You thought the Steam Controller was a bad idea? How about paying for mods?
Gaming is a business. There may be passion involved in projects, and developers and artists may whittle away hours of their lives, labouring on making a game they love. But at the end of the day, it comes down to the business side of things.
Valve recently made an exceptionally bold and, frankly speaking, stupid move. Rather than keeping themselves in high regard amongst gamers with solid sales and titles on offer, they decided that now was the time for monetization of the mods. Monetization has obviously been on their mind for quite some time now, this isn’t something that just happens. Someone, somewhere, has been monitoring mod download figures, daily traffic and which kind of mod is most popular. Evidently, the numbers were, and still are, high enough to turn a profit.
So why is this a bad thing? Well, if mod makers wanted to monetize their work, they could easily have done so. It’s not hard setting up a basic little bare-bones site to sell digital goods. So why didn’t they do this already? It’s simple really. They couldn’t hope to compete with the vast array of mods that are available for free on the Nexus, a site that offers a list of mods that will fundamentally change how many games look, play and feel.
But now, because someone has said they’re willing to pay them for their work, things are changing. Don’t get me wrong, market value dictates that an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, but if I’m only willing to pay £0 for a mod, then that should be the price I pay, no?
No. Pricing is decided by the mod maker. The user can choose from a drop down menu of prices in a sort of “pay what you want” style, but this ultimately only generates any real profit for Valve. 75% of profits are skimmed by Valve, leaving content creators in the dust with a tiny 25%.
Supporting mod makers is simple. Go to the Nexus and find the mod you like, and then click Donate. You don’t need to pay them, but if you think it’s worthwhile, then by all means feel free to do so, I encourage it.
SO what does this mean for future modding? Well it certainly doesn’t instil a great deal of hope. With money, comes people who want to make a quick buck. With games like Fallout 4 looming on the horizon, what’s there to stop someone taking a Fallout 4 texture, changing it a little, and then charging you for it? Fallout 4, it it launches on the PC is going to be a massive playground for modding and having it possibly locked under a paywall is detrimental to free user generated content.
At the time of writing, 109,817 people have signed a petition asking that monetization of mods is removed. Generally speaking, I hate petitions. They’re bothersome things of little consequence, but even I put my name down for this and you should to.
Beneath, is a gallery of images that you can look through. All these images are a basic build of Fallout 3 and New Vegas with free mods being used. If this isn’t proof that paid content isn’t needed, then I don’t know what is.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.