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Steam introduces paid mods for games. Is it heading in the right direction?

Steam introduces paid mods for games. Is it heading in the right direction?

by AshwinApril 25, 2015

Valve has introduced a controversial addition to its digital game distribution service, Steam.


Steam now allows game modders to sign up for a free account, and upload their mod and monetize it.

Yes, you can now sell mods on Steam. And users who already bought a game must cough up some eextra bucks just to install those mods.

The paid mods are now available for just one game, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Steam could open doors for paid mods to other games soon.

Valve is giving users a 24 hour refund period, during which they can decide to keep the mod or return it for their money.

Steam is apparently offering modders 25% of the revenue from their mods, while the remaining 75% will be divided amongst Steam and the Game’s developers.

Is Steam heading in the right direction with this?

Absolutely no, and here’s why.

Last week Steam introduced a new rule to restrict so called spammers and scamsters. Accordig to the new rule, Steam accounts are divided into two types: Limited and Regular User Accounts.

Users who buy $5 worth of content from Steam will have the Regular User Accounts, which grants access to the Steam Community, and its community and services including Steam Workshop.

People who don’t have $5 worth of content in their Steam account lose access to most of the services, and their accounts are called Limited User Accounts.

Unfortunately, game keys, bundles, etc purchased from elsewhere, Steam Gifts,  which are redeemed on Steam do not remove limitations to access the features mentioned above. This move suggests that Steam is trying to push its own sales, and can also be seen as a way to discourage users from buying games elsewhere. In other words, its unethical.

The inclusion of paid mods for PC games is absolutely disgusting. Techcrunch reports that Valve is already facing backlash from users. This move suggests that Steam is becoming like the free-to-play games often found on mobile platforms, which destroy gaming, and instead end up filling the pockets of the developers.

Am I saying that modders don’t deserve money for their work? No absolutely not, they can earn money in the form of donations and advertisements. If their work is really good they could even be hired by  game studios, which could take them to new heights.

In fact many of the top modders just mod the game and share them with other fans, and also accept user requests. They do it because they like it and its fun.

Monetizing mods, is just going to invite trouble, as someone could resell other people’s hardwork as their own. Sadly, it may lure free modders to sell their work, leaving fans dissapointed.

Now consider the users who have purchased the game already. Most of these paid mods (for Skyrim) are available for free from other websites. Why pay for them on Steam?

The fact that Valve (Steam) is offering a mere 25% of the revenue to the modders, is enough proof that this system is bogus, and just a quick money maker.

I feel sorry for the state of PC gaming,  and if such atrocities continue, future games may not be sold at a one-off retail price, and instead end up requiring additional subscriptions just to play the game. Free-to-play games and paid-mods must end. Premium games are the way to go!