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> Skyrim Workshop Now Supports Paid Mods
Acadian
post Apr 24 2015, 05:13 PM
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I wonder who the real culprit here is?

Mod users obviously hate the idea of pay for mods.

Mod makers, based on the torrent of comments on numerous threads certainly seem, overall, opposed as well.

Bethesda has to realize that one of the biggest draws to the TES games are that, while they do not make a perfect game (no one does), they freely offer their tools (CS/CK) so players can make the game quite a bit closer to their individual view of ‘perfect’. Like many many others, if I could not tweak these games, I would not play them. How many PC copies has Bethesda sold because buyers knew they could easily and freely mod the game to suit their purpose. It seems clear that paying for mods will hurt the sale of Bethesda’s games – just like paying to play ESO hurt those sales. I'm reluctant to believe that Bethesda is dumb enough to not see the downside to sales here.

So who is left that could be behind this bad idea? Who, seriously, could possibly want this? My guess is Steam. Have they become enough of an 800 pound gorilla to now dictate conditions to players, modders and even developers?


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haute ecole rider
post Apr 24 2015, 05:34 PM
Post #22


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Like SubRosa, I first read about this over on the Nexus site. I have mixed feelings about the recent move to a curated workshop.

First off, I enjoy the hard work of modders like Chesko and Hothtrooper, AFK, Arthmoor and AlienSlof who put a great deal of work and detail into their mods. I may not use every feature, but that does not mean I appreciate their skill and knowledge any less. If they put a large amount of time and care into crafting these mods, shouldn't they be compensated for it? I don't necessarily see it as greed. After all, I'm asked for free veterinary advice all the time. But do I give it away for free? No. Simply because I worked so hard for that degree, and I am still paying off the student loan debt I ran up, I expect to be compensated for my knowledge.

But these guys are doing it as a hobby, because they love the game! some will argue. It sounds uncomfortably close to the arguments I've heard from pet owners in the past - But you love animals! Shouldn't you treat them for free? Does that mean my knowledge (and these modders') have no value in this society? Does that mean you appreciate my work more? Or does that mean you get to use it up and cast it aside (and believe me, I've had my share of ungrateful clients)?

Am I willing to pay for their mods? At this point, I am not sure. I'm a big fan of freebies, but I'm also aware of Heinlein's Basic Principle: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL). Someone somewhere pays the cost for a product or a service that we consume. When mods are free, the cost is paid for by the modder, in terms of opportunity cost (the cost of their time which could be spent doing other things). For me, it's one thing to do it for yourself and maybe a few friends (as SubRosa does with her mods), but if I'm going to put it out there for general consumption, I would prefer to be compensated to some degree for my work and effort. I wouldn't expect to get rich off of this, but even if I make just enough each month to pay for one tank of gas in my car, that would be fine.

That said, I do not think the Steam Workshop is the place for it. For one thing, the way the fee structure works, modders are being ripped off.
QUOTE
The mod may or may not be accepted, but if it is, the mod author will receive a 25% cut (Valve take 75%) of any revenue generated from the sale of the mod.
(from DarkOne's blog piece? at the Nexus) Why does Valve get to reap the profits of modders' hard work?

Let's take an example that applies directly to me. I've thought about self-publishing e-books through Apple's iBooks. If I went that route, and decided to sell my stories through this forum, Apple would take 30% and I take 70% of the book's sale price. I believe Amazon takes a smaller cut if you sell through their Kindle forum. Either way, I, the author, profits from the sales of my imagination and creativity. I'm basically paying Apple and Amazon for the use of their forums to sell my products.

Using this as a basis for comparison, I find it extremely difficult to believe that Valve's terms are fair to modders. Umm, no.

There is also the thorny issue of who pays the modders whose work is being used in the paid mods? How is the income in sales distributed among the different modders? If I took Hothtrooper's Warchief Armor mod and incorporated that into my own mod, then put said mod up for sale on the Steam Workshop, who is responsible for compensating Hothtrooper for his work? Or do I have to have a written form from Hothtrooper giving me the rights to use his mod as I see fit?

There are too many issues and too many questions not being answered by Valve (and Bethsoft, for that matter) that I won't be paying for those mods anytime soon. I have yet to download a mod from Steam Workshop - simply because I do not feel that site is as well maintained or (dare I say it) policed as the Nexus is. I just can't support a framework that is so blatantly in favor of corporate greed (as opposed to modder's greed blink.gif).

Like Grits said, it's happened. And it's going to take some time for the dust to settle down. I'm going to hang back and wait to see what happens. I'm not in a hurry to buy any more Bethsoft games. I'm happy enough playing Oblivion and Skyrim - I don't feel the need to get into more. My spare time is tight enough that I don't need more games to fill those hours (more like minutes).


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ghastley
post Apr 24 2015, 05:39 PM
Post #23


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QUOTE(Acadian @ Apr 24 2015, 12:13 PM) *

Steam. Have they become enough of an 800 pound gorilla to now dictate conditions to players, modders and even developers?


They already were when Skyrim became available only through Steam. Yes, you could buy a disk, but Steam controlled whether you could play.

The worst part of this doing it after the game is released, so that mods have already been developed on a "strictly for free" basis, and then changing the rules. It might have been acceptable for a new game, as you'd know before creating a mod that it would be monetized, and then you probably wouldn't release it, just keep it for your own use.


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mirocu
post Apr 24 2015, 05:41 PM
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It is a tough debate, I admit. But if we go there, where will it stop? One could debate that mods in places like this forum should be paid and that the members have to pay since they use their services. After all, they do a lot of free work too.





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SubRosa
post Apr 24 2015, 06:03 PM
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QUOTE(Grits @ Apr 24 2015, 11:57 AM) *

QUOTE(ghastley @ Apr 24 2015, 11:50 AM) *

The Dark One makes a good point about plagiarism in his latest. Now I need to purchase anything I think contains my content, so I can check if it really does, and I'll never see that money back, because refunds are only as store credit.

That stood out for me, too. In every case it’s moneymaker for Valve and Bethesda.

It was glaring to me as well. So to was the fact that on day one a for-pay mod was already struck down for plagarism.

QUOTE(Acadian @ Apr 24 2015, 12:13 PM) *

I wonder who the real culprit here is?

Mod users obviously hate the idea of pay for mods.

Mod makers, based on the torrent of comments on numerous threads certainly seem, overall, opposed as well.

Bethesda has to realize that one of the biggest draws to the TES games are that, while they do not make a perfect game (no one does), they freely offer their tools (CS/CK) so players can make the game quite a bit closer to their individual view of ‘perfect’. Like many many others, if I could not tweak these games, I would not play them. How many PC copies has Bethesda sold because buyers knew they could easily and freely mod the game to suit their purpose. It seems clear that paying for mods will hurt the sale of Bethesda’s games – just like paying to play ESO hurt those sales. I'm reluctant to believe that Bethesda is dumb enough to not see the downside to sales here.

So who is left that could be behind this bad idea? Who, seriously, could possibly want this? My guess is Steam. Have they become enough of an 800 pound gorilla to now dictate conditions to players, modders and even developers?

The cuprits are Bethesda and Valve (who own and run Steam). Bethesda gets part of the money for these sales, and Valve most of it. As ghastley noted, even when a modder proves his work was stolen by someone else for profit, they receive store credit on Steam by way of compensation. Basically they try to make up for it by giving you something else for free. The actual money though, always stays with Valve and Bethesda.


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Acadian
post Apr 24 2015, 06:04 PM
Post #26


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QUOTE(mirocu @ Apr 24 2015, 09:41 AM) *

It is a tough debate, I admit. But if we go there, where will it stop? One could debate that mods in places like this forum should be paid and that the members have to pay since they use their services. After all, they do a lot of free work too.


I hope stargelman reads this and gives us mods a raise! laugh.gif


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ghastley
post Apr 24 2015, 06:06 PM
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Would double your current rate make a difference? biggrin.gif


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Acadian
post Apr 24 2015, 06:11 PM
Post #28


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QUOTE(ghastley @ Apr 24 2015, 10:06 AM) *

Would double your current rate make a difference? biggrin.gif


00 Septims is a lots more that 0 Septims. . . isn't it?


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Grits
post Apr 24 2015, 07:40 PM
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Here's some news from Chesko, I think. Wow. Link.


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Acadian
post Apr 24 2015, 07:51 PM
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Yes. . . kvright.gif Turning a hobby into profits tends to introduce enough headaches to kill any passion. That is why I would never consider writing for profit. I figure the problems Chesko discusses are simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to brand new headaches for modders.


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haute ecole rider
post Apr 24 2015, 09:04 PM
Post #31


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I agree, Acadian, that I wouldn't write for profit, either.

That said, I will write what I love, and if I decide to self-publish on iBooks or Amazon or whatever (original fiction only, of course), then whatever cash that brings in will be appreciated as supplemental income.

Twenty years ago I never thought about publishing my writing. It wasn't because I didn't think my stuff would sell. It was because I didn't want to deal with agents, publishers, marketing, etc. just to see my books ripped of their covers and tossed in the Dumpsters behind the bookstores.

But with the e-book revolution, and the ability to do what I want when I want, well, that changes things. If I ever write something that I want to put out there, I will do so. So what if it doesn't make the top ten bestsellers. But if people pay for it to read it, then I'm fine. If they don't want to read it, I'm fine with that too. After all, this would never be my day job. I want to always write what I love.


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mALX
post Apr 24 2015, 09:06 PM
Post #32


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QUOTE(mirocu @ Apr 24 2015, 04:29 AM) *

This is why I never support Steam or anything like it; even if they don´t do anything to begin with, they can control the purchase you made, effectively turning your purchase into a rental which it really was to begin with anyway.


Eventually, if this gets a good foothold, they can criminalize the whole free modding community, forcing you to pay even for unofficial patches that are essential or other mods that helps with problems like the abomb. While some point and laugh and call it a conspiracy theory, I don´t laugh particularly loud. Step by step they take away what is rightfully ours and because they do it step by step, many don´t see the full picture before it´s too late.



You said it all right here. Steam hasn't started charging for their use either, but look down the road and you may see it on the horizon. They are cornering the gaming market; everyone who has paid for these games needs them to play the games they paid for now.

And from the looks of it, Bethesda is burrowing in with them and rolling over; so I'd say Valve Steam has lubricated them really well with Septims.



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SubRosa
post Apr 24 2015, 09:46 PM
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QUOTE(Grits @ Apr 24 2015, 02:40 PM) *

Here's some news from Chesko, I think. Wow. Link.

That shows just the kind of acrimony and legal issues I expected.

Some of the comments below also highlight even another issue. With mods-for-pay, it means that making a super successful mod will not provide you with the cred to get hired by a gaming company like Valve or Bethesda. Because there is no reason for them to buy the cow when they can get the milk for free. They stand to get rich off of the work of regular people, all without doing the slightest thing themselves. These for-pay mods are basically content made by employees they do not have to pay.

This statement by Valve really made me say WTF?
QUOTE
[Valve] Officer Mar 25 @ 4:47pm
Usual caveat: I am not a lawyer, so this does not constitute legal advice. If you are unsure, you should contact a lawyer. That said, I spoke with our lawyer and having mod A depend on mod B is fine--it doesn't matter if mod A is for sale and mod B is free, or if mod A is free or mod B is for sale.

I am not a lawyer either, but it sounds like a surefire lawsuit to me! And really, it does not matter if you even stand a chance of winning a lawsuit when you bring one. If you are rich, you can use a frivolous suit to bleed someone who is not rich of money, and financially destroy them.


QUOTE(Acadian @ Apr 24 2015, 02:51 PM) *

Yes. . . kvright.gif Turning a hobby into profits tends to introduce enough headaches to kill any passion. That is why I would never consider writing for profit. I figure the problems Chesko discusses are simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to brand new headaches for modders.

Absolutely. Adding money to any situation never improves it.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Apr 24 2015, 10:16 PM


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Callidus Thorn
post Apr 24 2015, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE(Grits @ Apr 24 2015, 07:40 PM) *

Here's some news from Chesko, I think. Wow. Link.


Looking at the quote of the subscriber agreement right near the top there, doesn't it sound like they could just cut modders out of the loop entirely? I mean, they seem to be able to do anything they want with it once it's up there, and there's nothing the modder can do about it then.

I mean, Valve's agreement says they own it. Bethesda ToS for the construction kit says they own it. What's the modder got?


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mALX
post Apr 24 2015, 11:57 PM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Apr 24 2015, 09:40 AM) *

I first read about this a month ago, and it still disturbs me. I think it is a very bad thing for the modding community, on many levels. Ultimately I see it curtailing mod use, and probably even game sales.

Still, on one hand I can understand the reasoning by people who would like some compensation for their modding efforts. I have literally spent thousands of hours working on mods for various games.

My answer is something that Chesko illuminated in his/her open letter that Grits linked to above. Chesko rightly says that they don't have an endless well of time to work on mods. Modding means taking time away from spending time with family and friends, from the day job, from improving the skills they need for their day job, etc... So to justify taking that time away from these other things, money is required. There it is, the pink elephant in the room: Greed. Well, that is not my bottom line. I did not spend those thousands of hours modding to get rich. I did it because I love it. The effort I put in, and what created, is its own reward, and I do not regret a single minute spent. Sometimes I even feel like sharing with others, and I will never demand or ask for money for my mods.

Note to self: never download anything by Chesko, and scan my mod order to delete anything of theirs I might have now. Done, I didn't have anything of theirs.


So Chesko admitted he has been a terrible husband and father because he was busy modding? He shorted his wife and kids of attention, and halfassed his career... just so he could make mods? And now he wants us to all pay his bills so he can keep doing this? Hmmm. I think I need to check my load order and see if I have any of his mods too, I see me pulling them.


Update: The three of his I had downloaded: Frostfall; Campfire; and Arissa the Wandering Rogue. Frostfall wasn't installed it is in the Recycle Bin already.


QUOTE(ghastley @ Apr 23 2015, 10:55 PM) *

As I already mentioned on the Mods thread at Bethsoft my other worry is that anything I produce will be copied and sold as someone else's work. It will be my responsibility to watch their site and complain if anyone does so. as they won't do anything on their own. Given their lack of reaction to complaints when it was free, and the fact that they'll lose money by taking my side ...


This. This is a big concern, because Steam has done absolutely nothing to protect the original authors when their mods were stolen and posted on Steam, in fact Steam authorized the thieves with administrative privileges to police their own mod pages. And that was when mods were free, and the thieves were only gaining kudos for coming up with great mods they had actually stolen.

Truthfully, there are several mods or modders I would gladly make a donation to or pay their Premium membership at Nexus for - but I won't pay for any mod that is behind a pay wall, because there is no doubt in my mind there is an equal or better one for free at Nexus.




This post has been edited by mALX: Apr 25 2015, 12:08 AM


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Acadian
post Apr 25 2015, 01:32 AM
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Goodness! The BethSoft SkyMods forum is going through about one full thread (they lock at 200 posts there) each hour! No kidding. They're about ready to open thread #7 on the subject. Lots of upset people. ohmy.gif


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mALX
post Apr 25 2015, 01:56 AM
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QUOTE(Grits @ Apr 24 2015, 02:40 PM) *

Here's some news from Chesko, I think. Wow. Link.



Yeah, if I'm not mistaken he put up a mod that used FNIS without the author's permission, and FNIS states emphatically that they won't allow the use of any of their assets for any mod sold for money.




This post has been edited by mALX: Apr 25 2015, 01:57 AM


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mALX
post Apr 25 2015, 02:36 AM
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Okay, I read Chesko's last post. This guy kills me; really - making excuses for why he did what he did wrong, trying to blame it on everyone but himself, hmmm. laugh.gif

So if they are only getting 25% the modders will only turn out cheap crap? "Nothing like Falskar" (Which Alexander made for free, his love of the game and modding, and hopefully to get a job in the gaming industry - which he did get).

Alexander didn't hold back and slap crap together because he wasn't being paid for it, but obviously this Chenko considers how much you make to how much effort he is willing to put into his hobby - although he already told us he shunned his marriage/family/career to do it when he was doing it for free; lol.

So then he thought he was getting screwed for only getting 25% when he did all the work to make the mod? "Oh poor me, it's not fair, waaaaaah" rollinglaugh.gif

I guess he didn't think Bethesda deserved a bigger cut for making the game and CK for him to make the mod on? Or Steam giving him the site and ready customer base? Oooookaaaay !!! rollinglaugh.gif

This guy has a real inflated view of what his mods are worth, next we'll see him on Kickstarter, lol.

And obviously he didn't think FNIS deserved a cut either, because he tried to slip their work in there without notice, lol.


According to the posts below that, he has closed out all his accounts including his Twitter.




QUOTE(Acadian @ Apr 24 2015, 02:51 PM) *

Yes. . . kvright.gif Turning a hobby into profits tends to introduce enough headaches to kill any passion. That is why I would never consider writing for profit. I figure the problems Chesko discusses are simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to brand new headaches for modders.



Chesko created his own problems from what he himself wrote.




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SubRosa
post Apr 25 2015, 02:53 AM
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Here is one of the latest responses to the situation. I am downloading it now. For free...


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mALX
post Apr 25 2015, 03:10 AM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Apr 24 2015, 09:53 PM) *

Here is one of the latest responses to the situation. I am downloading it now. For free...



BWAAHAA! Hell yeah, downloading and endorsing in 15 minutes!






** Also gave him Kudos!




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