Gabe Newell Clarifies Views On Paid Steam Mods

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By Wes Smith

Updated 4/28: Following criticism, Valve has closed the paid mod system on Steam Workshop.

Valve creator Gabe Newell responded to criticism of Steam’s new paid mods program in a Reddit AMA on Saturday.

Earlier this week, Newell’s digital gaming service Steam introduced a payment program for mod creators of popular Steam Workshop games, notably the immensely popular Skyrim. Under the new program, mod creators can now charge for content that had previously been available for free.

The program came under immediate scrutiny with critics citing the low commission rate for mod creators and the lack of quality control over user-made content.

Newell clarified that the program is still new and will remain under close watch as it launches.

“Our goal is to make modding better for the authors and gamers,” Newell wrote. “If something doesn’t help with that, it will get dumped. Right now I’m more optimistic that this will be a win for authors and gamers, but we are always going to be data driven.”

The paid-mod initiative follows a string of decisions by Valve to allow user-created content to generate income. They had already previously allowed users to sell content for Valve-developed games like Team Fortress 2 and DotA 2.

Newell also emphasized that he was not requiring mod creators to make their content exclusive to Steam, a concern for website Nexus, a community for modders and user-created content.

So far, Skyrim is the only game under the new paid program, though more titles are likely to follow if it becomes popular.

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