I love me a good protest sign. The latest Steam update has added paid mod support for the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Steam Workshop. In a way, it’s a long time coming. Why shouldn’t talented people who’ve spent hours and, in some cases, thousands of hours creating truly incredible mods be entitled to earn a bit a scratch?
As you can imagine, not every member of the Steam community is happy with the idea of paid mods. Users like amusquiz decided to share their grievances in-game by providing protest signs to players. Protest sign: No paying for mods is currently one of the most popular free mods on the Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim Workshop. His issue, along with other users, is the fact that they claim that now fans need to pay for content that was once free. Though are still plenty of mods that remain free, the fear is that truly good stuff will end up behind a pay wall.
Personally, I’m not against the idea of paid mods. If a mod added entirely new quest chains with voice work and new areas, I wouldn’t mind paying a couple of bucks if the production value was similar to something Bethesda would create. Steam needs to be on top of curating the content people are putting up for review in order for this to work. Remember when Steam Greenlight, a feature that allowed the community help pick what new games get released on Steam, came out and it was flooded with a mess of mobile game clones and trolling trash? Great meaningful mods could potentially be buried under “Change weapon sounds to farts for only $2.99!” I’m curious to see how this will pan out.
I think a good alternative would allow a feature where fans could donate a dollar amount of their choosing to support their favorite creators. What do you guys think? Is this a case of gamer entitlement or big corporation trying to find a new stream of revenue?
The fart sound effects mod is my idea, though.
Here’s another video of a popular mod that replaces the main menu with a not so subtle message to Steam.