[Updated] Valve Removes Paid Skyrim Mods From Steam Workshop, Admits They Were Wrong

Posted 1 year ago

[Update] Bethesda has also just recently updated their own blog to inform its fans that they’ll no longer be supporting paid mods at all. The full quote from their blog is below.

Update: After discussion with Valve, and listening to our community, paid mods are being removed from Steam Workshop. Even though we had the best intentions, the feedback has been clear – this is not a feature you want. Your support means everything to us, and we hear you.

Valve seems to have listened to the outrage that centered around it’s introduction of paid Skyrim mods to the Steam Workshop, and now they’re removing paid content from the standard Steam Workshop, merely days after they implemented it.

Valve removes the payment feature for Skyrim mods in the Steam Workshop, admits they didn’t know what they were doing.

Fortunately for the modding community a post made to the Steam Community makes it clear that paid mods will no longer be universally available in the Steam Workshop. It would seem that this is a direct response to the controversy that occurred following the introduction of the change. Crucially, everyone who happened to purchase something will be refunded in full.

Modders traditionally haven’t charged for their creations and their work was given away for free as a representation of how much they enjoy the game, not as a means to make money. Valve’s introduction of a premium to mods appeared to be an attempt to earn money, despite their stated intentions. Modding, however, has always been a labor of love.

There are two different sections to the Steam Workshop, the standard section that had content always available for free and a curated section that allowed developers to choose from the listed content to sell to its user base. Valve unsuccessfully tried to combine those two disparate shops into one larger concept. Of course it didn’t quite work out as they planned.


The contents of the Steam Community message are below so you may peruse over it if you wish, free of charge as always.

 We’re going to remove the payment feature from the Skyrim workshop. 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.

To help you understand why we thought this was a good idea, our main goals were to allow mod makers the opportunity to work on their mods full time if they wanted to, and to encourage developers to provide better support to their mod communities. We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free & paid. We wanted more great mods becoming great products, like Dota, Counter-strike, DayZ, and Killing Floor, and we wanted that to happen organically for any mod maker who wanted to take a shot at it.

But we underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim’s workshop. We understand our own game’s communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there’s a useful feature somewhere here.

Now that you’ve backed a dump truck of feedback onto our inboxes, we’ll be chewing through that, but if you have any further thoughts let us know.

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