Valve Software wanted to see amateur modders get paid for their work. But diving headfirst into the tight-knit modding community meant more than ironing out legal and financial issues. …
Valve has (at least temporarily) removed all paid Skyrim mods from Steam in conjunction with Bethesda and will issue refunds to anyone who purchased a Skyrim mod. …
Bethesda Softworks has published a lengthy explanation of why it agreed to let Skyrim be the guinea pig for the (aborted) launch of Valve’s premium mod storefronts. …
Update: Bethesda has updated its blog to state that it will no longer support paid mods in Skyrim.
Hot on the heels of Valve's announcement that it is abandoning its paid-mod initiative, Bethesda has amended its blog post with a straightforward update:
"After discussion with Valve, and listening to our community, paid mods are being removed from Steam Workshop. Even though we had the best intentions, the feedback has been clear – this is not a feature you want. Your support means everything to us, and we hear you."
Original Story: Last week, Valve announced
a new update to Steam Workshop that allows mod creators to charge money for
their content, starting with Bethesda's open-world RPG, Skyrim. The news was
met with criticism by some gamers, leading Valve's Gabe Newell to hold an impromptu
AMA on Reddit to answer questions and concerns. Today Bethesda has written
up its own explanation of why it has chosen to participate in the program.
The post on Bethesda's
blog explains that its participation in paid mods comes from a desire to
expand modding and support those making the content, and that it won't be
forcing mod creators to charge money. "We believe most mods should be free,"
the post states. "But we also believe our community wants to reward the very
best creators, and that they deserve to be rewarded. We believe the best should
be paid for their work and treated like the game developers they are. But
again, we don't think it's right for us to decide who those creators are or
what they create."
The post also breaks down how profit sharing will work.
Bethesda says it's up to the mod creator to decide how much to charge, citing Oblivion's
infamous Horse Armor DLC as the company's own personal growing pains for
figuring out what to charge. Whatever price is chosen, 30-percent of the
revenue goes to Valve and 40-percent goes to Bethesda, leaving 25-percent for the
mod creator. Think that's unfair? Bethesda explains its logic:
"The percentage conversation is about assigning value in a
business relationship. How do we value an open IP license? The active player
base and built-in audience? The extra years making the game open and developing
tools? The original game that gets modded? Even now, at 25% and early sales
data, we're looking at some modders making more money than the studio members
whose content is being edited."
Bethesda goes on to say that it considers this an
in-progress experiment, and that it's open to reassessing its decisions based
on feedback from mod creators and the community. You can read the whole post at
the link below.
It's great that Bethesda is outlining its decision to allow paid mods, but there are still tons of unanswered questions surrounding the initiative. While I think that mod creators should ultimately have the right to charge for their creations if they want to, we can only guess at the long-lasting impact that paid mods could have on the modding community. Will the availability of free, wacky mods dry up if everyone is inclined to charge a couple bucks for them? Will other publishers take bigger cuts or dictate what content creators can (or must) charge for their mods? And what will happen to all the websites and communities devoted to hosting and sharing mods? Only time will tell, but gamers have a right to be apprehensive about Valve's newest initiative.
Some choice quotes from Newell’s Reddit Q& A that help shed light on what Valve hopes to achieve by allowing modders to sell their work — and how it fits into the company’s long-term goals for Steam. …
Update 2: There has been some discrepancy over CD Projekt's plans for DLC. The promised 16 pieces of add-on content will be delivered at no additional cost to all players.
CD Projekt previously stated that it would only charge for content if it believed that users would appreciate was on offer. You can read that story here.
Update 1: We received information on the pricing, which breaks down as follows:
- Hearts of Stone: $ 9.99
- Blood and Wine: $ 19.99
- Expansion Pass: $ 24.99
- Game+Expansion Pass: $ 84.99 (Xbox One, PS4), $ 79.99 (PC)
CD Projekt reached back out to let us know that the expansion pass is the only way to pre-purchase the add-on content right now. We suspect the prices we were provided earlier will be attached after each of the content drops arrives.
CD Projekt Red has announced approximately 30 more hours of content that will be heading to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt as add-on packs. The company is selling an expansion pass now, but urges anyone with concerns to wait.
The first content pack, Hearts of Stone, is planned for an October 2015 release. CD Projekt anticipates this adventure in the wilds of No Man’s Land will last at least 10 hours.
The second expansion, Blood and Wine, will arrive in the first quarter of 2016. This one is targeted for 20 hours of material and will take Geralt to the new region of Toussaint.
“While we’re offering the Expansion Pass now, we want to make one thing clear: don’t buy it if you have any doubts,” says CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwinski. “Wait for reviews or play The Witcher and see if you like it first. As always, it’s your call.”
We’ve inquired with CD Projekt about expansion pass pricing, as it wasn’t in the press release, the official website, or listed on partner storefronts. We’ll update should we receive a response.
In addition to this (seemingly meaty) expansion content, CD Projekt is offering 16 smaller DLC packs for every player on all three platforms. It’s clear there will be much more game in the add-ons, but without knowing the price (yet), it’s hard to judge value.
Valve has added a new clause to the Steam User Agreement requiring users to disclose when they are using a Steam service to promote something in exchange for money, free games or other rewards. …
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