Valve has just announced that modders will be able to charge for their work on the Steam Workshop. They’re starting with Skyrim for now, with more games set to follow.
Steam has been keen on creating new ways for creators to earn revenue for their content, and while this may seem to be just another step along the way, it’s got a lot of people concerned. And while it’s fairly common for modders to ask for donations, having paid content will no doubt dramatically change the modding community.
Some are hopeful that the change will help grow the modding world, while others worry it will kill it off entirely. There’s a laundry list of problems Steam will need to work around. For one thing, there are already reports of mods, formerly available for free on Nexus Mods, now appearing on the Steam Workshop with a price tag. There are also reports of mods being uploaded to the Workshop by pirates looking to make money off other people’s work.
Valve has already responded to some of these problems. One of the rules for the paid mods will be that new additions to the store must first be available for free before they will be allowed to be sold. The purpose of this rule is to give the community the chance to find any content that’s been stolen and report it.
There is now a paid section on the Skyrim page of the Steam Workshop. On the Steam site, Valve wrote, “Bethesda Game Studios has a history of providing strong support for user modifications in their games. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has continued that tradition, adding a comprehensive editor and integration with the Steam Workshop back in 2012.”
Modders will be able to choose what price they will set for their mods, with a portion of their revenue going to the developer of the game. That portion will be different for each game as it will be set by the individual developers or publishers. But as far as Skyrim goes, there is already a mountain of free content on Nexus Mods. I recommend you go there now to get your hands on whatever you can find while it’s still free.