Angry customers and heavy criticism online have convinced the video game maker Valve to cancel a plan that would have enabled users who develop their own game modifications, or mods, charge for their work. The reversal, announced in a blog post Monday, comes only four days after the plan was first announced.
Valve, the company behind the popular game marketplace Steam, announced Thursday that “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” would be there first title in which independent mods could elect to charge for their content and set their own price. Downloadable game modifications typically include new features not part of the original game and have almost always been free. The dedicated communities of mods took to gaming forums and social media to blast Valve, Steam and Bethesda, “Skyrim's developer,” for what they perceived as a money grab.
Part of the reason for the criticism was Valve's plan to give mod creators with 25 percent of the profit from their own creation, divvying up the rest between Valve Steam and Bethesda.
“We wanted more great mods becoming great products, like “Dota,” “Counter-strike,” “DayZ” and “Killing Foor,” and we wanted that to happen organically for any mod maker who wanted to take a shot at it,” the company said. “But we understand 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 believe there's a useful feature somewhere here.”