Valve and Bethesda certainly ruffled a few weathers this week when they announced the Skyrim Steam Workshop was now going to begin selling mods. Up until now the status quo had been set in stone for years - mods were free, but now that’s all set to change.
The community is up in arms. There’s petitions going. There’s talk of jumping ship from Steam. You can almost smell the fire and brimstone as people decry Valve for killing the modding community. There’s two sides to every coin of course, but Valve has certainly begun an interesting time for the PC modding community.
Okay, so let’s look at this objectively. Right now, the vast majority of Skyrim mods are still completely free on the Steam Workshop. In fact, there’s barely any paid-for mods whatsoever. After all, why pay for something when you can get something similar for free just a few clicks away? All them Skyrim mods aren’t going anywhere.
What it does do is open up a potential revenue stream for the top-tier modders, a reason for them to create a mod rather than make an actual game. The slice is a bit small, just 25$ of sales, but for some of the large-scale mods this could make a huge difference.
Mods have been on a downward spiral for a decade now, locked out against a mass of DLC, online integration, and indie developers finding it easier than ever to actually get a real game out. This could reinvigorate the scene, meaning bigger, better mods for Skyrim.
On the downside, none of us like to pay money for what was previously free. Mods have a long history of being free, but you only have to look at Counter-Strike, DayZ, and DOTA to see where this eventually ends up. The best of the best become money-making machines regardless.
Anyway, enough rambling, it’s time to hand it over to you. We want to know what your opinion is on Valve’s latest groundbreaking move? Is it for the best, or a fatal mistake? Let us know your thoughts below!