The Pay for Mods Program Already Showing Growing Pains as First Paid Mod Pulled

Valve's New Steam Workshop Program Already Showing Problems Not Even A Day After Release

One of the first mods released on Steam's new program for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released on Thursday has been removed from sale.  There are claims that it contained the work of another modder.

The fishing animation mod developed by Chesko and aqqh contained assets from Fore's New Idles In Skyrim.  Fore responded to a question in the Steam forums that they did not have permission and that making money with mods was against his attitude.  He said it was the end of the community.

Following this response Chesko and aqqh removed the mod from sale and responding that they had been under a non-disclosure agreement for over a month.  

They were unable to contact others. They had asked Valve about content that required other content, and they were told that as long as the download was separate and free it was okay.

Chesko's response:

On Valve's new Steam Workshop, the developer said that anyone who sees their content on sale from another person should issue a DMCA takedown immediately.

Modders are allowed to use someone else's content in their mod provided they have approval first. There is even a revenue sharing option that allows creators to share portions of their revenue with someone else.

Valve did say that they should ask permission to use content from another modder:

If your creation builds on another mod or utilizes content from another mod, you should first ask permission.

With this new program already showing growing pains, everyone is just waiting and watching in anticipation for another hiccup in this program.  

Fore's response to this program makes you wonder: will paid mods be an end to the creative modding community or something that will make it stronger and better funded?

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Published Apr. 12th 2018
  • The Slow Gamer
    The SIms community has had paid mods and items for many years. There's been lots of theft, reselling of other's work, bitching and infighting and also a robin hood-esque group who buy these paid items and then distribute them for free.

    I can't see Valve doing much to police paid mods (from their organise your own DCMA suggestion above) so I suspect something similar will happen with Steam paid mods.
  • Ashley Shankle
    Associate Editor
    "will paid mods be an end to the creative modding community or something that will make it stronger and better funded?"

    That's a good question, but I'm not optimistic on this being good for the modding community overall. Does Valve expect every mod creator to be ethical and ask the creators of dependency mods whether they can monetize? There's no way for Valve to keep up with this, and it's going to create a ton of problems.

    There are ways for creators to get a sort of mini-copyright on their mods, but this is something that's been wholly unnecessary in the past and is not something anyone has any idea how to deal with now.

    This whole thing feels like a money-grubbing scheme and I don't like it. I expected better from Valve, but honestly with all the shovelware on Steam and its overall decline in quality (even in terms of holiday sales), I shouldn't be as surprised as I am.

    You can't inject monetization into a community and system that has been free use and expect it to come out for the better for the people who have been with it over the long haul.

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