Despite the disaster that was Skyrim's implementation of paid mods back in 2015, Valve have stated during a recent press briefing that they haven't given up on the idea, hinting that they will return in the future.
The three-hour press briefing was held at Valve's headquarters yesterday, during which Gabe Newell and various other project leaders met with various members of the gaming press. When PCGamer brought up the subject of paid mods, Gabe said the following;
Modders create a lot of value, and we think that … absolutely they need to be compensated, they’re creating value and the degree to which they’re not being accurately compensated is a bug in the system, right? You want to have efficient ways so that the people who are actually creating value are the people that money is flowing to.
Gaben did go on to acknowledge that "the Skyrim situation was a mess" and that it wasn't the right game to launch the scheme with, and that fundamental problems with it's implementation was at the root of the problems.
So the concept of paid mods would not appear to be out of the question, but the abuse that the system suffered the first time around needs to be addressed. There's also the question of community backlash against the concept of paying for a commodity that has traditionally always been a free, labour of love. Will paid mods encourage the introduction of "shovelware" mods that exist purely to grab cash?
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