Skyrim paid mods - what's your stance?

EternalShadow

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All three set their revenue share to creators to 25% :|
 

Venima

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This is completely the wrong way of doing it, it should be donation-based. Even if all the modders set the minimum price to $0, it won't work, because you pay before you experience the mod! It's lunacy!

The whole point of donations is that you pay ONCE you are satisfied, once you have a gist of how amazing the mod is. There is no other way of doing it so that the modders who deserve to be paid are paid, and the players who are hard up don't suffer for their misfortune.

The fact that they only get 25% makes it sickening. I can give sound logic for why valve and bethesda shouldn't earn a penny. Skyrim has become so popular BECAUSE they made it moddable. More people bought the game, which means they got a better payoff as a result. That IS their payoff for making the game moddable. From there on, they have 0 hours of work spent on the mods, which means they deserve no payment for it. It might be on the back of their game, but their game is also on the back of the mods, so the idea that bethesda deserves something is on false grounds. It's no different than saying the developers of a game engine should get 50% of everything anybody earns who uses it. That idea is ludicrous and outright wrong to an unbelievable degree. Valve should give half of what their games have earnt to the developers of C++ by this logic!

Anyone considering letting them get away with this, I urge you to consider this: My favourite Skyrim mod of all time didn't even let people donate to him for a time, and he will keep his mod free on steam as far as I know. That is saying something, about who should be paid, and who shouldn't.

Footnote: If one were to argue the case that it's ok because a price-tag optional? That's like saying corruption is optional, and is no excuse.
 
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Warpmind

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I'm not so certain that really is the case - I'd have liked to see how it played out over a couple of months or so; whether the protest mods and crapware mods would trickle down to insignificance and maybe large content and mechanics mods would see a modest profit for everyone. Responding to the experiment by barely learning a bit of the Creation Toolkit to post golden turds and extra apples at absurd prices didn't help anyone or nurture the debate in any healthy manner. :p

Really, from where I've been sitting, it's looked more like a whiny *****fest than a debate, and right now it looks less like the community won, and more like the whiners and griefers won. :p
 

Andar

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I think the real reason why they stopped has nothing to do with the community itself. Valve could easily have ignored the protest for a few weeks or months without any problems.


What they couldn't allow to stand was the abuse and the resulting risks of copyright enfringment against them. It looks like they didn't anticipate that some people would abuse this not only by placing substandard mods for expensive prices, but also by placing rips and material they didn't own up for sales.


If that had been allowed to stand until there was a case with bigger infringments, Valve could have been sued with high fees.


They would have needed a much more intense screening of the mods to prevent that, and they probably don't have the people available for that at the moment.


The statement more or less says that the plans are paused, not cancelled - I think they'll use the next several months to see if they can automate the screening process for new mods to a point where they can handle it.


If they can, they'll try again better prepared - if not, they'll let the project die silently.
 

Venima

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I'm not so certain that really is the case - I'd have liked to see how it played out over a couple of months or so; whether the protest mods and crapware mods would trickle down to insignificance and maybe large content and mechanics mods would see a modest profit for everyone. Responding to the experiment by barely learning a bit of the Creation Toolkit to post golden turds and extra apples at absurd prices didn't help anyone or nurture the debate in any healthy manner. :p

Really, from where I've been sitting, it's looked more like a whiny *****fest than a debate, and right now it looks less like the community won, and more like the whiners and griefers won. :p
I would have loved to see paid mods, I really would. But not when they only get 25%, that's simply unethical, and nobody should get away with it. As I said before it's no different than saying the developers of a game engine should get 75% of everything anybody earns who uses it, or Valve should give 75% of what their games have earnt to the developers of C++. You can't just draw the line on mods, because all they are are cooperative products built on Skyrim's back, just like Skyrim was built on the game engine's back and the game engine was built on C++'s back and so on. You can either do payment one way or the other, it's not fair to start switching some way down the line. Valve provides the service of being the medium for paid mods, perhaps they should be paid a small percentage for that, but otherwise the mod-maker should get the rest, Bethesda doesn't deserve a penny for it.
 
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Galenmereth

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To play devil's advocate: why doesn't Bethesda deserve a penny? The mods are based on the game they built, and wouldn't exist without it. The mods use Bethesda's brand as the springboard to their own ideas. Mods can also potentially cause confusion about a brand, bringing financial risks with it. Most of the time mods incorporate tons of the game's core assets, sometimes remixed, sometimes remastered. But why shouldn't Bethesda get anything?

Not saying I agree with the split in earnings that was proposed, but I'm not sure I agree that Bethesda deserves nothing when mods are being sold for profit.
 
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Andar

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and what you are all forgetting are taxes - those are different in different countries, but for example in Germany the vendor (in this case Valve) would have to pay 19% tax before anything else is substracted.


And since the modders wouldn't be taxable companies, those costs would not be transferable - so if the modder gets 75% (as some proposed) and 19% tax would leave only 6% for Valve to pay the used computers etc with...


So no, it's absolutely impossible for a modder to get 75%, because then there would be nothing left for anyone else or to pay for the platform...
 

cabfe

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@Galenmereth:

If I follow your logic, Enterbrain could ask for a share when a commercial game is sold using their engine.

What don't they?
 

Andar

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@cabfe: yes, they could have decided that - that's what royalties are.


It is the decision of any resource provider of any kind (including all artists and musicians) wether to give something for free, for a one-time fee or for royalties (percentages of sales).


That's what the terms-of-service are for.


And then it's the decision of the developer whether or not to purchase the resource/program under those terms.
 

Warpmind

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@Galenmereth:

If I follow your logic, Enterbrain could ask for a share when a commercial game is sold using their engine.

What don't they?
Your extrapolation isn't entirely sound. For starters, those who purchase games made with RPG Maker etc. don't actually need to have the Maker in which to run the games themselves - in the case of Skyrim mods, the mod users themselves need a copy of Skyrim to use the mods. It's an entirely different kettle of fish. By following your logic there, Microsoft could claim royalties from any published text written in Word - even if the buyer doesn't need Word itself (or even a computer) to read the finished product.

One of the distinctions is, obviously, whether the end product works independently of the tools used to create it. Mods do not offer any functionality without the software in context of which they were designed.
 
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Sharm

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I would say those aren't comparable since RM's entire purpose is to help people make their own games.  Bethesda's purpose is to sell their game, not to make a platform for modders.
 

Galenmereth

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@Galenmereth:

If I follow your logic, Enterbrain could ask for a share when a commercial game is sold using their engine.

What don't they?
In addition to what Andar and Warpmind said, I'd also like to point out that yes, Enterbrain could. Unity and Unreal Engine 4 both require royalties from earnings.
 

cabfe

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@Warpmind:

I get what you say and it certainly makes sense.

I guess logic and business are not following the same principle since there are royalties based engines.

As Sharm said, it eventually depends on the initial view (from a business perspective) of the original software provider. No one is better than the other, just different.
 

Venima

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To play devil's advocate: why doesn't Bethesda deserve a penny? The mods are based on the game they built, and wouldn't exist without it. The mods use Bethesda's brand as the springboard to their own ideas. Mods can also potentially cause confusion about a brand, bringing financial risks with it. Most of the time mods incorporate tons of the game's core assets, sometimes remixed, sometimes remastered. But why shouldn't Bethesda get anything?
Because Skyrim gained a lot of popularity on the back of the mods themselves, the reward for mods is already paid off. I know many people who only bought Skyrim because it had mods which made the game 'playable' to them. Who do you think deserves the money then? And talking about financial risk, it is just as risky for Bethesda to get involved with mod payment at all. In terms of ethics, payment should be based on the work that went into a game, not on whose back the work was based. The fact that business bosses get the majority of a business's income is precisely the problem with the world right now, the people doing the work are not earning enough. 

Put it this way, if I was Bethesda, I'd just let them. Why? Because I want to enable everyone to help produce a masterpiece, if these modders could work full time, think what they could accomplish! I'd be honoured if my work was the starter for it. But no, art has no place in business.

19% tax would leave only 6% for Valve to pay the used computers etc with...
While mods are free, Valve aren't being paid a penny and they're not complaining. All they're owed is the tax amount, the resources it takes to deal with the brief moment people perform transactions, and for the time it took to enable paid mods, that's all.
 
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Aleks

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Let me start off by saying I am glad they decided to rip down the paid mods feature they very poorly implemented. Now, with that out of the way, I can safely say we have not seen the last of "paid mods". They just realized they did it wrong, and put it in our fast way too fast, not that it itself is "wrong". They see a cash cow and they are not going to let it ago without a fight.

Mods should not be something the player is charged over unless it is specifically at the request of the modder through their own means, like their own websites or maybe even Nexus. On Steam it can and will be abused, through thieves seeing SkyUI or Skywind as a viable option of earning $$$ on the side at the expense of the person who actually worked on the content (gladdened that "reporting" meant buying the mod first).
 

While I do believe a lot of modders deserve some $$$ for their hard work, I do not believe 1) that Bethesda or Valve deserve ANY of it 2) in earning that cash through Steam and 3) through a restricted "earn X amount first" system and finally 4) through a system unable to be protected against abuse, which was happening VERY heavily on Steam when they had the mods up.
 

The reason Bethesda doesn't deserve a penny for others' work is because each modder actually owns the content they are editing and publishing, and a lot of them end up making their own textures, models etc etc. It would be like buying Office/Photoshop/etc but each time you wrote/made something with it and published it someplace for others to see they charge you for using their software to make whatever it is you made. That is not right. Maybe if Bethesda had initially made the game some sort of "rented" game or perhaps started mods off the bat with some sort of charge system they would be in the right to be requesting money from modders...but they didn't and doing so right now would be heinous of them. And ethically wrong.
 

Kes

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I think people are being far too sanguine about the implications of paid mods.  Here is an excellent article, imo, which sets out some aspects that perhaps not everyone has considered.  As I said in another thread, quoting the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for."
 

Venima

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I think people are being far too sanguine about the implications of paid mods.  Here is an excellent article, imo, which sets out some aspects that perhaps not everyone has considered.  As I said in another thread, quoting the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for."
I think if steam were instead to allow donations through steam wallet, that would be the best way forward. I don't think donations would devalue mods, though I could be wrong? Anyway, good job in sharing that article, has some really pertinent points.
 

Pine

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While I do believe a lot of modders deserve some $$$ for their hard work, I do not believe 1) that Bethesda or Valve deserve ANY of it
You mean that the largest platform for PC gamers will/would/should make content available to potentially thousands of players and earn money to developers and receive absolutely nothing for it? Keep dreaming.

Digital media distribution rules have been changed in the last years and developers must adapt wether they like it or not.

That said, I think 75% is outrageous.
 

Aleks

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You mean that the largest platform for PC gamers will/would/should make content available to potentially thousands of players and earn money to developers and receive absolutely nothing for it? Keep dreaming.

Digital media distribution rules have been changed in the last years and developers must adapt wether they like it or not.

That said, I think 75% is outrageous.
I don't believe they should be paid for other people's work. And I was reffering to only a select few modders who I think deserve cash for their work—if anyone deserves it for mod creation.

Do you think, for example, it would it be okay for Manga Studio to charge people for their work that they created using their software? What about people on DeviantArt who create fanart for money (commissions)? Should they pay the original content holder for creating fanart and selling it? If not, can you explain to me why you think they (Bethesda etc) deserve money for other people's efforts? *yes, that is an honest question.

And yes, I agree on that. If anything caused the outrage, it was that insane 75%. I think they might have bumped their head to come up with that and think it was fair...
 
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