UPDATED 07:35 EDT / APRIL 28 2015

Valve backpedals on paid mods, removes them from Steam Workshop

FireValve Corp.’s experiment with paid mods on Steam Workshop has proven to be a short-lived one, as the company has announced that it has decided to remove the feature after an overwhelmingly negative response from the Steam community.

Less than a week ago, the company announced that content creators would be able to sell mods for games like Skyrim, stirring up a storm of controversy from both gamers and the mod community, many of whom believe that mods should remain free and open. Valve head Gabe Newell held an AMA on Reddit over the weekend addressing user concerns about the system, and now the company has announced that it will be removing the paid option from Steam Workshop.

‘We didn’t understand exactly what we were doing’


“We’ve done this because it’s clear we didn’t understand exactly what we were doing,” Valve’s Alden Kroll wrote in a blog post. “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.”

According to Kroll, all users who have already paid money for mods through Steam Workshop will receive a full refund, and the option for content creators to list mods for a fee will no longer be available. While Kroll admitted that paid mods had not worked out the way Valve had planned, he explained the studio’s reasoning behind the system.

“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,” Kroll wrote. “We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free and 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.”

A dump truck of feedback


He added that Valve has a “dump truck of feedback” to go through, and he encourages people to continue offering their thoughts.

Bethesda Softworks, LLC, the developer behind Skyrim, made similar statements about the paid mod system, saying, “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.”

photo credit: New Jersey National Guard via photopin (license)

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