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Mods and PC gaming go hand-in-hand, but usually creating those mods is a labor of love for the folks doing all of the programming. According to a recent report, though, it sounds like the team at Steam still feels that something should be done about that.
A while back, Steam tried to implement a program that would see modders rece compensation for their creations. That, of course, led to a whole bunch of red tape concerning whether or not it made sense for anyone to get funds other than the creators of the game. Modders were putting in a lot of work on, say, a My Little Pony add-on for Skyrim, but that didn't take away from the fact that they were working with someone else's IPs and games. It would kind of be like walking into a random Pizza Hut, making a pie in the corner and then expecting to receive some of the funds when a customer buys it, even though you aren't employed there and were not asked to chip in.
A lot of gray area, obviously, which is why the idea was quickly scrapped.
As Venturebeat is reporting, though, Steam head Gabe Newell still feels that folks who create mods should be compensated for all of that effort.
I brought up Skyrim earlier because Bethesda was involved in the original partnership with Valve for paying modders back in 2015. What's interesting is that it wasn't so much the red tape that brought the whole system to a halt. Instead, it was the reaction of the community. Mods had been free since their inception, so folks weren't too keen on paying for something they had been enjoying free of charge for many years.
Newell, though, still feels that a system should be implemented. He argued that modders are creating "a lot of value" for video games and "need to be compensated." He referred to this fact as a bug in the system, something that needs to eventually be figured out and addressed.
While we can certainly see his point, we figure there are just too many factors to consider to ever make it a success. Modders go in knowing that they are tooling around with the code of someone else's game. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it's a lot of work they put in while knowing what they are getting into. The Steam/Bethesda deal seemed like the right solution, because it was a developer/publisher who was willing to say, "okay, you can use our tools, but we're both getting compensated for the effort." We can't think of a better way to make that kind of system work, and the community was completely against it. That being the case, we're not sure if Newell's dream of seeing modders getting paid for their effort is ever going to be realized.