We didn't like the idea when it was announced last week, and it looks like those affected share the same feeling on having to pay for game mods. Valve announced the removal of the new payment feature in a Steam Community post.
"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."
Bethesda also updated their blog post and released a statement on the matter.
After discussion with Valve, and listening to our community, paid mods are being removed from Steam Workshop. 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.
Last week, Valved introduced a payment method for creators to charge players for the content they create for their game. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was the first game to implement the new feature. The charge was made optional, giving the creators the choice to charge players any amount or give it for free.The feedback was mostly negative.
What we think: We see the reason to why they introduced this feature, but how it was implemented shows ways to abuse the feature and overall affect the modding community in a negative way. Valve tested the waters with Bethesda and it looks like they will have to go back to the drawing board if they want to try anything like this again.
If they really want to support modders to earn from all their hard work, a simple donate button would be enough to do just that. Or they could just leave the modding community alone and let them do what they do best.
What are your thoughts on paid mods? Is it a good idea and needs to be looked at in the future? Or let game mods stay free?