Yesterday, Valve rolled an update to steam that allows mod creators to charge for their mods and allows them to earn money for it. For now, only Skyrim has been allowed for this but they are going to roll it out to multiple games over the next few months. Here is why I think this is a very bad move.
- Most mods in Skyrim are made off of the SKE, Skyrim script extender interface. This mod is required to run pretty much any other mod in Skyrim. There are already at least two mods in the Steam Workshop that are asking for cold hard cash made with SKE. One has to wonder, do the authors of SKE demand a portion of the profits or allow the mods working off their interface to stop selling for cash period?
- There are multiple reports coming in that people other than the mod authors are selling these mods in the Workshop right now. Valve has already said they want the community to police the Workshop, so I am skeptical on how this is going to work. We are looking at mod piracy now. Legal implications are apocalyptic to say the least.
- Valve has said that you can return a mod for a full refund in 24 hours but they have also said that people abusing this will have this revoked. You have to wonder, there are a ton of mods one installs and some might not work with what you already have installed. If a user is an avid tester and installs mods and then decides they don't work for what he has, he is screwed. I see major issues with this policy from Valve.
- Mod creators are only going to get 25% of the proceeds and the rest will go to both Valve and the Publisher. I think this is a cheap way to make some cash at the mod writers and users' expense.
If you agree and would like to have a say in forcing Valve to reverse this moronic move, please sign the petition on change.com located here: Petition on Change.com. Already 17,000 signatures have been collected and it is going at a fast clip. Virtually no one is happy with this. Have your say.