Valve removes paid mods from Skyrim

Valve has done an about-face and has removed paid mods from Skyrim, essentially pausing the plans they revealed late last week.


Valve was at the center of a great controversy last week when they added the idea of paid mods for Skyrim, with the idea set to spread to other games in the future. The concept was largely panned by consumers and now Valve has done an about-face.

"We're going to remove the payment feature from the Skyrim workshop," said Valve's Alden Kroll on the Steam Workshop page. "For anyone who spent money on a mod, we'll be refunding you the complete amount. We talked to the team at Bethesda and they agree. We've done this because it's clear we didn't understand exactly what we were doing. We've been shipping many features over the years aimed at allowing community creators to receive a share of the rewards, and in the past, they've been received well. It's obvious now that this case is different."

Kroll added that the intent was to allow mod makers to focus on their work full-time, while also encouraging further mod support to gaming communities. The idea largely fell flat, with Kotaku even pointing to Gabe Newell's attempts on Reddit to address the situation, which were met with a highly negative reception. Our own Steven Wong also voiced his own concerns, calling for the idea to be halted, lest the PC modding community turn mainly into a for-profit enterprise. Not helping matters was the fact that users were abusing the system by outright stealing content and putting them up for sale. Where Valve goes from here remains to be seen.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 27, 2015 5:19 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Valve removes paid mods from Skyrim

    • reply
      April 27, 2015 5:21 PM

      Heh, wow. Crazy.

    • reply
      April 27, 2015 6:06 PM

      why dont they just do what they did for the maps in TF2 if you like it you can just give what you feel to the maker.

      If you really like a mod throw a few dollars to the creator or just be a dick and take it for free

      • reply
        April 27, 2015 7:19 PM

        Because Bethesda/ZeniMax and Valve both wanted their share.

        I'm guessing with the lower payments with donation-only, most modders wouldn't see a dime because of the "25% only after making $400" payout scheme they came up with.

        • reply
          April 27, 2015 8:38 PM

          That's what killed it for me. 50% cut is the lowest I could find reasonable. 25%, along with everything being stuck in this crazy limbo until you hit $400 in sales, was just absurd. I mean even putting it into your wallet until that point would have been better. Blegh.

    • reply
      April 27, 2015 6:17 PM

      I figured. Good for Valve - everyone has missteps but they do right by the gamers. It's hard to swallow pride and reverse a major move like this. Props

      • reply
        April 28, 2015 7:00 AM

        Swallowing pride has nothing to do with it. They made a business decision to enact it in the first place, and made another one in response to the market when their customer base pretty emphatically lashed out against it. Since it was basically a pilot program (one game, one dev), pulling it was probably always in the cards anyhow.

        If the business end of it had looked better, they definitely would've stuck with it. Let's not forget how much everyone HATED Steam when it first came out. There's a famous .gif I'm not going to bother finding because I'm lazy that's been making its rounds again in the last few days. But they knew that the overall benefit was worth the short-term uproar (i.e. getting an early stranglehold on digital distribution to the point where people WELCOMED and ENCOURAGED a Valve monopoly until very recently).

    • reply
      April 27, 2015 7:15 PM

      I'm surprised they pulled a 180 here, but feel like it is the right way to go.

    • reply
      April 27, 2015 8:01 PM

      ""Kroll added that the intent was to allow mod makers to focus on their work full-time, while also encouraging further mod support to gaming communities."" Just how is a paltry 25% cut going to allow a mod maker to work full-time on mods? I am glad for the complete turnaround.

      • reply
        April 27, 2015 8:27 PM

        You'd have to ask the TF2/CS:GO/DotA2 modders who do it. In the right environment it can work pretty spectacularly, the existing Skyrim scene just isn't that environment.

        • reply
          April 27, 2015 8:32 PM

          When a game comes out and offers this the initial market is going to be flooded with people trying to be first. Most of it will be junk and really quantity over quality will how people game the system.

          I think giving access to the tools and then a grace period before the market goes live will give people the time to make good stuff and deter people from trying to cash in because they'll have to make good stuff.

    • reply
      April 27, 2015 8:45 PM


      • reply
        April 27, 2015 9:03 PM

        Who cares about them? They're unpaid.

    • reply
      April 28, 2015 4:45 AM


Hello, Meet Lola