For almost as long as PC gaming has existed, there have been those who endeavoured to make those games do yet more, diving into their internals and tweaking everything they could get their hands on. Some of the most popular games in the world, like Valve’s own Dota 2 can trace their history back to mods.
Until now, the only way to make money from modding your favorite games was to hope that your mod would be noticed and help you land a job in the games industry, but that has changed. On Thursday, Valve announced that it will now allow modders to sell their creations in the Steam Workshop.
“User-generated content is an increasingly significant component of many games, and opening new avenues to help financially support those contributors via Steam Workshop will help drive the level of UGC to new heights,” Valve’s Tom Bui said in a statement.
This brave new world is kicking off with a slew of Skyrim mods now on sale. The prices are set by the mod creators themselves, but the publisher of the game determines how much of a cut they will receive from the mod’s proceeds. For those worried about paying for a mod, only to find out that it is broken or doesn’t work as promised, Valve offers a 24-hour refund policy.
Modders can also still choose to make their works available for no cost. “With over 24,000 free mods available for Skyrim in the Steam Workshop, there will always be lots to do and explore for free,” the Steam Workshop page reads.
Since this is the Internet we’re talking about, plenty of people are unhappy about this new development. Steam users have taken to Twitter and the Steam forums to express their displeasure, and there is already a petition calling for Steam to remove paid content from the Steam Workshop.
Much of the backlash comes from those who simply don’t want to pay for content that was free last month, but others are concerned about a flood of low-quality content hitting the Steam Workshop.
To promote the new paid content, Skyrim is free to play on Steam until April 26.