The thing I didn't read about this yet is this ... if publishers do have a potential income source in mods doesn't that incentivize them to make their games moddable in the first place? Wouldn't that be a good thing? Maybe it's because even though I'm a PC gamer I can't recall when I last used a mod but the argument that modders should have the opportunity to get paid for their mods seems strong to me. I don't have all the facts but if the 25% for modders, the rest to Valve/Publisher thing is true that seems a little off and should probably be changed.
I hope it will motivate game developers to provide tools for their games to be modded, but it could also allow them to dictate what mods are created and both how and where they are distributed. Additionally, game publishers might take for granted that the creative community will provide the majority of the content for the game. I firmly believe this has already happened with the Sims franchise. Each iteration of the game had less and less content leaving the creative community the task to fill in the gaps. It's not impossible to see a publisher releasing a skeleton of a game in hopes that the aftermarket will do the rest of the work for them. In the Sims 4, EA chose to improve the custom content store front rather than improve the content they create themselves. How this will effect the whole of the industry is yet to be seen, but I do believe it will be felt beyond Skyrim and DOTA hats.
I read some of the AMA. There was a interesting bit in there when Gabe had a conversation with "NexusDarkOne" the owner and operator of the Nexus sites. He wanted Gabe to take a stand against Steam Workshop being the ONLY place mods are allowed to be distributed due to developer DRM written into their creative content tools. Gabe said he didn't like the idea of telling publishers what to do. Sounds like a reasonable response, but let's not forget that his is the platform that all these mods would then be slaved to.
...we're talking about the functionality of Steam being used to fundamentally change a principle tenet of the modding community that's existed since the very beginning. That is, the principle that the sharing of mods can be free and open to everyone, if they so wish, and that that choice remains squarely in the hands of the people who develop those mods. Please, do not misunderstand me, I believe I've made myself clear that if certain mod platforms want to explore paid modding then they can, for better or for worse, but I am categorically against the concept of mods only being allowed to be shared online, with others, through only one platform. I'm against the concept of modders not having a choice. While a lot of melodrama has ensued from Valve and Bethesda's actions this week, I absolutely believe that you would be destroying a key pillar of modding if you were to allow your service to be used in such a way.
Gabe agreed that "the sharing of mods can be free and open to everyone", but he stopped at that. Now, Valve has everything to gain in this reformation and the Nexus to lose, so I understand NexusDarkOne's passion (perhaps even desperation) and Gabe's silence. I sure enjoy the ease of Steam for my PC gaming, but this control is a downside of the Steam monopoly.
@49th: Love that video. It's exactly what I was wondering when I saw the image originally. Also, no eyebrows is freaky looking. I kind of want him to have "left" and "right" tattooed above each eye now.
A significant number of Skyrim mods are dependant on other mods. I have to wonder how that will function in this new economy. Also, how retextures and remodels will work. Will one modder need to pay another modder from their profits? If both mods are necessary to function that might not be an issue, but there are plenty of stand-alone mods that take elements of an earlier mod and kick it up a notch. A lot just update or convert a mod to work with a variety of base mods. It's going to be intersting to see how this plays out.
I must say, though, I am a little less excited for Fallout 4 than I was a week ago. I fear that the creative community I've followed for years will grow splintered and suspicious of each other. After all, money changes everything. On the otherhand, change is inevitable and nothing good lasts forever.
I still play Skyrim and my game is modded out to all hell. Seriously, I have 254 mods in my current game changing so many aspects that keep it entertaining to me after all these years. I have many more mods stored onmy hard drive for experimentation and alternate builds. I'm not sure how successful this will be as some of the more popular mods would not be permitted on Steam. Yes, the seedier side of the game community love their sex mods, S&M mods and, of course, the armor that's barely there. These aren't the type of mods which currently populate the Steam Workshop.
One problem I have with this is that the mod community can have short attention spans. It's not unusual to see "the mod no longer supported" or a declaration that the mod creator no longer plays the game. Mods with game crashing bugs can remain broken without a hope of repair. Being free, well you get what you pay for, so it's okay. However, if you pay real-world cash for something and it breaks due to any number of unforeseen changes, patrons will get pissed.
Finally, anyone who follows the mod scene knows that some of the best stuff comes out of Asia, and it's also a place where you can find alternate uploads of Workshop mods. Finding "free" stuff isn't terribly hard.
I am curious to see how this plays out, but I will add that after all my years of playing Skyrim, I've never downloaded any mods off of the Steam Workshop. I've probably got 30 gigs of mods, too.