Valve’s recent decision to monetize Skyrim mods has the PC gaming community up in arms. The controversial move has ignited a maelstrom of outrage and disdain, and gamers everywhere are taking to social media, forums, and even conducting petitions and polls to make their voices heard.
One such petition has amassed a considerable number of signatures, reflecting just how unpopular Valve’s new marketplace really is.
So far this particular Change.org petition has accumulated 67, 502 signatures within 22 hours. It’s an open letter to both ZeniMax Media (Bethesda Softworks’ parent company) and Valve that argues all mods should be free, and that the paid structure should be replaced with a simple donation button.
“Dear Valve and ZeniMax
“We players of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim modding community have reached out to you because of the recently added “paid mods”.
“With this letter we hope to change your mind about what you are doing because this will make a lot of your trusted customers and players unhappy.
“This development can create a huge hole in the PC gaming community. It will also flood the Workshop with thousands more “mods” that will literally do nothing productive to the game. This will also hurt your companies reputation.
“I would also like to suggest to add a “donation” button instead of the current paying method.
“Thank you for your patience.”
Read More: The Problem With Monetizing PC Game Mods
The petition is filled with comments from everyday gamers who are sharing their reasons for signing and supporting. Below we have a list of some of the things that people are saying about the paid mods on Steam Workshop:
“Valve’s monetization of Steam Workshop mods – in it’s current state – is very detrimental to the PC modding ecosystem as a whole.”
“Modding is and always has been, a work of love. It is not about money, or fame. Modding is about seeing a flaw or a place where there could be ‘more’ and filling it.”
“This system can be abused, people can make essentially free money, for very little work, by not relaleasing a full mod, sying it’s an alpha, or use stolen assets.”
“Why should I start paying for something that was free for years? That’s what the donation button was for.”
“Modding has always been free. This move will kill modding, give game devs the idea to make games with thousands of dollars of micro-transactions, then kill PC gaming in general. Plus, what are you going to do when you get a buggy mod that completely trashes your save?”
“Modifications are dedications, tributes, and enhancements to a game; in which ‘are not’ needed to play, the workshop is to “SHARE” content.. not sell..”
“Ridiculous greedy act. If you want to support the modders, add an option to donate to them. If this continues it will destroy modding for good.”
Personally I don’t think Valve will reverse this move. It’s a business deal conducted by Skyrim‘s publisher, ZeniMax Media, and Valve, who pretty much owns the biggest PC gaming marketplace in existence.
There’s a lot of money to be made here down the line, but not by modders: Valve takes a whopping 75% of all sales, leaving modders with a paltry 25%.
Mods are pretty much one of the last frontiers that aren’t completely monetized and locked down behind paygates, and companies want to change that.
I do think that the structure will change and be repeatedly updated, but Valve most likely won’t completely pull the ability to buy and sell game mods–once it commits to something, Valve doesn’t really turn back.
With this move Valve has undoubtedly opened a Pandora’s box and pretty much changed PC gaming as a whole. Gamers want this particular portal to close up as soon as possible before it does any real lasting damage.
It’ll be interesting to see if Valve or ZeniMax actually listen to what their constituency is saying. Given how publishers and big companies treat gamers, though, it’ll likely just be empty promises and assurances. The only thing these companies really understand, it seems, is earning revenue, regardless if it’s to the detriment of their games or the industry as a whole.
Read More: Season Pass DLC Schemes Are Ruining Gaming
This is yet another exploitative trends and unfair practices that’s up there with microtransactions, pay to win scales, DLC and season pass schemes, bullshots and other ridiculous plans to monetize everything and lock content down behind paygates.
With paid mods, PC gaming might have just lost one of its most beloved and beholden platform exclusives…and no one is happy about it, not even the modders who are selling their creations.