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Valve Is Now Offering Mod Makers the Opportunity to Sell Their Work on the Steam Workshop

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Valve is now offering mod makers the opportunity to sell their work on the Steam Workshop, allowing community content creators to earn an income from third-party mods, items and maps.

Valve Is Now Offering Mod Makers the Opportunity to Sell Their Work on the Steam Workshop

The new update to the Steam Workshop aims to “put mod authors in business” with the introduction of a more streamlined process for listing, selling and managing community-made creations, giving Workshop contributors the ability to put an open price tag on their submissions if they wish to.

“We think this is a great opportunity to help support the incredible creative work being done by mod makers in the Steam Workshop. User generated content is an increasingly significant component of many games, and opening new avenues to help financially support those contributors via Steam Workshop will help drive the level of UGC to new heights.”

Valve programmer Tom Bui

In addition to fixed item prices, creators can also choose to set a “pay whatever you want price” for content too and of course the option to continue to list content for free is not going anywhere either. Valve have also published a 24-hour refund policy to go with the update which essentially allows you to try out paid content first, giving users more peace of mind when it comes to worrying about content that is maybe buggy or does not meet expectations.

See Also: Dividing Profits: The Community’s Reaction to Paid Mods on Steam

Starting with the Workshop for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which has amassed over 170 million addon downloads to date, Valve says the new update is due to roll out across other Steam Workshop enabled games in the coming weeks.

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Valve also boasted that the Steam Workshop has generated over $57 million for community content creators since it’s launch in October 2011 from curated in-game item and Steam Greenlight submissions.

You can find more about the Steam Workshop update on the official announcement page.


Update: After a negative reaction from the community, Valve have since removed the paid mods feature from the Steam Workshop. You can read more about this here.

2 Comments

  1. I’ve actually been expecting this for quite some time now. I have publicly stated in the past my beliefs that Valve would greatly expand their monetization methods to more various kinds of mods. As well as the concerns about the potential direction such a thing could go. And in all honesty, this announcement has pretty much alleviated all some of my concerns regarding this direction. The fact that Valve has allowed for content creators to not only set their own price points, but that they can submit their mods on the Steam Workshop for FREE or even allow a sort of pseud-donation style option is very encouraging. Not to mention that this is the first time Valve has implemented any sort of ‘return policy’ is hopefully the first step not just for paid mods, but possibly for full games on the store in the future. I would rather they implement a 72 hour deadline instead of 24, but it’s better than nothing by a long shot. Giving creators virtually full control over the way their content is distributed and monetized is the best thing Valve could have done to ensure that there will still be free mods for games for years to come. We certainly don’t want to have to ‘buy’ weapon skins for all games on Steam from now on. ;)

    There’s always the concern that people will maliciously reupload someone else’s work onto their own account and make money off of it illegally. In fact, I’ve heard reports of such things already happening, but I haven’t seen confirmation of this yet. This is something that Valve has taken care of in the past. However, by opening the flood gates to the workshop, they have created a system that is far more difficult to moderate than just approving various batches of submitted models and skins every month. Thankfully the community is usually pretty good about reporting any infringement on other peoples’ work. So hopefully this becomes a problem that can be easily solved before it gets too out of hand.

    The backlash this new policy has received on various forum sites is, as TotalBiscuit has put it, “unsettling”. Most of these people haven’t even read about what this new system entails nor understand how beneficial this could be for the modding community. Modding is about to change very dramatically, and we will likely see more and more mods being sold as time goes on. But I don’t believe the community will ever let free mods die. And no, I don’t mean via piracy. A vast amount of content creators out there have publicly stated their intention to keep doing what they’re doing out of love for the games and for the fun of creating new items, games, maps, etc. I think, instead of ‘pay-what-you-want’, a ‘pay-if-you’d-like-to’ option might have been more appropriate (unless I have misunderstood this part of Valve’s announcement). As many people who are uncomfortable with this new idea have stated that they are more than welcome to financially support authors so long as their content is freely available. In other words, “I don’t want to pay for your work, but I’d happily donate for you to keep working.”

    Nevertheless, this is a reassuring gesture from Valve that they want to continue supporting UGC (User Generated Content), but don’t want to divide the community by doing so. This is a policy that will certainly need to be modified and rethought over time, but it’s nice that it is now there to begin with.

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