Skyrim Workshop touts 2M downloads, 2,500 mods

One week since the launch of the Skyrim Workshop, Bethesda has announced over 2 million downloads and 2,500 mods published.

Bethesda announced today that within a week since releasing the creation kit for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, players have downloaded more than two million mods through the Steam-powered Workshop. In addition, the fans have published 2,500 free mods of their own. The workshop launched with the adorable (and anachronistic) Space Sphere from Portal 2 as its first mod. Some of the top-rated fan mods at the Steam Workshop include new spells, dragon bone weapons, and better blood textures.

Better blood textures for Skyrim

Before the launch of the Workshop, the community had already been creating and releasing mods through sites like Skyrim Nexus. Collating the most popular mods into Steam definitely made populating the Workshop much easier for Bethesda.
From The Chatty
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    February 14, 2012 8:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Skyrim Workshop touts 2M downloads, 2,500 mods.

    One week since the launch of the Skyrim Workshop, Bethesda has announced over 2 million downloads and 2,500 mods published.

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      February 14, 2012 11:35 AM

      Its nice, however it urgently needs a search function

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        February 14, 2012 11:41 AM

        Searching has been added as of a few days ago.

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        February 14, 2012 11:46 AM

        they did add one. it's below filter by product on the side.

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          February 14, 2012 12:29 PM

          Then I remove my previous statement, I was not aware of it!

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      February 14, 2012 11:48 AM

      I prefer this to nexus, so good. They need to fix a few things like how mods work, etc. And I'd *love* to see a collections feature that lets people create working lists of their favorite mods and lets you just download it and install.

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      February 14, 2012 11:50 AM

      I love it, but I can't figure out how to get a list of mods I have subscribed to. I assume I am just being dumb...

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        February 14, 2012 11:51 AM


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        February 14, 2012 11:57 AM

        Just above all the sorting options in the Workshop like the most popular there is "You Workshop Files" click on that and in that screen there is "Subscribed Items" to click on.

        I didn't see it right away either ;)

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          February 14, 2012 12:40 PM

          I clicked on "Your Workshop Files" but it didn't list anything.... O.o

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            February 14, 2012 12:58 PM

            On that new page you have to click on Subscribed Items over on the right side.

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      February 14, 2012 11:55 AM

      All of which belong to Bethesda.

      Bioware called them Variations, Bethesda calls them New Materials.

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        February 14, 2012 12:03 PM

        Bad move Bethesda.

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        February 14, 2012 12:16 PM


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        February 14, 2012 12:19 PM

        That's not assigning ownership. You are still free to distribute the mod for free however you like. You still own the mod and can do whatever you want with it. You simply can't tell Bethesda they can't do something with it.

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          February 14, 2012 12:19 PM

          It's also not a new thing.

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          February 14, 2012 12:31 PM

          Hmm. Well I don't mind that so much.

          Are you certain it can't be seen/argued in a more draconian light? Bethesda can be pretty harsh on ownership questions. For example, you can't take assets from one of their earlier games, and use it in a Skyrim mod (according to their forum mods).

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          February 14, 2012 12:56 PM

          Of course it's not a new thing, it says it right in the article. But it is news, the same subject I've been talking about recently regarding user-generated content.

          I didn't say "assigning ownership". The EULA says that "If You distribute or otherwise make available New Materials, You automatically grant to Bethesda Softworks the irrevocable, perpetual, royalty free, sublicensable right and license under all applicable copyrights and intellectual property rights laws to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, perform, display, distribute and otherwise exploit and/or dispose of the New Materials (or any part of the New Materials) in any way Bethesda Softworks, or its respective designee(s), sees fit."

          "and/or dispose of", ie block your distribution.

          "If You commit any breach of this Agreement, Your right to use the Editor under this Agreement shall automatically terminate, without notice."

          They can lock you out of your content and any future use of the tools, at their descretion, and since you waived your right to legal recourse, you have no claim to damages. Sounds like it's their content.

          Why would anyone spend hundreds of hours generating original content under this contract?

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            February 14, 2012 1:00 PM

            They want to make cool shit for Skyrim.

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              February 14, 2012 1:24 PM

              Why does Bethesda (or Bioware, or other developers for that matter) need to automatically gain an unrevokable, perpetual right to user-generated content?

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                February 14, 2012 1:32 PM

                Because otherwise it would be legally risky for them to do essentially anything at all with it.

                Post about someone's mod on the Bethesda blog? Using it to promote the game; gimme money.
                Put it in the Steam Workshop? Again, promoting the game; gimme money.
                Want to do a "best community mods" package? Have to get each individual person's permission, one at a time. Also: Gimme money.

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                  February 14, 2012 2:08 PM

                  Visit, there are thousands of examples of user-generated content that have legal access to respective system logos and content because they follow a contract, and the products are hosted for sale that are compatable with different publishers.

                  Using my GSL example from elsewhere in this thread, I don't see D&D blogging about GSL products on their website, they blog about their own stuff. Third party distributor DriveThruRPG hosts lots of different kinds of content and reviews, but they have a distribution contract. The compilation example is a product, naturally it would have to comply with distribution restrictions for each component and establish a royalty sceme. But these examples are money driven, the EULA removes content control of the user-created content.

                  This is all academic, lawyers are good at writing contracts to protect their clients best interests and these details could be made part of a EULA, if video game developers and publishers were interested in promoting user-generated content creation to boost the sale of their products. The logic is, players will buy the game and players who make exciting third-party content will buy the game to extend the life of the game. The best effort of this I've ever seen was the Make Something Unreal contest, which was a one-off.

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                    February 14, 2012 2:28 PM

                    I think you're glossing over the single biggest motivator for developers to want to content control of mods: so modders can't sell mods for the developers games. Nobody gets to make money of the back of the developers IP but the developer.

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            February 14, 2012 1:27 PM

            I don't think "and/or dispose of" means what you think it means.

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              February 14, 2012 1:50 PM

              We won't get to find out, because the EULA has an indemnification clause. And since the content is legally and intellectually under their control, who is going to take the risk? The average end user will say "OK" and let it drop.

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            February 14, 2012 3:54 PM

            Are you just bitching for the sake of bitching? That is a standard EULA and it protects Bethesda because it is THEIR software you are using. What is so wrong with that? They let you use it and modify it, but they control it in the end. If they want to dispose of it from their market place, then they can. In the end, are you even making mod's or just complaining?

            Also, If you want to make your own content, then go out and make a game yourself and then you can allow others to use your software and make mods with the EULA that you desire.

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              February 14, 2012 4:14 PM

              So I need to make a mod before I can comment about the automatic forfiture of creator rights?

              You don't seem to have a problem not owning what you make. I do, and apparently so do others. That's why someone wrote a news article about it. The article was written recently, like 5 days ago, and I felt it supported my position, which I had also brought up recently.

              I don't need to go out and "make a game yourself", I fully support one that has a reasonable licensing agreement that allows for content ownership and revenue generation. I'd be fairly dim if I had already dumped hundreds of hours into what is essentially a donation, with the position on creator-owned content that I maintain.

              But right now you are thinking about what you want to say. How about answering this: how does the automatic, irrevocable, perpetual right and license to user-created content protect Bethesda, and why would someone want to spend hundreds of hours generating content that they legally don't own?

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                February 14, 2012 9:57 PM

                Arcanum already explained to you that this doesn't assign ownership to Bethesda. They merely have the right to use it how they see fit, without prior consent. I still think you are just bitching for the sake of it.

                Like I said, if you don't get it, then don't use it. Other people are fine using it and having the noteriety that comes with it when they make something cool. Some people actually get jobs afterwards because of their work. Others are just happy to make the stuff as a hobby. So, why do you really care that much? Just don't make anything and go on your way.

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        February 14, 2012 12:34 PM

        I'm having a hard time going back in history and seeing when a company actually followed through on something like this and sold user-generated content. The closest thing I can think of is some of those shoddy Doom / Duke3D packs which harvested users' maps and sold them as a kit, but those weren't even official.

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          February 14, 2012 1:47 PM

          The problem I have is that a EULA from Bethesda (or Bioware or other developers) is a contract that locks out the user from selling their content. There I said it.

          I'll use D&D as a fantastic example. Case-in-point the GSL, Game System License. Licensees are encouraged to use the System Reference Document (and all of the resources D&D provides) to generate original game content suitable for print or digital distribution and sell it for profit. Cool!

          If licensees follow the GSL contract, WoTC never has to see the content for approval. If a licensee is found to be in breach of contract, or the contract is terminated, the licensee has six months to sell-off their inventory or make the corrections. That's fair!

          Yet, it took visionaries from WoTC after the purchase of TSR to create this contract.

          I've never heard of WoTC seeking relief from a GSL licensee, other than issuing a C&D letter for breach of contract.

          These video game EULA clauses aren't new, I saw them back in the Doom and Quake days. I also saw an unofficial CD at a Gamestop that contained maps, editors, levels and textures that were probably gleaned from Fileplanet. With the hundreds of end user hours that game modifications and original content creation can consume, developers and publishers continuing to lock out the creators of control of their content is archaic and obsolete. To exploit end users for the potential of selling that content is wrong.

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            February 14, 2012 1:52 PM

            So your main issue is that people who make mods can't sell them? When has this ever, ever been possibility?

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              February 14, 2012 2:20 PM

              My concern is two-fold:

              1. End users don't retain exclusive rights to their unique content that is otherwise compliant with the EULA.

              2. End users are fordidden from generating any revenue with the content they generate.

              As a D&D third-party GSL publisher, my primary motivation is generating revenue with my product. At a minimum, even if it doesn't generate any revenue, I still don't want the right to control over the content to belong to anyone else. This is not uncommon, comic books did it, pen and paper RPGs did it, perhaps video games will support their third-party content licensees in a similar manner.

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                February 14, 2012 2:27 PM

                I don't think it's right for users to generate revenue on content they created with someone else's game tools and engine. (I specifiically say "game tools", so some other kind of tool doesn't come in here running his mouth about Photoshop and MS Word).

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                February 14, 2012 2:29 PM

                Yes, but it's not entirely "original" content, is it? They're all modifying stuff that was originally made by Bethesda, using tools given to them for free by I don't see where they would ever have the hope of selling any of their mods commercially.

                This is the way it's been since Morrowind, and is entirely logical from where I sit.

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                  February 14, 2012 3:18 PM

                  As a marketplace example look at Bryce by DAZ 3D. Why do they maintain a store stocked with published products by third-party vendors? You can argue the product is inferior to other similar products or that the majority of user-created content doesn't sell. But you can't dispute the logic that DAZ made the connection between supporting their original content creation base with an official marketplace and a revenue scheme.

                  If Bethesda were to similarly support their EULA licensees who generate content, they could establish what is Product Identity and what is not. Bethesda (or some other entity) might even choose to sell royalty-free content (texture packs, objects, models, environmentals) intended to be used by third-party publishers. Again, all under the watchfull eye of the developer or publisher who monitors and approves vendors and content quality for admission to the marketplace.

                  The adage that "it's been that way since" isn't sufficient, to me.

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                    February 14, 2012 8:27 PM

                    Xin, I agree with you, honestly. It's interesting people would defend this when Valve (via TF2), Blizzard ('in the future' via SC2 for-profit mods and maps and D3) and, of all people, Linden Research (via Second Life) are at the forefront of.

                    Selling content on top of other platforms is going to be a thing in the future and companies like Bethesda need to realize and embrace this while they can get out ahead of it.

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                      February 14, 2012 10:00 PM

                      So, you think that no professionally done 3rd party content would ever be sold by Bethesda as DLC? I don't think that what the EULA is saying. They are protecting their software, since the wrote it. The mods are additions to the software that they end up having the right to promote or not promote.

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                        February 14, 2012 11:29 PM

                        We're talking about what the EULA says now and right now it says no. So yes, that's what I think because it is what the license says.

                        If they update their license, I will be happy to revise my opinion.

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                      February 14, 2012 10:55 PM

                      Thank you.

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          February 14, 2012 2:30 PM

          Heh, I own at least one of those duke ones. They were bad.

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          February 14, 2012 4:56 PM

          I purchased Shrak For Quake by Quantum Access.

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            February 14, 2012 5:08 PM

            Yes, by "Quantum Access", not id

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      February 14, 2012 2:29 PM

      is the limit still 50 mods? I wonder if there will be workshop compilations, like OOO was, that counts for ONE mod so people don't hit the limit so fast

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      February 14, 2012 4:32 PM

      Still no first person horses mod :(

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      February 14, 2012 7:47 PM

      Do NOT use the open cities mod, it looks like it's going to be take down because there are issue that just cannot be fixed at the time being :(

      "On the bad news front, the navmesh repairs failed. The game still refuses to operate the central plaza in Riften properly, which effectively destroys any hope that the city can function normally. The editor ID trick used to fix the vanilla ones works, but NPCs are still getting trapped on the balconies. The ones still on the ground stop navigating at the cell borders.

      It's beginning to look like this, and any other large scale worldspace altering mods, are impossible to create. Us modders simply can't continue to spend time making things the game won't run because it's filled with bugs. I'm rather pissed off about this right now. I have no idea where the hell to go with this from here. If a solution can't be found soon, then sadly I'll probably end up having to take this mod offline until some more permanent long term solution comes along."

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      February 20, 2012 9:49 AM

      I went red-eye as an Ork and butchered a bunch of bluecoats, I really miss chopping off arms, I cannot wait until deadly reflex mod-friendly comes out.

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