We recently covered the release of Ultimate Skyrim 4.0 here on GameFront, and we were very pleased to see that the installer was no longer an exclusive to Patreon backers, at least, not exactly. In a follow-up to that story, the creator of the mod, Belmont Boy, has now apologized for making the installer a Patreon exclusive.
Ultimate Skyrim is a massive modpack for Skyrim that aims to totally convert the game into an "unforgiving landscape, where only the strong and clever survive" - but you had to install the mod by hand or become a Patreon backer to get the super easy installer version.
Speaking on Reddit, the creator, Belmont Boy, apologized for making the automated installer a "paywall" only feature.
I knew that my choice to monetize Ultimate Skyrim’s auto-installation would be controversial, but I (naively) did not anticipate the storm that would erupt from simultaneously introducing my monetization and a tool such as Automaton. I handled that announcement inexpertly, and am very sorry for any turmoil that resulted.
The installer for version 4.0 was available for free for some period of time, but going forward, the previous versions autoinstallers will now also be free too, meaning the autoinstaller for the Patreon version is still an exclusive for backers, until the next version is released - so a form of early access, if you will.
Belmont Boy also explained his decision as a way to maintain an income while working on the mod full time.
I believe this structure is my best bet of generating enough stable income to continue working on Ultimate Skyrim full-time, as I have for the past ~3 years, while also supporting my family. This also allows me to continue doing what I love: developing Ultimate Skyrim, and pushing the boundaries of its experience.
Weather it will be enough to quell the uproar over the policy, we don't know, but stay tuned to GameFront for more on this as we get it.