Valve/Bethesda announce paid modding for Skyrim, more games to follow

  • Comment
Hey look, one of my predictions came true!

Valve and Bethesda announced today that they've updated the Skyrim Workshop to enable mod authors to upload mods to the site which can then be placed behind a paywall, requiring users to pay a set amount (or an author-set minimum, with the option to pay more if you so wish) before they can download the mod in question. I'm not sure there's been an official announcement about the revenue split, but as there's no new information at this time, I think it's safe to assume it's 25% to the mod author, 75% to Valve/Bethesda, of which I believe 5% can go to "Service Providers" out of Valve and/or Bethesda's cut. Once again, seems that information is missing from any FAQs or documents at this time. The old axiom goes, however, "it's better to have 25% of something, than 100% of nothing".

If you're interested in reading up about this then you can head over to the Workshop page which has more details. This won't be a long news post about my opinions on the topic as my fingers are still a little warm from the 3,000 odd words I wrote last month on this exact topic which predicted all this. My feelings haven't changed. It's too early for that.

On top of that Bethesda have also announced a free Skyrim weekend. Anyone who doesn't already have Skyrim will be able to play it, for free, this weekend (unlike some mods, ho ho ho. Sorry, too soon?). In light of that, and what it could mean for our servers here, I've decided to cancel a long-weekend holiday I've had booked for the past 4 months with 30 other people, a reunion type thing, in Spain. I can't be sunning up by the pool fixing/tweaking servers on an 11 inch laptop via SSH with slightly dodgy Spanish hotel internet (no offence, Spain!) while trying to keep you all informed as to what's happening. It might not happen in light of the extensive investment, both in time and money, we've put in to the servers over the past few years, but what with our past history and the fact there's even potential for it, it just wouldn't be right. Thanks for the heads up on that one Valve/Bethesda! Not.

What I will say, however, is that many mod authors have mods on the Nexus and on the Skyrim Workshop, some of whom already have paid mods on the Workshop. I've taken a quick look at the comments on those paid file pages and some of the things being said are horrific. While I'm sure no one is shocked by that, this is the internet after all, simply looking at it reminds me of one of the main reasons we do what we do here. We moderate. We try to fence off a little piece of the internet where your actions have consequences, and with that in mind, if we see anyone attacking or abusing mod authors here because they have paid mods up on the Workshop you'll be gone. Instantly. With no warning.

The Nexus is for everyone from every background, colour, creed, and political, religious or sexual persuasion. We strive to make this a community where anyone and everyone can enjoy something here away from hate. And that includes mod authors who want to make money. So if you break that peace and attack mod authors here for what they've chosen to do, you'll be gone. By all means debate, but when your debating becomes abusive, it's no longer debating.


  1. Richardo11
    • member
    • 1,252 posts
    • 9 kudos
    This is another move yet from the greedy game industry, you don't see it? First DlC's do they can release half finished games and get more money, your money, from people's pocked when the game is finished, later unbelievable promotion campaign where they lie to the disgustisness (Rome 2), so they can lure the people, not just now to buy DLC to play the whole game, but even for have a "playable" game, and now that, I tell you what is that.
    They make the guide-lines of the game and a little bit more, then they release the game, a extremely trimmed game, then modders mend the lack of content, modders get a meager 25% of the sales at the best and that f*** greedy industry gets the big chunk for saying the least, for a game that they didn't even make..... brilliant

    They are killing the game industry, if mods of the like like Frostfall, Realistic Needs...,Winter is coming, SKYUI, ..... etc for naming just a very few, becomes downloadable-payable, my gaming computer days are counted, that i am sure about, getting feed-up of being milked more that high production cow, damn it.
    1. daze507
      • member
      • 71 posts
      • 0 kudos
      My god, Rome 2... Being a huge fan of the serie, I fell totally betrayed.
      The day I played this game is the day I drew a big red cross on CA.
      I can accept a little over-exaggerated advertising, that’s what they do with movie trailer and that’s OK, but this... this was plain lying (IA, totally different graphics etc.).
      Watching at their ad videos now just makes me remember how they took us for fools, never again, sorry CA I can't forgive that.
    2. dizzyXcore
      • member
      • 1,003 posts
      • 9 kudos
      I think the same way you do regarding this. I will never, and i mean, NEVER, pay for mods. I started gaming on consoles. I still do. But I find it waaay more enjoyable to game on a pc for the diversity we get. Even better, we can put mods to our favourite games, like Skyrim, and use those mods you named, and voila, we got a whole new experience. Put other ones, like immersive armors, etc (items), and we got premium content items into the game, for free, because a hard passionate artist made them so we could use them. No need to buy sensless DLC's this way. You know, I would gladly donate to support their work, but when this becomes a greedy business like the one that took over the console gaming comunity, my gaming days are over.
  2. Beriallord
    • member
    • 786 posts
    • 2 kudos
    I don't see anything wrong with groups forming to push out really high quality mods that are comparable in scale to a real expansion pack and charging $20 for it.  Such as rebuilding Tamriel in Skyrim, as well as adding new content to the world, etc.  I'm not gonna pay for minor cosmetics, although others might. 
  3. Socratatus
    • premium
    • 3,566 posts
    • 59 kudos
    Well i`m glad Valve and Bethesda backed off. I feel this would have killed modding. A friend of mine nearly cancelled having a pc made because of this. One of the things he loved was the idea of mods and suddenly having to pay extra on top of already expensive games was putting him right off.
    We don`t mind paying a donation when we can afford it, but we liked the altruistic attitude of modding.

    Also, i never gave modders a hard time for buggy mods cos they were free. I would not be so nice if I had to pay.

    I find it strange the bethesda say they hate DRM yet they force Steam (which I hate), so i don`t quite believe their words.
    1. Richardo11
      • member
      • 1,252 posts
      • 9 kudos
      You did say several righteous things in your post, but the really one is that, "don't believe their words" (as you can see, I have taken away the "quite" word from your post, just to correct you a bit if you do not mind)
      Game industry is not to be trusted, they have became big corporations or bought for big corporations that despite repeating till boredom their interest on the customer satisfaction, we all very much know that their only interest is the money, our money.
  4. Solongchu
    • premium
    • 2,093 posts
    • 14 kudos
    Now its time for those who made a big deal about donating to put their money where their mouths are and show our modders some love.
  5. AKG115
    • member
    • 27 posts
    • 0 kudos
    1. Pixeldust
      • premium
      • 795 posts
      • 21 kudos
      Praise the Nine!

      Now I'll be able to buy Bethesda games again. Though, this action still has damaged the community in a way that I doubt will be easily forgotten or forgiven.
  6. Brandon007
    • premium
    • 3,474 posts
    • 108 kudos
    The ANti-PaidMod team won?! Huzzzah!
    Tis a golden day for all of us!
  7. Drednots
    • premium
    • 45 posts
    • 0 kudos
    Paid mods have been removed but I am going to actively donate to my favorite mods anyway because of all this.
  8. badiyee85
    • supporter
    • 25 posts
    • 3 kudos
    You know, I just want to share this with the modders who are going to put their mods up for "sale".

    Remember, when you sell something, you become a trader of sorts.

    What you cannot guarantee is "buy my product because its a work in progress". Because there are things such as customer's rights.

    If you sell something that's broken, expect a storm of poo going your way.
    If you sell something that's not broken, expect NO POSITIVE advertisements coming your way. Because people buy products to use them, not to advertise them on your behalf.
    If you sell something that's good, people MAY or MAY NOT talk about it. You're not entitled to being "advertised" just because you think you are.

    But let's also get one thing very clear, especially those selling on SteamWorks and pulling their works on NexusMod: I think you're digging your own proverbial grave, in economic sense.

    You sell a product for say, USD 10 *cough*, you get at most USD2.5. I heard its a lot in the USA, enough to buy a full meal? Not sure, but here's what.

    That 2.5USD, you'll still need to fund for a PR or a HR personnel, because there's such a thing called as "customer service", and "post-sale service". Yeap. Unless I'm wrong, when you sell something, even in a 'curated bazaar' like Steam, its YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to provide customer service and post-sales service.

    Let's see, you'll probably be swamped with "waaaa this is broken", or "waaa why this doesnt' look as good as in the picture? OMG you liar, you used some sort of magic / trickery waa waa waa".

    You'll spend your time trying to calm the customers down. All with that meagre USD2.5
    Meanwhile Steam and Bethesda earns USD7.5 without even as much batting and eyelid.

    You make a product, but they parasitically earn from you, and yet you have to deal with the poo pile, you have to eat the dog food. Yourself. NOT WITH VALVE, NOT WITH BETHESDA.

    Are you really sure you're getting compensated? I don't think so. Is this move an economically sensible move? I think its a GREAT move for VALVE and BETHESDA, but on your expense as a modder.

    Then you'll get burnt out, and you'll blame the "community" for not understanding you. The problem is, the community does NOT have to understand you. Because you sold a product, and if I'm a customer, I don't care for your wellbeing. I only want the products I paid for comes in with ZERO PROBLEM, and WORKS RIGHT OFF THE BAT, no BETAs, no ALPHAs, nothing of the sort of "i'm going to beta test for you".

    Just don't cry foul at the community that you tried to make money off.
    1. sanul17
      • supporter
      • 610 posts
      • 52 kudos
      my thoughts exactly
    2. EnigManic
      • supporter
      • 859 posts
      • 27 kudos

      I agree with you completely, but I must point out the irony..

      "..only want the products I paid for comes in with ZERO PROBLEM, and WORKS RIGHT OFF THE BAT, no BETAs, no ALPHAs, nothing of the sort of "i'm going to beta test for you"."

      Sounds like an issue with every FO and TES game.
  9. sunshinenbrick
    • premium
    • 2,725 posts
    • 32 kudos
    Looks like the Bethesda moderators could do with reading the S.T.E.P. guide.

    It almost funny to watch them scramble around... if only it were not for unknowing new comers who are being shafted.

  10. MacKom
    • member
    • 509 posts
    • 343 kudos
    All this talk about "death of the community" is a bit overdramatic. The community will not die out. This whole thing is actually a good thing - a "purge", so to say. Some people will go pay-per-mod, some will remain free. The first will make and update mods with intention of making money. Others for fun and learning. And that`s it. As long as there are moddable games, there will be modders. And there will always be modders who do it *just* for fun.

    So, to the first - good luck. You have your own reasons for doing so. Can`t say I respect the integrity of your decision, but the decision is yours.

    To everybody else - lets go have fun and make awesome mods.
    1. sanul17
      • supporter
      • 610 posts
      • 52 kudos
      i wouldnt say its "death"

      but a step back, the mods community will be restraint by this "paywall"

      because not only user, but the modders also paid another modder for the mod because their assets in it, the alternative is make it by themselves
    2. WanderingMania
      • member
      • 250 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Well I did say "grim and worst case scenario" but that of course is my own "far sight predictions ", but it sure isn't helping us band together more.
    3. Mr. Dave
      Mr. Dave
      • supporter
      • 3,692 posts
      • 461 kudos
      Something that needs to be addressed here. So far I've had to report (flag) several of the "Paid Items - Under Review" for illegally attempting to sell assets not created by the author. This includes models purchased from marketplaces such as Turbosquid, sections of textures which were gleaned from the internet, or created by another modder. And then there re the non existent mods that were being spammed. Valve has removed the non existent mods fairly quickly. Actually amazingly quick for Valve. They removed several in less than 24 hours for being non existent mods. But the illegal mods are all still up.