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Acadian
Gstaff, of Bethesda, announced on the Bethesda forum that Skyrim Workshop Now Supports Paid Mods. Here's the thread.

To say the reaction there has been underwhelming is a massive understatement. If I spend more than a moment pondering unintended consequences and pitfalls, I’m afraid I must agree with the ominous implications this has for the future of modding. A ton of posts on that thread already beat up the subject pretty well.

I confess I prefer as little to do with Steam as possible and have never touched their 'workshop'. I get my mods from Nexus, but the implications are disturbing - even for private hobby modders. Naturally, Steam is taking a big cut of all proceeds. Does this mean that for future games, the CK/CS will only be made available to 'for profit' Steam workshoppers? This seems to validate the concerns many of us have about Steam and their ability to control what you thought you paid for.
ghastley
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 ...

I don't think we'll ever see the CK unavailable without contributions to their stock of mods, as the process has to start with downloading that, but it might come with a "no upload elsewhere" clause in the EULA. Similarly, I don't (yet) see how they'll prevent us using mods that didn't come from Steam, or we'd never be able to develop new ones for them. But I do expect some action to try and eliminate the free completion from the Nexus.
mirocu
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.
Grits
Well, the other shoe has dropped. This explains some of the activity last week on the Nexus from mod authors who had paid new versions of their mods about to be released. Chesko wrote an open letter to the community that can be found here: Link. I think it’s worth the time to read it.

Mod theft is certainly a concern, since the attention will go toward trying to control people who are pirating the paid mods rather than defending the folks who are not profit sources. Though as long as mods are offered for free, I wonder how many idiots will pay first without searching for a free version. It seems that a good defense against theft is to continue to offer free mods.

I’m most concerned about what will happen to the spirit of various modding communities. I’ve benefited tremendously from people selflessly offering classes, advice, and resources in the interest of encouraging standards among new modders. Now that everyone is a potential competitor, it does seem like the sky is falling on that.

The thing is, though, this has happened. It will take time for the market to settle. Paying for mods certainly helps clarify which ones are actually “essential.” The thing that makes me palm my face the most is the cheerful advice on Steam to try new mods for 24 hours before you buy them, and the bundles for sale that I’m sure few users will research before installing the lot. I mean, have they forgotten how fragile this game is? Yikes!

Best of luck to the mod authors who just became game developers on the Steam workshop. Now your ungrateful, demanding, entitled users are your paying customers. Reap the whirlwind. laugh.gif
mirocu
Yeah, this is yet another terrible idea in the line of terrible ideas. Frankly I don´t see myself ever getting a new Bethesda game again. If I can´t even fix the basic stuff without paying even more, then I am bye-bye. I have fixed so many issues between Morrowind, Oblivion and Fallout 3 and if I had to pay for all of it I´d be pi.... angry.
Grits
There are some amusing responses from modders already, such as the “Give Me Money For No Reason” mod on the Nexus which adds the well-dressed beggar Beth to the game, and the “Extra Apple” mod for $29.99 (adds an apple to the counter at the Bannered Mare) still under review at the Steam Workshop.
mirocu
rollinglaugh.gif rollinglaugh.gif
Grits
Here is a statement from isoku.

Acadian
I'll never pay for a mod any more than I would pay to read a fan fiction - and the work involved in both is massive. Modding and fanfic are hobbies. If you don't enjoy the work don't do it. If you want to get paid for it, apply for a job at a game company or publisher.

That said, I'm used to blanket avoiding certain mods for various reasons. For example, I never got along with COBL so any OB mod that required it simply 'didn't exist'. So it is with other mods that look complex or have a list of prerequisite mods.

I have no doubt that the free modding community will continue as long as allowed. Fantastic modders like SubRosa will continue to make changes to her game and likely offer them up to her friends informally at places like chorrol. Those of us who are not so skilled at modding will continue to seek help from smart folks here like ghastley in our attempts to make our own simple mods or work out tweaks to existing mods.

My concern is the future of the CS/CK for newer games. Just as pay to pay flopped for ESO, I expect pay to mod will flop as well. Will the response be to change the CS/CK for future games so that any output from it can only be sold on Steam? If so, we may all end up joining SubRosa playing GoG games like Baldur's Gate I or joining mirocu playing pokemon. laugh.gif
SubRosa
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. Everyone else is making money from games, and from the mods we create. So why are we cut out of the loop? Don't we modders deserve a fair slice of that pie?

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.

QUOTE

Please don’t be evil.

Gosh, how come no one ever mentioned this to John Wayne Gacy, or Jeffery Dahlmer, or Bill Gates?


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 ...

My concern is being accused of plagarism when it is untrue. There are some things that can only be done a certain way. So if one person releases a mod that makes wards use less magicka, and I create one myself, am I going to be sued for stealing the idea? Are people going to patent or copyright mods now, to protect their intellectual property?

There are many of my mods that I won't release now, simply because I saw another mod and thought "I can do that". Often I take it many steps further than the original I saw. But I still expect to be attacked in the community for stealing another person's work. Adding money to the mix is not going to make things better. It never makes things better.


QUOTE(Grits @ Apr 24 2015, 05:30 AM) *

Though as long as mods are offered for free, I wonder how many idiots will pay first without searching for a free version. It seems that a good defense against theft is to continue to offer free mods.

This is the internets we are talking about. Idiocracy is the foundation of the world wide web. Heck, look at all of us who actually paid for Skyrim and Oblivion, when we could have simply downloaded a pirated copy for free? Well, maybe we are not idiots, but rather just honest. But the truth is everything on the internet that is even slightly interesting can be gotten this way. I wonder how long it will be until we start seeing torrents of for-pay mods?

QUOTE(Grits @ Apr 24 2015, 05:30 AM) *

The thing is, though, this has happened. It will take time for the market to settle. Paying for mods certainly helps clarify which ones are actually “essential.” The thing that makes me palm my face the most is the cheerful advice on Steam to try new mods for 24 hours before you buy them, and the bundles for sale that I’m sure few users will research before installing the lot. I mean, have they forgotten how fragile this game is? Yikes!

I cannot count how many times I had downloaded a mod that I thought looked interesting, installed it, took one look at how the armor/sword/thingie actually looked in my game, and said "Oh hell no!" Even the ones that pass initial muster often sit unused for months, or even years, just because I did not have a character that would use that particular thing. Out of every ten mods I download, I probably only actually ever use one. If I have to pay for them, I will never download them in the first place.

QUOTE(Grits @ Apr 24 2015, 05:30 AM) *

Best of luck to the mod authors who just became game developers on the Steam workshop. Now your ungrateful, demanding, entitled users are your paying customers. Reap the whirlwind. laugh.gif

Honestly, this is a major reason I do not release more of the mods I make, and why I usually ignore the comments sections of the ones I do. Which I will never charge for.

QUOTE(Grits @ Apr 24 2015, 06:51 AM) *

There are some amusing responses from modders already, such as the “Give Me Money For No Reason” mod on the Nexus which adds the well-dressed beggar Beth to the game, and the “Extra Apple” mod for $29.99 (adds an apple to the counter at the Bannered Mare) still under review at the Steam Workshop.

The internet FTW!

QUOTE(Acadian @ Apr 24 2015, 09:35 AM) *

If so, we may all end up joining SubRosa playing GoG games like Baldur's Gate I or joining mirocu playing pokemon. laugh.gif

Come to the Gog side. We have cake!
mirocu
"Joining mirocu playing Pokemon"?


I don´t think I´ve ever been that insulted before... I´VE NEVER PLAYED THE [censored] THING!! laugh.gif
Grits
Aand the Nexus is down. I think I'll play some Oblivion while I ride out the poop-storm. Or maybe write some fan fiction while that's still free! laugh.gif
mirocu
You know, Grits... You should make us pay for reading it... tongue.gif
SubRosa
QUOTE(Grits @ Apr 24 2015, 11:21 AM) *

Aand the Nexus is down.

Gee, the only major site that still allows mods to be distributed for free? Conspiracy? Of course not! I am sure it was a coincidence that a team of armed men all wearing "Valve or Die" shirts all burst into the Nexus data center and blew it up.

But, it's not down for me. Perhaps you have been naughty Grits. Are you collaborating with those evil Steam Workshoppers? nono.gif wink.gif devilsmile.gif
ghastley
QUOTE(SubRosa @ Apr 24 2015, 09:40 AM) *

My concern is being accused of plagarism when it is untrue.


I've had that already. I was accused of stealing content from a mod for another game. And it was true. I had modded that other game. kvleft.gif I suspect that situation may become one of the sore points in this, too.

P.S. http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/news/12454
Grits
Ha ha, I’m sure I’m not… Hang on, someone’s at the door.

*crash*

*BAM*

Grits is dragged away by hooded thugs


It's back up for me now, too. But I'm all out of popcorn.
ghastley
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.
mirocu
We can no longer trust any post made by the member called "Grits"... emot-ninja1.gif
SubRosa
And one of my predictions I made in my first post came true. I just Googled Frostfall + torrent, and see a slew of pirated copies of it. Yaarrrr, the pirates strike! laugh.gif
Grits
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.
Acadian
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?
haute ecole rider
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).
ghastley
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.
mirocu
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.



SubRosa
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.
Acadian
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
ghastley
Would double your current rate make a difference? biggrin.gif
Acadian
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?
Grits
Here's some news from Chesko, I think. Wow. Link.
Acadian
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.
haute ecole rider
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.
mALX
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.

SubRosa
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.
Callidus Thorn
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?
mALX
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.


Acadian
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
mALX
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.


mALX


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.


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


gpstr
I haven't read anything on this thread yet because I just want to air my own thoughts while they're still there. I'll maybe comment some more later, after I wind down a bit.

First, bluntly, simply - this whole thing fills me with the urge to vomit.

Nothing good ever comes from getting money-hungry corporate weasels involved in anything.

If this is successful (which is to say, profitable for Beth and Valve), then it's absolutely guaranteed that free, amateur modding will be driven underground at best.

Scenario:

Acme Company hosts "X" mod behind their paywall.

<FreeModSite>.com hosts "Y" free mod that does the same thing.

Acme Company WILL see every download of "Y" mod as lost revenue, and therefore WILL seek to eliminate "Y" mod by the most direct and effective way - by eliminating <FreeModSite>.com entirely.

Count on it. In fact, I'd go so far as to presume that Valve and Beth have already had their lawyers look into just that issue, because they know, just as I do, that if they're going to continue to profit from the mods that are offered, they're going to have to ensure that there is no free competition. If players can download "Y" mod for free, then they have no incentive to pay for "X" mod and they won't, and there's no way that the companies invested the necessary money to bring this about with that possibility looming over their heads. It's certain that they not only believe that they can shut down free modding, but that, if this is successful, they fully intend to and already know how they'll go about doing it. They would not have made this decision without that assurance.

Again, the whole thing just fills me with the urge to vomit.
mALX
QUOTE(gpstr @ Apr 24 2015, 10:15 PM) *

I haven't read anything on this thread yet because I just want to air my own thoughts while they're still there. I'll maybe comment some more later, after I wind down a bit.

First, bluntly, simply - this whole thing fills me with the urge to vomit.

Nothing good ever comes from getting money-hungry corporate weasels involved in anything.

If this is successful (which is to say, profitable for Beth and Valve), then it's absolutely guaranteed that free, amateur modding will be driven underground at best.

Scenario:

Acme Company hosts "X" mod behind their paywall.

<FreeModSite>.com hosts "Y" free mod that does the same thing.

Acme Company WILL see every download of "Y" mod as lost revenue, and therefore WILL seek to eliminate "Y" mod by the most direct and effective way - by eliminating <FreeModSite>.com entirely.

Count on it. In fact, I'd go so far as to presume that Valve and Beth have already had their lawyers look into just that issue, because they know, just as I do, that if they're going to continue to profit from the mods that are offered, they're going to have to ensure that there is no free competition. If players can download "Y" mod for free, then they have no incentive to pay for "X" mod and they won't, and there's no way that the companies invested the necessary money to bring this about with that possibility looming over their heads. It's certain that they not only believe that they can shut down free modding, but that, if this is successful, they fully intend to and already know how they'll go about doing it. They would not have made this decision without that assurance.

Again, the whole thing just fills me with the urge to vomit.



Ditto.


SubRosa
So far I have read a couple articles on Forbes about this whole mess. The bottom line of their reporting is this:
QUOTE
The pros are technically “modders get paid, the game maker gets paid,” but past that, there are too many cons to count.

This will prove to be a disaster, and may damage the PC the modding community irreparably if the practice spreads.

Which I believe is spot on.
mirocu
QUOTE(Acadian @ Apr 25 2015, 02:32 AM) *

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

I´ve been following it a bit and from what I can see it´s basically the same thing being repeated over and over. But I imagine of course that is because people are upset mellow.gif
Grits
The tone is considerably calmer this morning, or at least it was when I looked in. Emma made a post that I’m glad I stumbled on before it got buried: Link to Emma’s post.

In situations where none of the news is good I appreciate hearing from the mature, level-headed folks whose opinions I respect regardless of whether I agree with them. As ever I’m grateful for the great oak of Chorrol where folks can have a passionate discussion without lashing out like vindictive children.
Acadian
Grits, thanks for linking to Emma's post else I'd have missed it for sure given the speed of comments over there. She makes excellent points and she's right that if she charged what Vilja was worth, the price would be more than a new gaming PC! tongue.gif

Although Vilja is too. . . overpowering for Buffy and would relegate my nurturing elf to a 'sidekick' status, there is no doubt it is an incredible mod and sets the gold standard for followers. I'm confident that without Vilja, the Dawnguard's Serana would have been just another vanilla follower instead of taking the giant leaps in interactivity that she did. And as Emma alludes, the recipe was passion, love of modding and cooperation with other modders - not cash or competition.

You nailed the reason I started this thread here. Chorrol is a supportive and mature place to discuss things. When passions run high - as they do in this case - we can count on reasoned, supportive and mutually respectful discussions. Not to mention at a pace that is a bit easier to follow! wink.gif
SubRosa
What Emma says about sharing brings me back to my first days of modding. Back then I was playing Rome Total War, and I wanted to make a few minor changes to the abilities of units in the game. There was already a well established modding community by that time, but it was fragmented across several forums. There were how-to guides, but many things were still not spelled out in specifics. I was still very grateful for what I could find as it got me started, and made me realize that this was not so difficult after all. It was just time-consuming, and a person only needed the willingness to invest their time in order to change the game in extraordinary ways.

Soon I moved beyond the little onsey twosey mods, and began a huge conversion project for the game - Amazon Total War. As the name implies, it brought more female units into the game. I had no idea how to do most the things I would need to in order to make it work. I had to learn it all as I went. Thankfully there were plenty of people out there willing to help explain things when I could not figure them out myself.

It was a long, slow process, but ATW became a reality. I didn't stop there, but kept working on the mod, expanding it, improving the graphics, meshes, adding more factions, and so on. This literally took years of hard work. By my third major version of the mod I heard people saying "I would pay for this". Also at that time I began to import a great deal of material from other mods into my own. Things like new ship meshes and textures. New landscape graphics. New skins for things like shields and armor. New animations, etc... Everyone I asked for contributions gave me their blessing to use their work, and naturally I credited them all. That final, most polished version of ATW could never have existed without the help of those people, like Halie Satanus, Riczu, Pinarius, SrJamesTyrrel, Mark Centurion, GreenViggen, Palantir/Dol Gulder/Master of None, Andalus, and many, many more. It was my mod, I did all the work on it, but without the free and helpful support of these people it never would have been what it was.

As Emma says, the spirit of modding is sharing. If the RTW modding community had been a for-pay environment, none of that would have ever happened. These people would not have shared, and I would have never even asked for their material in the first place. They would have been my business competitors, not my friends. They would have wanted to see me fail, because that would leave a larger market share for them. That is just the reality of finance.
mALX
*

One thing no one has mentioned on any of these discussions: Where this is headed.

We know that Bethesda is saving money by distributing their games through Valve-Steam; there is no doubt about that. Steam is having to pay the bandwidth for all these mods they are hosting.

For decades Bethesda has stood firm about no money compensation for mods, now suddenly they are buckling that firm stand FOR STEAM users only. That should tell you something about the driving force behind this change.

Something Chesko said in his wimpy excuse for his actions struck me - he said he was asked how many would pay for accessing Steam to access these mods.

In other words, either the mods sell and pay back Steam for some of this bandwidth; or they start charging members to access their own games that they already paid for.

Now Bethesda has saved a ton of money and wants to keep saving that money in their upcoming games - may even have a contract with Steam already in effect for that.

Steam has them by the balls now. They own more of their rights than Bethesda does. They are calling the shots now, as far as I can see. So all this tight 100 mb hold Steam had on their bandwidth is suddenly miraculously opened up so they can handle huge mods - why, because the bandwidth is about to be paid for by the sale of all those mods using it. One way or another.

I am pretty sure that Steam will start charging users for using their site for uploading mods or charge users for getting any mods from them or both. And they are not going to like Nexus offering mods for free; because who will deal with Steam if they can get it for free elsewhere?

So then they will charge membership fees to access the games you have already bought. I can about guarantee this is where it is headed. They cornered the gaming market, and Bethesda stupidly fed right into their hands trying to save a buck on security and distribution.

Better be looking for that membership fee at Steam, because they want their bandwidth paid for and won't stop till it is, imho.

Instead of concentrating on the wheels as they turn, might really want to take a look at where they are heading.

*
SubRosa
In the past Bethesda refused mods to be sold because they had no way of controlling the money themselves. All the money would have gone to the modder, and none of it to them. But after moving their sole distribution to Steam (even if you bought a physical disc in a store, you still have to use Steam to install and play the game), they finally realized that they have a means of controlling sales, so they make the money, rather than the modder. So of course now they are tapping the previously untouched revenue stream of mods.

Skyrim is not the first game to have mods for pay. Valve started it with their own in-house created games like Team Fortress. The fact that they made a lot of money from it is what made Bethesda take notice, and I am sure a lot other game companies. Even though it is far from a new game anymore, Skyrim still has a huge number of players and a gigantic mod library. So it was an obvious choice for the first non-Valve game to go the paid-mod route. It is a win for Valve, and a win for Bethesda. Only the modders and players lose.

It is also worth noting that Bethesda does not call all of its own shots. Just like Bioware does not. They are just a subsidiary of a much larger investment corporation. That corporation has lost a lot of money lately. So they want to make it back any way possible, and selling mods is just one way the mega-corporation can do that.

And yes, Valve opening up the bandwidth for Skyrim mods a little while ago was definitely laying the groundwork for the paid modding. It was a necessary first step for the business. What I can see as a next step is to make Fallout 4's Geck (that is what they call the Fallout creation kit), to be more integrated with Steam, so that you cannot save your mods locally. Instead they will probably only allow saving to Steam's servers. That way Valve and Bethesda will have complete control of the mods, and cut out sites like the Nexus. They will claim it is a good thing, because online storage will protect your mod from being lost due to things like hard drive failures.

Will Valve start charging a monthly fee for Steam use? That I kind of doubt, since even single mmo games with monthly subscriptions usually fail. Very few people are willing to pay $20 a month just to play a game. So I don't believe people would pay Steam a monthly subscription. Instead they would just pirate all their games and cut Steam completely out of the picture. People who do not want to deal with Steam now - when it is free (albeit the internet connection is not) - have been playing pirated copies of Skyrim since the first day it came out.

Of course whether Valve is smart enough to understand that is another matter entirely though. Companies are remarkably stupid when it comes to DRM schemes and piracy. They never seem to realize that DRM does absolutely nothing to deter piracy. Instead it costs them more money to buy the DRM scheme in the first place, makes their game more unstable and sometimes unplayable, and insults paying customers by treating them like criminals. In the end DRM schemes promote piracy, because for many people it is literally the only way they can play the game because the DRM prevents them from doing it legally. Even the remarkable success of DRM-free distributors like Gog.com and donation sites like Kickstarter have not clued most of the gaming industry into the fact that you do not need such absolute control to make money. People will still buy games even when they could pirate them. Simply because we are honest, and want to reward the developer, and insure they continue to make good games.
Acadian
I'm scratching my head here still at the lack of sense. It is clear that the modding community overall is not behind pay for mods. BethSoft has provided their CS/CK free and, in return, has sold more games because of modding and not had to repair tons of tiny bugs that the modders do. The situation has been, in my mind, symbiotic with mod makers, players and BethSoft all benefiting. If it ain't broke. . . .

If there is a case for paying some modders, it seems that BethSoft should look at paying the wonderful 'unofficial patch' teams for doing a notable chunk of their patching work for them. laugh.gif

But decisions like this don't always make sense. Even big company's sometimes only learn by screwing up and getting bitten (ESO, I'm looking at you and the embarrassing reception to your pay to play MMO).
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