Ever wondered what happens when you spark outrage in almost the entire PC gaming community? There’s no need to wonder, it’s happening right now and our lord GabeN is working hard to brave the unrelenting storm that is raging over at Valve HQ right now.
With paid-for mods now being available in the Steam Workshop, an optional service that can be utilized by developers to sell their wares, users have been taking the fight right to Valve and Gabe himself to complain about the new system. However, Gabe has been quick to respond to many claims, even going as far as telling people “You need a more robust Valve-is-evil hypothesis.”
“Let’s assume for a second that we are stupidly greedy,” Newell said. “So far the paid mods have generated $10K total. That’s like 1 per cent of the cost of the incremental email the program has generated for Valve employees (yes, I mean pissing off the Internet costs you a million bucks in just a couple of days). That’s not stupidly greedy, that’s stupidly stupid.”
A million buck, yipes that’s a lot of extra man hours just to deal with complaints. However, he’s not wrong, he would have to be mighty stupid to think this is a good way for Valve to make money, because it won’t be, at least not yet. It’s clear they’re trying to encourage a more worth while ecosystem, that has the potential to see more complex and better funded modding products in the future; they just went the wrong way about it.
“If you are going to ascribe everything we do to being greedy, at least give us credit for being greedy long (value creation) and not greedy short (screwing over customers).”
Everything is going to hell right now, people trying to charge a few dollars for a HD knife texture and high-resolution horse genitals; this won’t last. People aren’t that stupid and will vote with their wallet, helping turn the tide towards the content that really deserves our attention and those passionate about modding and gaming, like you and me, will still mod and distribute for free.
Gabe has said they will actively improve and change the service over time, but he even went as far as saying that if the service doesn’t work out, it would be removed and that’s a pretty bold statement that we suspect he may have to uphold.
Can paid mods be a good thing? Absolutely, will the majority of users see it that way? Unlikely.