It’s happened already. Not even a week after Valve introduced a not-so-great strategy for payed mods, it’s been killed off due to negative fan reaction. According to Gabe Newell, the fan reaction has cost Valve over one million dollars in feedback alone. Read their full statement for it after the jump.
We’re going to remove the payment feature from the Skyrim workshop. For anyone who spent money on a mod, we’ll be refunding you the complete amount. We talked to the team at Bethesda and they agree.
We’ve done this because it’s clear we didn’t understand exactly what we were doing. We’ve been shipping many features over the years aimed at allowing community creators to receive a share of the rewards, and in the past, they’ve been received well. It’s obvious now that this case is different.
To help you understand why we thought this was a good idea, our main goals were to allow mod makers the opportunity to work on their mods full time if they wanted to, and to encourage developers to provide better support to their mod communities. We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free & paid. We wanted more great mods becoming great products, like Dota, Counter-strike, DayZ, and Killing Floor, and we wanted that to happen organically for any mod maker who wanted to take a shot at it.
But we underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim‘s workshop. We understand our own game’s communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there’s a useful feature somewhere here.
Bethesda also released a statement on the feedback. Here’s what they said:
After discussion with Valve, and listening to our community, paid mods are being removed from Steam Workshop. Even though we had the best intentions, the feedback has been clear – this is not a feature you want. Your support means everything to us, and we hear you.
That was very short-lived but I can completely understand the reasons why. I do think that it would be good to find a way pay modders who make good mods but it should happen in a more thought out way. Until then, this event will go down in gaming history with Operation Rainfall, Xbox One’s Online Check-in DRM, Blizzard’s Real Names, and other events where consumer feedback made a change.