For now it's Skyrim only. Thoughts?
Seems a business strategy in favor of certain people.
We all know what half baked games are and their premium dlcs(huh huh EA). As you see that company has managed to actually reduce its player base and its fans by a great margin.
So it all comes down to each company how it values its supporters. More profit- less people, less profit- more longevity, manage it just right- aka. make it fair and transparent and you have a sweet spot where you make a little profit but you still get to keep your player base and keep them for your future games number 1 2 and 3.
All in all, people will choose and support those companies which will value their opinions and respect them. The tool for paid content has always been present in steam one way or another.
Some Mods have a lot of effort from their authors. I think it is fair that they can get some money from their well done job.
This is a legal nest of vipers.
I'd have paid for FFH2, it was the best thing about Civ4, but FFH2 had a host of content the creators of FFH2 didn't own. Most complex mods have a host of content the creators of the mod didn't create, Skyrim mods are far from the exception. Is Valve going to go through the trouble of verifying content is free of donated assets intended for a free mod? Does the creator of the Arissa mod have permission from the voice actress to sell the mod? What about mods based on third party IP? There are multiple DOTA2 based weapons up behind the paywall, as well as a Half-life based armor. What happens to the gobs of non-Valve weapons and armor from not so mainstream Asian fighting games, anime, and God knows what else, when some of their creators try to sell them?
When you run a professional software company, any "free" assets you're using in your product are either rigorously researched to make sure their licensing allows for their incorporated sale, or you end up getting sued for your sloppy behavior. With Valve/Bethesda getting 75%(which is basically the mod creator thanking the service, not the users thanking the mod creator), they're going to be on the hook for any shit that hits the fan as a result of the far more questionable realm of selling mods.
It's a nightmare I wouldn't look forwards to managing.
Basically, what Blizzard tried to do back with SC2 except they fell flat on their face when they had no infrastructure for it. This will encourage developers to make their games more moddable. Whether or not this is a good thing remains to be seen (once again, see SC2 and its lack of arcade for a very long time and arguably continued lack of support).
The split is... meagre to say the least. As I think I've said elsewhere regarding dota 2, 40 modder 40 dev 20 valve seems more reasonable. At any rate, this gives people a way to make some money and a way to build a portfolio so that's a plus I guess.
There is likely to be massive, massive, massive problems with expectations of interoperability between not only different mods but mods and the base game (say... it gets patched). An expectation of a bare minimum level of functionality is to be expected if you pay for something is pretty reasonable and, well, there's little incentive for continued support of a mod.
The copyright headaches are... well, let's say they will be nothing short of massive. What happens when some modder releases a mod that implements a feature the devs were planning for DLC? Who actually owns the content? What happens if they implement it in a different way? What happens if they intentionally break the way the modders did it? What happens if someone discovers after the fact that something infringes on copyright? In Dota 2, it's not too bad, you can just comp everyone with a similar item. (which has happened when an item was ripped off of Aion IIRC) For a mod? What happens there?
I get mods, and place my mods on nexus. Really don't like the way steam handles mods...on nexus... paying for a mod is totally voluntary ... and therefore does not violate the original game publishers rights.
I think that it's also not just a case of job -> reward. When I was doing mods for FE, for example, I came across a very neat hydra that I wanted to incorporate into the mod (actually I think it was another modder that recommended the studio). I was given a private-use-only copy of the model and animations and managed to get it in-game (with the neat added detail that it had three breath attacks, fire, lightning, and ice, each head using a separate one).
The price was around 50$ at the time, which I felt was way too much to cough up myself. For me, this is the kind of thing that could have been included if people paid for the mod. I was thinking about asking for donations at the time, but ended up not doing so after the studio informed me that the un-encrypted texture method used by FE was not acceptable.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that paid mods, imho, can get people interested and pay for new talent for content creation that would not otherwise have been there. And if the game developers are getting a cut as well, that's a great incentive to actually develop mod tools.
On the dark side of this is that a previously free mod for Skyrim has now gone pay-to-use for the hefty price tag of 5 dollars. So it also means that people who would previously have done it for free will be asking for money now.
Skyrim, by the way, uses the same 3d engine as the Elemental series, named HAVOK, so stuff could with some work be ported between the two. And if I'm not mistaken so was Dawn of War 2's, although I never experimented with that.
I think it's a great idea. There will likely be unexpected issues, particularly regarding ownership, but I think after working through them this could be a rewarding new system for PC gaming.
I expect a previously free mod going for 5 bucks to be really big stuff for 5 bucks. I think that follower mod was the highest priced thing on the page when I looked, what is that, a ten thousandth of the work that went into the base game? Less? There's a lot of DLC that's pretty sad out there for value, and so far the mods are a mixed bag. You can't make anything resembling a return on a mod unless you have hundreds of thousands of buyers, not and charge anything resembling a decent rate for it.
The joke mods trying to get approval are a bit of an exaggeration, but that's what I foresee, joke pricing. like the 99 cent swords.
Yeah, the prices are stupid. I don't mean "ridiculous", I mean whoever set them doesn't understand how to set prices. Instead of thinking in terms of a dozen or hundred sales, they should be thinking about hundreds of thousands. Only if the game was very niche would a higher price be warranted. Not only would you gain more total revenue, but the extra high-star ratings would pay back in frankly unimaginable ways.
Hmm... mod competition. That's another thing. Doesn't sound very jolly. Are people going to avoid helping each other out because it's competition? It's fine with 30 mods because they're all on the front page, but if you're talking 20 000 mods... it becomes a cutthroat business to stay on top.
What he said...
I paid for the game, I paid for the dlc, I might even pay for monthly subscriptions for multiplayer. A mod is voluntary content made for fun and offered from third parties (players) to other players. To pay for it would be to basically say its part of the game. For me I wouldn't entertain such shit, as its not morally right to me.
Brad had been hinting at this, never thought it would arrive so soon. Is Stardock planning to incorporate this into their games?
It's a great idea. I don't have much money but certainly don't expect anything for free either.
What a scam!
When I first heard of this I was filled with revulsion and it only increases as more and more problems become apparent.
Just one simple example among many, SkyUI is the most popular mod for Skyrim by far. It takes the atrocious console interface and makes it somewhat PC friendly. It's great that this mod exists, and a travesty that it has to. Now it can be put behind a pay gate that generates more revenue for Bethesda to encourage their laziness. Yay for progress.
Don't get me wrong, the general notion of reward (or paying or whatever) mod creators is good, but this implementation pretends to while rewarding game publishers for not doing much of anything and Valve for providing a service that it already gives away for free (well, not really free, but close enough from the consumer's standpoint).
I think it's great!
Modders will now put more effort into their mods and be justly rewarded. About time they get rewarded! I wonder how much Kael would have made on Fall From Heaven
Would he have been able to make the mod in the first place?
Borrowed art assets would have made it impossible to release as it was. If you can pull together the kind of talent behind those assets for money, you need the resources that go into a commercial venture up front. Professional artists aren't just going to jump out on a limb for some mod that may or may not be commercially viable a year or two down the road, they can't afford to.
Once you strip out a large portion of the graphics and audio, the mod has no appeal to a wider audience and wont be popular even if it can survive being charged for over being a free mod. With those assets, it's a fantastic work that many would have paid for, but how many? Enough to cover a couple hundred thousand in costs? That's the kind of budget you'd need to get professional painters and musicians to make environmentals, music tracks, portraits.
FFH2 was a pretty large team, and the project ran for over three years. The kind of return they'd have been able to see wouldn't even begin to cover their time, if it had been a work for profit. If they'd attempted to charge for it with the borrowed assets it had, a dozen plus artists would have had grounds to sue, including a few major game companies and a world renowned musician.
I put a few thousand hours into SOA2, and all that covers is entity file work. Even if everyone that has ever downloaded SOA2 chipped in five bucks, Steam's system probably wouldn't cover just me at minimum wage, I'm not the majority of the time spent on the mod, I'd be surprised if I'm even the plurality. You have to be an immensely popular mod to see the kind of numbers where the math would ever work out, and once people are paying for the mod I just don't see popularity being anywhere near the levels they are when free. My expectation is that anyone who can make anything resembling decent money modding, can make far more money developing professionally.
Micro transactions might turn a profit though, depends on how many suckers there are that will actually pay 99 cents for a sword outside of a F2P environment. I throw 20 bucks a year at Riot for League of Legends, but I am in no way operating under the delusion that the art assets I waste money on are in any way worth their insane costs. I expect this is what attributes to the success of stupid crap like hats in TF2. Perhaps I'm somewhat optimistic as to the intelligence of my fellow man though, it wouldn't really surprise me if droves of people really are dumb enough to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars buying tiny mods for Skyrim...
People have been making a living off making TF2 items, and now Dota 2. Although certainly there are scenarios where paying a modder would still be below minimum wage, there are also cases where that isn't so. Some of the dota 2 items getting accepted are made by full-time professionals.
Also, you're missing out the people who greatly enjoy making mods, and just want a little reward. It's not EITHER "making it for free because passion" OR "getting paid and hating it", there's a whole range of people in between.
Bethesda should actually try releasing or updating a game which doesn't spew flame and die (more so when a player throws mods at it) before adding a paywall for mods. Skyrim is infested with bugs.
Do you honestly think that this is going to stop with Skyrim?
There is both good, and bad in this.
First i already seen that steam pulled some of the "paid" mods, because of the issue of modders using others work, or IP without their permissions, or knowledge. It has already created the inevitable "shit storm", but i saw that coming.
That was what i was afraid of. That people would try to charge for mods that they didn't fully create themselves. Using plagiarized assets. Which is unleashing the copyright lawyers like hounds from hell. I will give you 3 guesses who will win in all this, but you will only need one.
If it is an authors own "original" art work, or "original IP" then i see no issue with charging for it. It is no different than a developer charging for their game. People will vote with their wallet whether its "good', or not.
It will encourage up, and coming artist.
You can chose "not" to charge for your work.
You can chose "not" to buy it.
You cant charge for a mod that is, and/or based on others work, or copyrighted IP.. For example Star Trek: SoA 2. The only reason Paramount lawyers are not spamming cease, and desist letters slamming the door shut on our mod is because we DO NOT charge for it. If that mod was my own original IP then hell yes i would be charging for it! It took me YEARS of sleepless nights, and tedious WORK to get it where it was before Psychoak, and Myfist0 took over the project. Where is my compensation? Answer is that there is no compensation, because it would be totally illegal. Being that Star Trek is copyrighted IP.
I could not charge for The Sins Optimization Project ether, because it would violate Stardock, and Ironclads EULA. In the end i was compensated, but in other ways
Same would be true "if" someone created a mod for Skyrim based on Lord of the Rings IP.
However, Original IP, Original Content, Original Art, and Original Code would all be fair to charge a "reasonable" price.
Counterstrike was a MOD, before it became a paid for add-on. Battlefield 2 on up wouldn't exist without the Desert Combat mod for BF 1942. The Sims, and Second Life community's charge for their content. So i am not at all surprised this has happened. It was not a question of "If", but "When" it will happen.
Free modding will still be as popular as always, because despite my previous statement i do love modding as a hobby. There are many others like me that feel the same way. Once you take that hobby away, and go professional, then modding become a "chore". Sure you may be paid for it, but then it becomes a tedious grind just to get something done. Much like mod burnout. The passion is gone, but you "must" finish, because you already have been paid to do so.
That will not be the reason at all.
Copyright [IP] violation has exactly zero-zilch-nothing to do with whether something is commercial or not...but simply whether something is used without permission or not.
There will 'only' be 2 reasons Paramount is not spamming 'cease and desist' and they are....
1. they are as yet unaware of [any] transgression
2. they deem such transgression to not be in their interests to pursue.
Mod or DLC?
If you charge then it's a DLC. If it "technically" was never meant to be in the product then it is a mod. Technically is in quotes because some products are designed to be mod friendly but the specific alterations were not foreseen.
This news honestly gave me a slight headache. Just thinking about the implications will drive one to madness.
Edit: Oh, forgot to mention this is likely an attempt to push the real 'scaled back' version later to manipulate the consumer. People hate that.
That will not be the reason at all.Copyright [IP] violation has exactly zero-zilch-nothing to do with whether something is commercial or not...but simply whether something is used without permission or not.There will 'only' be 2 reasons Paramount is not spamming 'cease and desist' and they are....1. they are as yet unaware of [any] transgressionor2. they deem such transgression to not be in their interests to pursue.
We already dealt with Paramount lawyers back in 2002 during the heyday of Starfleet Command, and Bridge Commander modding. Some idiots decided to "sell" Star Trek, and Starfleet Battles models on their websites. The problem was that they did not make those models. Nor did they have permission to use/sell those models (And We. The ones who DID make the models could prove they were ours right down to the idiots not removing the "flaws" that were in our meshes). When the lawyers got involved Paramount in its infinite wisdom decided to ban ALL Star Trek modding because of this. Cooler heads did prevail in the end, and after much negotiating they did indeed allow us to make trek mods for games as long as 2 things occurred. 1) That we make ZERO profit from these mods. 2) We put a disclaimer in our mods that Star Trek is copyright Paramount yada, yada, yada, Plus full credits for the work done in the mods (read the SoA2 disclaimer for the full legal text).
But, hey. Don't take my word for it. :/
The Golden Age of Steam, just turned into Silver. Not a cause for celebration. IMHO.
You're missing the part where most of the "making it for free because passion" mods have borrowed art assets, or borrowed IP, and would result in legal action on the composition bit. Making a mod you can legally receive compensation for is a larger pain in the ass than one you can't. It's why I expect the tiny stuff, like TF2 hats, are the only way this might fly, there are next to no major mods that don't borrow assets from somewhere.
We already dealt with Paramount lawyers back in 2002 during the heyday of Starfleet Command, and Bridge Commander modding. Some idiots decided to "sell" Star Trek, and Starfleet Battles models on their websites. The problem was that they did not make those models. Nor did they have permission to use/sell those models (And We. The ones who DID make the models could prove they were ours right down to the idiots not removing the "flaws" that were in our meshes). When the lawyers got involved Paramount in its infinite wisdom decided to ban ALL Star Trek modding because of this. Cooler heads did prevail in the end, and after much negotiating they did indeed allow us to make trek mods for games as long as 2 things occurred. 1) That we make ZERO profit from these mods. 2) We put a disclaimer in our mods that Star Trek is copyright Paramount yada, yada, yada, Plus full credits for the work done in the mods (read the SoA2 disclaimer for the full legal text).But, hey. Don't take my word for it. :/
OK, so the correct answer was '2'.
As I said...it was either '1' or '2'....
Modding [skinning] be it for a Game OR for the entire OS has always attracted IP Lawyers...from time to time. Always has...always will, but when it is NOT happening it is for exactly '1' or '2' reasons ...
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