      Why is it considered greedy for a modder to want to get paid? This is something I don't quite get, because it only seems to apply to TES/Fallout for some reason. Nobody seems to be holding this view for hat makers in TF2 and they've made tons of money at it. Or Sims modders for that matter.
    2. RGMage2
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      Agree with Arthmoor, that was my question too.

      If someone works 60 hours a week at a regular job and they expect to be paid for it, I doubt too many people would say they are being greedy in asking for their money. But if you put 60 hours of work into a mod and want something back for your time you're being greedy?

      Most people don't work for greed, they work for need. Your time is the most valuable thing that anyone has (other than friends and family). Throughout our lives we trade our time for other things of value. Food on the table, a roof over our heads. Yet when we spend our time modding we are expected to give it away for free otherwise we are greedy.

      I am quite sure there are many great mods that were never made because the potential author figured it would take up too much valuable time with nothing in return for it (time wasted).

      Of course everyone loves the modding community, everyone loves you when you give away things for free. Who says you can't buy love?
    3. User_82156
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      Why is it considered greedy for a modder to want to get paid?

      I was wondering about that as well. I think RGMage2 covered it absolutely perfectly.
    4. SoMteam
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      Its greedy since modding is no job, its a hobby and supposed to be fun. When you want to make money out of something get a job. Full time modder here, just saying
    5. hippiebill
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      I'm glad you mentioned the Sims. Soon after the original Sims debuted (15 years ago), there developed a small internet war between free sites and pay sites that still reverberates to this day. Unlike Valve and Bathesda, EA kept out of the fray. The innovation went to the free sites, primarily because of their openness.

      Looking for approbation from a corporate site? With only "authorized" mods?
    6. requested
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      Panda didn't say that a modder is greedy for wanting to get paid, he said: "I honestly do feel that modders should be rewarded for their work. However, that reward should not be to satisfy monetary greed."

      For me this means the monetary part should not be the first or (god forbid! the only purpose of modding.

      Like he said, "...modders shouldn't be creating mods for the masses, the money or even the pride of having a popular mod, but rather the modding experience and the end result."

      Greed is antisocial and will affect the modding community. It will lower the willingness to share and/or permit usage of assets. And it will lead to endless discussions over who did what first and if somebody stole an idea / a line of code / whatever. There will be drama, mark my words.

      That said, there's nothing wrong getting some money for a mod if it is a work of love
    7. User_82156
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      People mod for their own reasons and I don't think that anyone else has a right to tell others what reasons they 'should' or 'shouldn't' mod for.
    8. requested
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      We're just sharing opinions here.
    9. RGMage2
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      Some people are of the opinion that the best job you can get is the one that pays you for doing something that you love to do. A modder hoping for financial reward for their efforts doesn’t mean they don’t love modding, or they chose a project based solely on whether they could make money from it. Love of modding, imagination and creativity, artistic expression, and being paid for what you do, none of these are mutually exclusive.

      We obviously have a divide here in the community that breaks down in what appears to be an ideological and political way. On the right we have the advocates of the Free Market model, who believe that modders should have the option of letting the market decide the true value of what they have to offer. On the left we have the socialists who believe we should all be working together for the common good

      Normally the socialist argument works well on me, ’cause there really are some things that can’t be done well if we don’t all work together, but I am also a strong believer in the right of the individual to pursue their own path, as long as exorcising that right doesn’t infringe on the rights of others, and that is where I see a flaw in the socialist - almost communist approach of the left.

      The right-wing vision isn’t advocating that anyone be prevented from releasing free mods, they are just saying they want to exorcise basic rights over their work and let the market decide it’s value. Where as the left-wing is saying that everyone should be denied their rights and forced to conform to a communal way of thinking, and failing that, they should move on, get a job (as if we don’t already have jobs) if they want money, ’cause money has no role to play in a community, being the root of all evil as it is. To which I can’t help but say that if anything is the root of evil it would be “the lack of money”. If having money causes problems then you should be so lucky as to have those types of problems. For most people in the world money is what solves problems.

      All we’ve really got going on here is speculation, no one here really knows how any of this is going to play out. But as I see it, worst case scenario is no more free mods. If that happened then I agree it would kill the community. It would effectively be No More Modding, just unofficial DLC’s, a disaster for mod makers and mod users.

      Best case scenario for modders (though not for mod users) would be modders having the right to sell their mods on Bethesda officially sanctioned site, or release for free if that is their wish. I think what we would see is that only the best and most polished mods would sell, and those of us who couldn’t produce mods of such a high standard would continue to release for free. As long as future SDK's (game editors) are similar to what we have now then the nature of our mods will not change.

      As for how it would change the community, I think that some people here have a utopian ideal that they apply to this community that verges on delusional. Everyone here has their own way of thinking and their own perception of what the modding community is. We don’t all move in lock-step, we are a community of individuals. One of the moderators here said it best when she said “trying to control the modding community is like trying to herd cats”. We can only be who we are. Modders who like to hoard knowledge will continue to do so, as they already do. Modders who like to teach and write tutorials will continue to do that because that is who they are. Some resource makers will demand payment, while others will release for free with the stipulation that they never be used in paid mods. Some very good modders will make money from modding, while some other very good modders will release for free because doing so fits in with their own personal ideology. As for myself, I will probably continue to obsessively work on my mods to near completion, only to abandon them because something else becomes more interesting, rarely releasing anything of value, because that is my nature… and money wont change it.
    10. Arthmoor
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      However, that reward should not be to satisfy monetary greed.

      And yet nobody has been able to articulate how getting paid to mod somehow means satisfying monetary greed.

      I could say the same about all these guys who post Youtube stuff and monetize the videos. Especially since they are arguably making money off of things OTHER people made. Yet nobody seems to be directing their righteous anger at them for it either.

      It doesn't make much sense to me, in the same way people who call Origin and uPlay evil but embrace Steam when all 3 do all of the same things to their customers.
    11. requested
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      I can only speak for myself, but I never said it was wrong OR greedy to charge money for your work. There's nobody stopping you from doing this right now without Valve or Beth or anybody else sanctioning it.

      I expressed my (idealistic?) viewpoint, that a project shouldn't be done just for the money. (= satisfying the author's greed)

      I don't wanna namecall, but I could point you to dozens and dozens of software projects that are just a hoax, and simplifying the distribution of paid content without anybody checking it will result in problems.
      We don't know yet how it will work, but I won't pay for any mod just to see if it does what I expected and if it does so in an intelligent way or not.

      You can do with your work what you want.
    12. Arthmoor
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      Well, right now, there very much IS someone stopping people from charging money for their mods. Bethesda's legal team. They'll come down on you like a ton of bricks for it.

      Also, folks in various parts of this whole thread keep saying you can go run a Kickstarter. No. You can't. Every last one that Beth has found out about has been shut down due to violating the CK EULA.

      There's a certain irony in people who say it's greedy to charge money telling people to use Kickstarter in the same breath. Kickstarter usually involves sums of money that are quite large.

      In any case, I can't see it as greedy even if someone specifically mods to make money. It's using your talents to benefit yourself. We all do this (if we're lucky) - it's called having a job. Some people get paid to dig ditches, others get paid to sell cars, some get paid to make the games we play, and yes, there are some who make careers out of posting dumb videos to Youtube. I fail to see how someone being able to turn modding into a career is a bad thing.
    13. JinixElder
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      It's not so much the getting paid bit - it's the legal crappola that goes along with it.... and the direction that takes. The copyright infringements etc... for instance each 'model' would now be owned and no modifications made without a lawsuit.
      No simple retexturing without signing legal forms and getting permission for changes etc...
      Eventually the big games will have to deal with modders forming into companies trying to reign in modders for profit.

      From love of modding to greed for money.



    14. sesom
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      Do you take the same responsibility as a commercial company Arthmoor if you are paid for making mods?

      If the answer is no, it's greedy.
    15. Arthmoor
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      Then I guess all Indie Dev studios are greedy too since they don't take on the same level of responsibility as AAA developers.

      You realize this logic fails hard, yes?
    16. sesom
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      Nope it doesn't fail. Because that's actually how the indie studios struggle atm. professionalism (who sold out shortly to MS?). It's the same with youtube where the "big" youtubers suddenly have to realize what business and copyright law means. Responsibility.

      All this wonderfull "Kickstarter" projects that promise the customer ...heaven... and can't even deliver a minimal of the promised functionality....

      Yeah we need this for mods too ... urgently ... and in thousends. Best with it's own Steam Workshop....

      But I am sure all of these "professional" modmakers who sell you their product have payed their licenses for Photoshop, 3DSMax, Substance Painter, .... Sure they have and don't use student licenses or worse.

      The commercialisation of mods is a minefield for customer and modmakers. I wouldn't open up this can of worms.

      Read about the SIMS 2 modscene and what happend as the "big business" started there. It should open up your eyes why it's a very bad thing and all about greed.

      I am not talking about you as person. I am talking about what happpens as soon as this possibility is open.

      (Btw. Yes I am working on my own game too and yes it will be a commercial project.)
    17. User_82156
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      But I am sure all of these "professional" modmakers who sell you their product have payed their licenses for Photoshop, 3DSMax, Substance Painter, .....


      Why would they need to when they can use Blender, Gimp, Paint.NET, Nifscope, Audacity etc etc....
    18. Arthmoor
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      Nope it doesn't fail.

      Except it does, because your argument is rooted in the assumption that all modders and Indie game devs are irresponsible children who are borderline software pirates. You may not have noticed, but there are plenty of us right now in the free modding scene who fight hard for proper attribution, permissions, and the rights of our fellow modders. Even when some of them despise us for doing so.

      Read about the SIMS 2 modscene and what happend as the "big business" started there. It should open up your eyes why it's a very bad thing and all about greed.


      I have. I think the rumors are entirely overblown and are rooted in jealously more than anything else. We don't all see things the same way

      Shezrie covered the remainder. There are plenty of open source free alternatives to the expensive programs you mentioned. You'd also be surprised just how many modders have donated hard earned money to those projects to keep them alive.
    19. User_82156
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      There always will be modders that won't sell their mods, Gopher, being one of the most well known of them, because they are making the mod for the mod, not money.


      Not sure how I missed this before. You do know that Gopher is one of the lucky ones making a full living from making videos about mods, right?

      It baffles the mind....how is it that it is okay for others to make money from modders work, yet not okay for modders too. Just thought I would throw that out for folks to think about.
    20. phellen
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      To add onto Shezrie's and Arthmoors points, why couldn't modders make money exactly the same way that Gopher makes money reviewing mods? Through advertising sponsors and page views.

      One can assume most people watching Gopher's videos are going to be also viewing the mod pages to access the download. There's your coinage right there and users still get access to mods for free.
    21. Zaldiir
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      This would probably be the best solution. Some sort of NexusMods Partnership - for every penny earned from ads on your mod page, you get a cut from NexusMods.

      This could be an opt-in thing, and could be only available to those who have access to the Authors Forum.

      And to take it further, a subscription model like what Twitch has, if you want to support a mod author more (could basically be an expansion to the donation system - allowing monthly automatic donations).


      There are a lot of things that can be done without making the actual mods cost money, and I think ad revenue is the best alternative to it.
    22. surge914
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      It's not. It's greedy to make mods for the Main Purpose of getting paid. Take EA and Ubisoft vs. Indie games. Both get paid but recently there have been much better rated indie games than triple AAA games from EA and Ubisoft. Why? because these companies don't care about making games they care about taking your money and is evident with every broken, half-finished game they keep pushing out knowing full well it hasn't properly gone through QA. Indie games on the other hand(and i'm not speaking for all) make these games because they enjoy it and don't expect to get rich of selling a game half the price of a triple AAA game. That's where the expression, "o what you love and the money will come" comes in. I think games that fit that quote are Angry birds, Clash of clans, divinity original sin, plus the new cities skylines is getting really good ratings by many and these games were made by small groups of people.
    23. phellen
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      For those arguing for there to be absolutely no change to modding at all, I think there is a problem with that argument and that is the underlying assumption that all modding can remain at the status quo forever. I doubt that's the case as companies like Valve have already realized the earning potential that's there, and are likely chomping at the bit to take hold of it.

      How the modding landscape changes will depend upon who is the first to act, and what the response of the entire gaming community will be. I think it's better to be pro-active and adapt if not be the ones to set a precedent/direction, rather than to just sit back and watch it all play out from the sidelines, because if you don't guess who might end up being left out of the equation at the end of the day?

      (In response to Zaldiir)
      I think if the Nexus were to one day adopt a model similar to what you described, it could only serve to help grow the modding community. The "opt in" feature you mentioned is a great idea in that that it leaves the choice in the hands of the modder(s) for whether or not they want to take advantage of potential advertising income.
    24. Zaldiir
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      @Surge: I don't think anyone make mods with the main goal of getting rich. But is it really greedy to want to get at least a little bit out of the hours (often hundreds or thousands) spent making the mod(s)?
    25. Ironman5000
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      This won't be a debate settled any time soon regardless of how many threads or posts made, like politics there's always gonna be two sides of the fence who will want to challenge each other. Lets just try not to get too riled up ONLY because money MIGHT enter into our world, believe it or not it's not the be-all and end-all of everything, if an individual seeks to gain some for through a hobby it's none of your business. If there ever is a future mandatory change you nay sayers will eventually learn to live with it anyway especially when you see the full picture instead of the singular idea of "greed".
    26. khmp
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      An assumption for an assumption? I believe what you are basically trying to state is the following: Introducing money into a hobby is intrinsically corrupting to the hobby and the hobbyist. If this is your deduction then I strongly advise you to reconsider your position. There is far too much gray area in that statement to wholly believe it.

      There are so many unique circumstances that you and I cannot begin to fathom spurring on their creative works. It may be money. It may be prestige. It may be love. It may be to learn. It might just be a lark. I think you're precluding your ability to see any other motivation than personal betterment as misguided. When in fact any one of those reasons can result in another person's gaming experience becoming enriched.

      If I am misconstruing or otherwise projecting, please correct me.

      My personal concerns IF modding were to become monetized:
      Permissions.
      Copyright.
      Content Sharing.
      Creator/Consumer Interaction/Responsibility.
      Stability.
      Patching.
      Refunding.
      DRM.
    27. Anasctazia
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    28. phellen
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      (Expanding upon my previous point)

      One easy way to implement advertising would be to in a sense, follow the example of what google has done with youtube. The Nexus could have an option for modders to attach a video Ad that instantly streams upon someone opening the "files" page of a mod. At the end of the video, or after a few seconds, options can appear for for the user to download the mod via NMM or manually.
    29. dasgones
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      a big issue I'm seeing here, and i believe the most worrisome, is going to be the limiting of modding in a game to only those selling the the approved marketplace. I would only slightly mind paying for a few mods but would hate to have to pay for all mods. and if the developers start to incorporate the selling of mods (especially at a 75% profit margin) in this direction I fear that is exactly what will happen. Unless the entire modding community united to stop them, there would be nothing to stop developers from monopolizing on the work of volunteers. I'm especially worried about bethesda doing so after seeing their attempt to market TES:O at $60 a month. I respect the hours of effort that goes into modding. I've done a little myself but after realizing how much I suck at it my respect doubled as well as commitment to testing and seeing the wonder created in the modding community. I wouldn't mind buying many of you lunch every now and then for your amazing artwork. But that principle changes drastically when I have to pay someone else for your art. My expectations for something I buy increase with the price. I feel that would be a massive shame towards the community to move from a collective team experiencing something awesome into a community of people fighting over copyrights and royalties from the tablecloth of a developer. As much as I agree you deserve a tangible reward I would despise seeing the developer of the game forcing you to sell yourself. And they will if we let them. it isn't the modder's greed that will destroy the community but the developer's.
    30. treota
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      The simple truth:
      It is in no way greedy to expect 'reward' (could be money) for your effort.

      However, when the product you are creating relies almost entirely on something that another person or entity has made (in this case Skyrim) and that product could be argued to be taking potential opportunities away from the creators of the base software then you can not reasonably ask for money as a reward without being 'greedy'.

      A good 50-60% of the reason people would consider your mod is due to the base software that it was created for, not to mention the other 40% could easily be from another IP aswell (such as a star wars/star trek mod etc). So at the most you could claim around 20% of the input value. Not to mention that if you ask for money then your quality standards rocket upwards and you will have to put far more effort into said mod.

      (Total conversion type mods are a little different but still follow the same kind of rules)

      It would be something like standing next to a hotdog vendor with a bottle of mustard, then asking $2 for a squirt of mustard on peoples hotdogs. Now lets say that the mustard you are offering is of poor quality, then that customer develops a poor opinion of the hotdog vendor even though they did not authorize you to give out mustard and to put extra sting on it you are taking potential profit away from their business.

      Modding itself has been under fire from birth, many companies will flat out ban any mod of their game under the reasoning of profit theft, others will intentionally make it next to impossible to mod their game. We as modders should be thankful to more enlightened companies that are willing to embrace the benefits of having a modding community.

      Bonus:
      Also, ask this question: A team of potentially hundreds made this software and are asking $40-60, how much is your mod really worth?
    31. User_82156
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      It would be something like standing next to a hotdog vendor with a bottle of mustard, then asking $2 for a squirt of mustard on peoples hotdogs


      Following this logic....

      - A painter cannot place the value of his/her painting above the value of the canvas/paints/paintbrushes and multitude of other tools artists use.

      Lets take that further....that 'cityscape' that artist is painting was designed and created by a multitude of designers, laborers using a multitude of resources built by others. Consequently the artist is building off something that so many others created. Frankly that artist should be paying THEM all to even pick up his paintbrush, never mind thinking to make money from selling his painting!

      It doesn't work that way. Just because something is built on something else doesn't devalue the time, effort and unique creativity put into it.

      PS...where I come from sauces cost extra. lol
    32. DrakeTheDragon
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      It would be something like standing next to a hotdog vendor with a bottle of mustard, then asking $2 for a squirt of mustard on peoples hotdogs. Now lets say that the mustard you are offering is of poor quality, then that customer develops a poor opinion of the hotdog vendor even though they did not authorize you to give out mustard and to put extra sting on it you are taking potential profit away from their business.


      Except, let's not forget, this is about "Bethesda" planning to introduce a paid mods scheme via curated workshops or something on the Steam Workshop. It is the hotdog vendor literally "inviting" you to sell your mustard here!

      I'm convinced, if Bethesda were in any way worried about your mods devaluing their products, they'd sure as hell never loosen the restriction that mods cannot be sold ever as it is now. But they're going to, or at least that's what this whole article is about, so they must have good reason to and disagree with the issues you brought up in their place.

      Like I said a long, long way down the comments in here already, I personally don't see this coming anytime soon, yet. They're by far not even remotely compared for it, yet, and if they rush it, it will put an end to the attempt before it started.

      Not that not being prepared for something and being warned about the fact from multiple sources previously has ever stopped them from rushing right ahead into disaster anyways, but... yeah. It takes a multitude of things to be done first, before they can even think of introducing a curated workshop for any of their existing games.

      But that's besides the point. I'm in a "Do what you want, I don't care anymore. Unless you force me to put a price on my work as well, then I'm gone" state of mind about it currently. So that is that. I'll sit back and watch things develop, and I won't get involved into this too much, until I see a development that warrants it.

      But calling artists (and yes, mod authors == artists) "greedy" for wishing for a little financial gain for sharing their work with the public, in my eyes, is pretty much stretching it here.

      Don't get me wrong. I'm still convinced the introduction of paid modding will put an end to the community as we know it. But those artists have all damn right to wish for a little compensation at any time and do not deserve being called "greedy" over it! This relation does not compute.
    33. jacquelope
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      Good point. I pay for huge amount of DLCs (er, expansions) for Sims and then I also pay for mods.

      NOT.

      I abandoned the franchise after Sims 1 and I guess I will give up video games entirely in favor of, perhaps, writing stories. It'll be a pain not to watch mods like Vilja evolve across new iterations of Elder Scrolls (assuming ESO isn't the end of single player Elder Scrolls) but c'est la vie. Being microgouged for games is not for me.
    34. Mindprobe24
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      Keyword: "onate"
    35. Sslaxx
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      Deleted.
    36. badkrma
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      I donated to Arthmoor for his work in the Unofficial Skyrim patches... now that was worth my money.... mods are cool but he and his team actually fix what the game developer dropped....his work has made my game stable, what he does is work, painstaking work...my 2 cents
    37. danjal
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      @Arthmoor - For me, one of the bigger stumbling blocks will be compatibility.
      While a lot of mods would be worth paying for (Falskaar being an obvious example), at the same time most of us here download mods, try them out, put various mods together.
      Test often through trial and error untill we reach a balance that we're satisfied with.

      Would you pay $5 for a mod you're not even sure will work in your setup?

      There is a secondary concern though. With regards to Valve/Steam.
      Just look at Steam Early Access. Its a massive flustercluck - customer support is nonexistent and its riddled with half-finished pieces of junk.
      Moreover, due to the legal status of this, its a wild west. There are barely any explicit regulations in place to enforce anything.
      By all rights Early Access falls straight in the "igital Goods" section of consumer law - yet its impossible to enforce anything.

      This won't be any different.
      So the question isn't as simple as "oes a modder deserve to be paid?"
      As much as it is: "If a modder gets paid, what are his responsibilities towards his product?"
      Aswell as: "If Valve/Bethesda start profiting off of mods, what are THEIR responsibilities towards the respective services provided?"
      Where do you even being to start quantifying what a mod is worth?

      Not to get started on the whole "Horse Armor" debacle.
      And plenty of mods would be just that... Freelanced armor/weapon DLC.
    38. danjal
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      This would probably be the best solution. Some sort of NexusMods Partnership - for every penny earned from ads on your mod page, you get a cut from NexusMods.

      Agreed. This WOULD probably a far better solution.
    39. akparkison
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      Actually Arthmoor there is a lot of division in the Sims community about money and paying for custom content. The Sims Resource used to frequently come under fire for requiring users to pay to have access to several modder's files.

      They finally went free, but with tons of ads on their site and longer download times if you block their ads or don't buy a subscription to the site.

      I won't even get into how many people used to complain about the prices in the Sims 3 Store. Piracy is/was quite common in the Sims 3 community. But no one ever wants to admit to doing it.

      Now Adfly is a problem that many people are unhappy about. Because of the malware frequently attached to it that gets by adblockers.

      The most famous Sims modder of them all - Twallan from NRAAS - never took a dime and refused it many times. He always said modding should never be about money. Ever. He always said that it was about making the game you love better and cleaning up EA's messes for the greater good.

      He's retired now, but he would be appalled at this.

      That's my experience. And I am a long-time Sims player.
    40. akparkison
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      Thank you. Actually EA does not agree (to my knowledge) with making people pay for mods or custom content made by players.

      They kept that to themselves with the Sims 2 and then the Sims 3 Store. Who knows what they will do with Sims 4.

    41. kljadfjhadf
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      This entire thing is an awful idea fraught with pitfalls for the same reason Steam early access is such an awful idea.

      Asking consumers to enter into a monetary contract in which they cannot expect any level of accountability from the seller should frankly be illegal. Imagine if that $5 cup of coffee you bought made you sick, and when you went back to the coffee shop to complain they laughed in your face.

      On the same note, people are not entitled to compensation for time spent with no equivocations. I've spent plenty of time on modding and I do not deserve a single red cent for any of it, because it's all strictly amateur hobbywork and I have neither the desire nor the ability to provide assurance for anything I've ever produced. If you aren't prepared to take accountability for something you produce then you should never be prepared to profit from it.

      All that being said, I don't blame successful modders for wanting to earn money - I blame Valve and Bethesda for their poor foresight and greed. I don't think this is going to incentivise the modding community, I think it's going to limit collaborative efforts between modders and make large modding projects even more problematic and subject to internal strife than they presently are. I can also very easily imagine industry executives slavering at the thought of having users debug their games for them aftermarket and then siphoning off 75% of the sales on third party patches.

      TLR: everything changes right down to the roots when money becomes involved, it's a larger issue than whether users should be willing to pay for something they used to get for free, or whether or not modders deserve to be compensated. And monetising something based on collaborative effort between hobbyists doesn't tend to work out well.
    42. sesom
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      and how do you think now about my little prophecy I made. (Wanted to add a smiley but actually there is nothing to smile about whats happening atm.)
    43. Solongchu
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      Right now I feel that if a modder feels he needs to make money for their mods let them I cant afford them because of real life so I wont buy them and I have donated to many modders from the beginning before CK and Arthmoor was one of them. Skyrim is just another game Ill put in moth balls and find something else.BUT what upsets me is this whole situation has caused a lot of modders who show a lot of promise to pull their mods for fear of theft(which if you go through steam you can find stolen mods)and a lot to pull their mods from both steam and Nexus because this whole thing upset them and they completely quit Skyrim.
      I believe its not us who should be paying modders like Arhmoor but Bethesda for making a broken game profitable by fixing it for free.
      Ill will miss Arthmoor,Chesko and many others whose mods I wont be able to afford but so be it.
      I have no ill will to any of them and wish them the best in their venture
  6. eufl
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    In response to post #23595759. #24644504 is also a reply to the same post.


    Spoiler:  
    Show

    The donations have always existed, also. But no DONATIONS to someones that have nothing to do with the mod creator (developers, supporters... they have earnt their money selling the -mostly unfnished- game and each part has what is of their own. So, look at it from any point of view... it is ridiculous to use "that" site to sahre, download, buy, donate or whatever, as they keep (A SO VERY BIG, also) percentage.

    It is a total failure (full of holes) idea, in my opinion and I don't think it may work (maybe on casuals).
     


    In a way I disagree...
    Donations CAN be done, and why or why not someone donates still is his or her concern. The difference here is, that donations are free. I can donate a modder, but I also can donate a political party or anyone I like to.
     
    Aside from Skyrim, a game, that is only enjoyable with a very good computer, lots of mods for older games not only keep these games alive, also lots of people with less modern computers can play these altered games again and have fun with it.
    Damn, most people, who criticize valve´s newest idea don´t realize, that a whole bunch of gamers come from countries like Russia, East- and South-Europe, South-America, from Arabian and African countries, and they all don´t have the money we usually have in the first world, even if we were workless.
    I play Freelancer, and I know, that this game is alive, cause people with low end machines can play the mods for it. The same I can confirm for games like Sims 2 or SimCity 4 for example.
     
    Another thought: My last project is a town for Sims 3. I am working on this file since a year, using custom content made by other modders. I would not be able to continue, if I would have to pay for this CC. Also I got help with problems, people MADE content especially for my project. And I never will be able to pay them for their help, cause I don´t have the money to do so. 
     
    In the Sims community we had such a discussion years ago, when people tried to earn money with pay stuff, and it divided the whole community. At the end others bought this and putted it on sites, where you were be able to download the files for free. At the very end pay sites changed into free sites again.
    Now, nearly a year later we can speak of a Sims community again. Greed isn´t a good intention to find friends...
     
    Another point, that should be mentioned: Usually people get paid for their jobs with a minimum wage, and there is no way around for companies. But if modders get paid for their work, this means the end for a lot of jobs in the gaming industry. Why should I pay someone a wage, if a modder does the same for a small fee of 25%? Think about such a system in healthcare! Oh wait, such a system is existent there, and in the most countries people can visit a doctor only, if they have enough money.
     
    If we say yes to paid modding, we will see, that gamers will be divided into classes much more than now. And I can promise, that modders AND players will suffer from this, while companies like valve will become more greedy and rich.
     
    But in the end nothing is fixed for now, so let us fight for places, where we can meet as humans, not as customers. We need these places. Sadly most of the negative impact is visible only after it changed. But we still can stop it. We don´t need to help neocons exploiting every aspect of human life. 
  7. Zaflart
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    In response to post #23836199. #23839154, #23845829, #23853369, #23858174, #23858619, #23868714, #23869794, #23870749, #23874494, #23889664, #23897239, #23907889, #23916764, #23947279, #23954734, #23963714, #23965734, #23966599, #23968049, #23982619, #23991979, #23996044, #23996969, #24003409, #24065404, #24074259, #24098119, #24324999, #24346394, #24358294, #24364774, #24365749, #24413559, #24416284, #24562674, #24572154, #24572439, #24572489, #24581119, #24581259 are all replies on the same post.


    Spoiler:  
    Show

    This entire thing is an awful idea fraught with pitfalls for the same reason Steam early access is such an awful idea.

    Asking consumers to enter into a monetary contract in which they cannot expect any level of accountability from the seller should frankly be illegal. Imagine if that $5 cup of coffee you bought made you sick, and when you went back to the coffee shop to complain they laughed in your face.

    On the same note, people are not entitled to compensation for time spent with no equivocations. I've spent plenty of time on modding and I do not deserve a single red cent for any of it, because it's all strictly amateur hobbywork and I have neither the desire nor the ability to provide assurance for anything I've ever produced. If you aren't prepared to take accountability for something you produce then you should never be prepared to profit from it.

    All that being said, I don't blame successful modders for wanting to earn money - I blame Valve and Bethesda for their poor foresight and greed. I don't think this is going to incentivise the modding community, I think it's going to limit collaborative efforts between modders and make large modding projects even more problematic and subject to internal strife than they presently are. I can also very easily imagine industry executives slavering at the thought of having users debug their games for them aftermarket and then siphoning off 75% of the sales on third party patches.

    TLR: everything changes right down to the roots when money becomes involved, it's a larger issue than whether users should be willing to pay for something they used to get for free, or whether or not modders deserve to be compensated. And monetising something based on collaborative effort between hobbyists doesn't tend to work out well.
     


     
    ^ This, entirely.
     
    To add to what kljadfjhadf so put so eloquently;
     
    1. What happens when Bethesda, and / or Valve decide they want all the cake? Today Steam Workshop's manager is, rudimentary, at best, but what if they overhauled it and made it better (with all the bells and whistles; profiles, virtual data and .ini files. etc...). Then decided no more free mod sites at all? Instead, choosing to host all mods (free and monetized) themselves. This is not such a far-fetched idea, when so much potential cash is involved.
     
    2. How will new games, (and older ones, which haven't reached the end of their update cycles), handle the logistics of not breaking user generated content? Since they're not responsible, will they even consider it?
     
    3. What happens when there are mod incompatibilities? i.e., Mods 1,2, and 3 work fine, but mod 4 (which you bought a week later) doesn't play nice with mod 2. You can return mod 4, but what if you like it more than mod 2? You're stuck with mod 2.
     
    4. How can Bethesda justify charging the fee of a publisher when they aren't publishing anything? Together, Bethesda and Valve are merely acting as the platform. Modders are the publishers. If Bethesda wants a publisher's cut, shouldn't they bear the costs and risks of a publisher? (Google and Apple only take 30% because they don't take on those responsibilities of publishers.)
     
    5. What's to stop Bethesda from cashing in on user generated content to fix / finish games for them? We all know how unpolished their games are, already. As it is now, Bethesda will stand to gain more money, if they release bad, bugged, or broken content intentionally, than if they didn't, because they take the lion's share from users who fix it. Less wages, insurance, overhead, only add to the money they will save / make.
  8. lyravega
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    I think Curated Workshops on a wider scale may introduce more problems than they realize.

    I've been modding for several years now, some small, some big stuff, it doesn't matter. Sometimes I enjoy modding the game more than playing it, so you can easily say that modding is my hobby. But making money out of it? I don't know. I have a "philosophy" where my work (work as in, income source) cannot be my hobby, because if some bad s*** happens, it'll also affect the fun I get from my hobby in return.

    Anyway, aside from what I feel about modding, I'm one of those guys who also think that the reason some developers don't support modding is that it may cut to their DLC sales. However, when the publishers smell the (potential) money, they'll be first to endorse the idea further I bet (if they haven't already done so). If they'll also allow free mods to be released on Steam Workshop or Nexus / etc... then I'm kinda OK with it. But if they enforce you to sell your work, so that they can get a cut... Then I'm not OK with it.

    Here is my two cents about Curated Workshops + Donations: They should also allow people to put Donation links (not just HTML links in description; links like here in Nexus, a built-in feature so to speak), if people want to support the modder, fine, but the mod stays free unless the modder opens a "curated shop". And all donations should go to the modder, not to the publisher or Steam.

    About your concern; " DRMification and closing down of free and open modding", I feel the same concerns, but a bit more extreme. If you think about this even further, a time may come where we will have to pay in order to get the modding tools, so that we can create mods, and put them to Curated Workshops. Even more money for the greedy (publishers).

    Apologizes if whatever I said is already known/happened/etc...
    1. eufl
      eufl
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      First thank you Dark0ne for this very good blog entry, I agree with the most you said, but I am less optimistic.
      Then I quoted lyravega´s comment, cause it describes my very similar feelings. I am not modding for Skyrim but for other games, and often I more like modding than playing a game. I love to play around with tools, but this is my hobby and my self-determined time, not a job. Commercializing every aspect of my life?

      I say NO. I am still a human beeing and not only a part of any shareholder value.

      And if I share anything, then I will do it for free and without the need, that I earn enough to feed my children. Cause in the end this is only another step into a commercial dictatorisship, where the dictator is the so called "common sense".

      And think of this: Modding means to individualize a game to "my" needs. This may match with other´s interests, but it is not done to do so. In a capitalist market only the best selled thing counts, not the best made or the most unexpected or the most personal. The loose is on the player´s side as well as on the modder´s. I simply can´t donate every mod I use in games, but I can endorse work, I can tell people, that I like their work, sometimes I can help them as they can help me. And at least I can find friends with the same hobby like I have.
      But damn: you can´t buy friends like you buy a suit.


    2. RocoFO3
      RocoFO3
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      The donations have always existed, also. But no DONATIONS to someones that have nothing to do with the mod creator (developers, supporters... they have earnt their money selling the -mostly unfnished- game and each part has what is of their own. So, look at it from any point of view... it is ridiculous to use "that" site to sahre, download, buy, donate or whatever, as they keep (A SO VERY BIG, also) percentage.

      It is a total failure (full of holes) idea, in my opinion and I don't think it may work (maybe on casuals).
  9. Judassem
    Judassem
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    Guys, please sign this petition so that we can make ourselves heard on a wider scale:

    https://www.change.org/p/valve-remove-the-paid-content-of-the-steam-workshop
  10. fo3nexus
    fo3nexus
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    ["Sure, I've had offers. Lots of offers. And I don't discount anything at all"]

    Don't get me wrong, I love Nexus, and depend upon their kindness. But we all know what is going to happen. Suits smell money in modding and WILL tender a generous and irresistible offer of purchase for Nexus. The new ownership will be hidden behind offshore shell corporations. The Nexus site will (briefly) be improved, but shortly after will suddenly be shuttered, with all users being referred to Steam Workshop. A reporter will dig through the purchase paper trail and discover an investor pool of Steam, VALVe, Bethesda, and other developers behind the purchase and closing of Nexus in order to increase market domination for exclusive mod sales for their games.

    Sound paranoid? To a naive teenager, perhaps. To any elder who pays attention to American business, not only is this expected behaviour, it _MUST_ happen in order to maximize shareholder returns for that investor pool.

    Your small premium membership contribution holds no weight against a $50 million dollar buyout tender. Nexus will feel no shame in accepting a respectful cash-out offer, particularly with the community-supporting (but empty) promises the new owners will make. Promises that terminate once Nexus closes. Moddb, LoversLab and others will not be ready for the huge and sudden wave of new members and will crash under the weight.

    Not that it matters much. Big developers, already cowed into exclusive DRM ties with Steam will make GECK/Creation Kit mods "Steam Workshop" only, and once market domination is assured, a subscription model for Workshop access is inevitable. Mod authors will NOT receive a cut of those subscription fees.

    If you are a wealthy, business-minded gamer, the smartest thing you could possibly do is begin researching how to duplicate the success of Nexus, drive users to your site(s) once Nexus closes, then wait for your buyout offer from monopolist investor groups.

    Nexus: Please don't ban me for stating the obvious. I love you all, and will not hate you for accepting a huge buyout. Just know we're already saddened at the inevitability of our loss of you.



    The future of our amateur mod scene is dark. Creative pride and soul will be driven out. Vapid Horse Armour DLCmods are the future. Only a very few modders will make any real money, and only after an insane amount of non-development afterwork, like marketing. Not to mention all the hatred from entitled gamers who paid for your mod that no longer works/works the way they want. Even the heartiest modder may decide it just isn't worth the tech support heartburn eating your time. And another modder is lost …
    1. Lgm1
      Lgm1
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      Except you can see, repeating in countless posts from Robin, that he's /refused/ such offers time and time again. There are still people in this world who don't see money as the sole metric of happiness, who aren't the "suits" you describe who see other people as walking ATMs. There are still people who create things without the sole intent to cash in. There are people who are perfectly happy to make enough money to live comfortably, who understand that effectively unlimited wealth usually makes your life worse, not better, and love what they make more than they love the numbers in their bank accounts.

      Look at the modders, the time and expense they put into mods they get no return on. If they have only interest in money, why would they do that?

      People don't sell out things they love unless they feel they have to or if they don't love them any more. Notch sold Minecraft not because "ERMAHGERD MONEY" but because it got too big for him to be comfortable with, George Lucas sold Star Wars not because he wanted the money (he's got more money than he could ever spend already) but because it had just become an abuse magnet by people who decided that /they/ owned his creation.

      "To any elder who pays attention to American business, not only is this expected behaviour, it _MUST_ happen in order to maximize shareholder returns for that investor pool."
      And guess what Nexus doesn't have? An "investor pool." Not all companies are forced by law to put profit over ethics. There are companies that refuse to go public because they /don't/ want their principles compromised in such a way.

      If Robin ever sells out, it'll be because he has to to make ends meet or because the community has abused him to the point where he no longer cares for the sites. But the "money is the only object" brand of sociopathy that seems to drive Corporate America does not rule all of humanity.