Valve has just announced that it has removed the payment feature from Skyrim – and from Steam – Workshop. Valve talked with Bethesda and both of them agreed into the removal of this feature, and all those who spent money on a mod will get a refund.
Here is the full statement issued by Valve:
“We’re going to remove the payment feature from the Skyrim workshop. For anyone who spent money on a mod, we’ll be refunding you the complete amount. We talked to the team at Bethesda and they agree.
We’ve done this because it’s clear we didn’t understand exactly what we were doing. 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.
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. We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free & 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.
But we underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim’s workshop. We understand our own game’s communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there’s a useful feature somewhere here.
Now that you’ve backed a dump truck of feedback onto our inboxes, we’ll be chewing through that, but if you have any further thoughts let us know.”
Let’s see now what Valve plans to do about mods.
In our opinion, a simple Donation feature would be the best solution. We strongly believe that modders should be paid for their works. At the same time, we strongly believe that putting mods behind a paywall is the dumbest thing ever conceived. Thus, a Donation feature is pretty much what Valve should implement.