No Plans For Fallout 4 Paid Mods, Says Bethesda

No Plans For Fallout 4 Paid Mods, Says Bethesda

Bethesda's Todd Howard says that there are currently no plans for paid Fallout 4 mods.

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I'd imagine the main obstacle for paid mods is not fan backlash but the whole copyright infringement argument. I'm not quite sure how Bethesda could charge for mods when they include MLP skins and the like. Moderation for that sort of thing would probably require a boat-load of time and people.

I just don't see it ever happening. The effort and time required for simple moderation, let alone the PR disaster, would surely negate any profit they could gain from it? Maybe I'm being optimistic.

Although, that said, I would like to see an option for a donation bucket for the modder. Those guys do a lot of good work and I'd be more than happy to show them my appreciation with money.

hmm, I'm starting to wonder if maybe the Skyrim paid mod thing was just to test the water before they announced anything about FO4. Regardless, at least they are listening to customer feedback, and hopefully they'll realise that a bit more care is needed when introducing and implementing new ideas, you can't just throw them out there and hope for the best

"...for now at least, we can breathe easy"? Surely it was Valve and Bethesda's execution of the idea that was so problematic last time. The idea of paying something for mods is surely a good one, which in the long run would very likely benefit everyone.

I really like the idea of paid mods - if done 'right'. So I'm really not fussed about the idea coming back, and frankly believe it's inevitable.

w23eer:
I just don't see it ever happening. The effort and time required for simple moderation, let alone the PR disaster, would surely negate any profit they could gain from it? Maybe I'm being optimistic.

The most logical solution I can think of is that Bethesda has their eyes on the biggest and best mods (or the most widely used) only.

Things like Nehrim, Skywind, TES:Overhaul and the like, that they can see finished and get 'released' as paid expansions across all platforms for minimal cost to themselves. They might stay free on PC forever after the disaster early this year, but Xbone and (possibly) PS4 versions most certainly wouldn't.

Other things along the lines of SkyUI could become all but official patches now as well, which could be both useful for us and the edge of a slippery slope for Bethesda's already iffy quality control.

fix-the-spade:

w23eer:
I just don't see it ever happening. The effort and time required for simple moderation, let alone the PR disaster, would surely negate any profit they could gain from it? Maybe I'm being optimistic.

The most logical solution I can think of is that Bethesda has their eyes on the biggest and best mods (or the most widely used) only.

Things like Nehrim, Skywind, TES:Overhaul and the like, that they can see finished and get 'released' as paid expansions across all platforms for minimal cost to themselves. They might stay free on PC forever after the disaster early this year, but Xbone and (possibly) PS4 versions most certainly wouldn't.

Other things along the lines of SkyUI could become all but official patches now as well, which could be both useful for us and the edge of a slippery slope for Bethesda's already iffy quality control.

I highly doubt it when it comes to the bigger mods, unless they can work out some sort of deal to legitimately get script extenders onto the consoles. Which, in all honesty, I do not think they can do.

Darth Rosenberg:
"...for now at least, we can breathe easy"? Surely it was Valve and Bethesda's execution of the idea that was so problematic last time. The idea of paying something for mods is surely a good one, which in the long run would very likely benefit everyone.

I really like the idea of paid mods - if done 'right'. So I'm really not fussed about the idea coming back, and frankly believe it's inevitable.

The best way to do it is to do what a number of modders already have done: set up a tip-jar system. If you like the work of a particular modder then you can toss some cash their way to show your appreciation.

One thing's for certain, though: their "We get 75%, modders get 25%" model was ludicrous amounts of bullshit.

RJ 17:
One thing's for certain, though: their "We get 75%, modders get 25%" model was ludicrous amounts of bullshit.

Well, duh, hence my point that it was done badly!

Donations are certainly an easy alternative, but I don't think that would be enough by itself. Ideally there'd need to be a form of curation and a threshold, above which all mods have a certain fixed cost. There are a lot of problems - some perhaps insurmountable (creating customers means quality assurance and compatibility becomes very important) - to viable paid mods, but that doesn't mean we can't start with a donation system, and 'improve' it over time.

And suddenly, everything was right about the world again. Nice of them to clarify that.

Darth Rosenberg:

RJ 17:
One thing's for certain, though: their "We get 75%, modders get 25%" model was ludicrous amounts of bullshit.

Well, duh, hence my point that it was done badly!

Indeed, and I expanded upon that notion by specifying one of the numerous reasons as to why it was done badly. No need to get all puffed up over it. :P

Adam Jensen:
And suddenly, everything was right about the world again. Nice of them to clarify that.

Lets not get our hopes up just yet...

I can only speak for the present time, but currently there are no plans for a payment system [for mods].

That - like Valve's statement - leaves it up in the air as to whether or not they'll try this scheme again. Hopefully Bethesda, at least, will be once-bitten-twice-shy about going to a paid mod system. And hopefully other companies will learn from their example: try to go with paid mods and you'll stir up a shitstorm of bad PR the likes you've never seen before. If the internet had streets, there would surely be riots in them.

Adam Jensen:
And suddenly, everything was right about the world again. Nice of them to clarify that.

And yet if I go to the Fallout Forums people will still say that Bethesda will make people pay for mods.

Good news anyway, hopefully the Internets collective rage will simmer down.

no "current" plans.

The fact that they even need to clarify that mods will remain free is goddamn terrifying in its own right, holy Christ.

I won't repeat my rants from the ole' steam contra from before but Jesus. What a state.

What I will say however is that it seems as though people (and companies) are trying to create there own DayZ mod style hit to capitalize off. Judging how the "official" Day Z game is developing along, we shouldn't want mods being monetized at all in a similar vein to how Day Z was.

Now we will hold you to that, Bethesda. And also Valve because at this point in time Valve are the gatekeepers... We either put our trust in them and Bethesda not to fuck us over or we... well we've no real choice.
However if they go back on their word, a lot of people may just lose their shit. I want Fallout 4 to be a great game, I want to trust Bethesda to leave modding alone and let the modders choose whether or not they want to get paid and how they will get paid (or sued if they violate copyrights/IP laws). Its a live wire, and I'd hope that Bethesda at least was brought up to leave downed power lines alone... or did they not see that PSA by GI Joe?

RJ 17:
Lets not get our hopes up just yet...

In that case what they said is a lie since these types of business decisions are planned in advance. And considering the latest payed mods fiasco they'd have to be planning them now. If they're not, if they're really telling the truth, then we're safe.

Honestly we're probably safe from this. Either Valve or Bethesda (cant remember which) outright stated one of the problems of the last system was introducing it into an already thriving ecosystem in Skyrim. If they waited to pull this off until later on in the games life cycle they'd fall into the exact same trap.

They're not likely to fail the same exact way twice.

That being said, I wouldn't at all mind a tip jar added to the Steam Workshop so I can directly give people money through Steam.

Well yeah, no paid MODS. But they'll bundle mods into a DLC pack. So you're not paying for the mods, you're paying for the pack. And that pack just happens to BE mods.

As someone who downloads their mods pretty much exclusively from Nexus, this was never a concern for me. My biggest concern at this point is if Bethesda.net will be a digital distribution service required for Fallout 4.

They'd be really stupid to try it again with Fallout 4 since that mod community is just as entrenched as The Elder Scrolls one. In fact, most Fallout modders are Elder Scrolls modders, so it's really the same community.

"no plans" is a weasel phrase. It essentially boils down to "right now we won't but we'll probably change our minds when we see just how much we can milk out of it." Blizzard is notorious for using the phrase and then implement whatever they had "no plans" for within 3-6 months.

I'm not breathing easy at all.

For starters within this very thread there are people who WANT paid mods, all it takes is one moment of weakness, one moment of enough people going "duuurr huuur let's give paid mods a chance, EVERYONE will benefit!" and once it's entangled with enough gamers then it becomes very hard to get rid off.

The language used by the devs show they haven't exactly put the matter to rest either, there are no "current plans" because the backlash is still fresh, but they haven't forgotten about the idea completely, it's lurking around there still.

Vigilance is eternal.

As long as it is not at launch, it will be a PR disaster once the community is established and they try to do what they tried to do with skyrim. They cannot afford to destroy the mod community given that although there is money there, it is a nightmare of legal issues on copyright's alone. On-top of that there is the maturity issue, how they will manage sex mods without locking them out? How will they deal with modders building off of one another... Then there is the lack of sales through piracy given the loss of complicity in mods, it is a mess.

Just for the record Der Spiegel is not a gaming magazine. It's a German news magazine, and a very well-respected one at that. It's interesting that an article about Fallout 4 would run in its pages (or on its web site).

That would be like saying since since Time did an interview with David Letterman that it's an Entertainment and Celebrity news magazine.

OT: I'm certain the idea of paid mods isn't dead, and frankly I'm OK with that. The implementation they initially tried was lop-sided and broken (not to mention breathtakingly clueless), but I think such a concept could be made to work, eventually.

Darth Rosenberg:
I really like the idea of paid mods - if done 'right'. So I'm really not fussed about the idea coming back, and frankly believe it's inevitable.

I don't think there is a way that it can be done right realistically anyway

Having to check for stolen content, stolen mods, copyright infringement, scams, and non-supported non-working mods while still giving mod developers a viable cut seems nigh impossible.

Unless you are very selective on who is in the program, but then it seems more like outsourcing DLC rather then a traditional mod.

direkiller:

Darth Rosenberg:
I really like the idea of paid mods - if done 'right'. So I'm really not fussed about the idea coming back, and frankly believe it's inevitable.

I don't think there is a way that it can be done right realistically anyway

Having to check for stolen content, stolen mods, copyright infringement, scams, and non-supported non-working mods while still giving mod developers a viable cut seems nigh impossible.

Unless you are very selective on who is in the program, but then it seems more like outsourcing DLC rather then a traditional mod.

There's also mod incompatability (such and ENB and Falskaar), load order and dependancies. TES/Fallout modding is in such a state that adding monetized modding is a fiasco looking for somewhere to happen. There are games where this sort of thing could work, Skyrim isn't one of them and for it to work in Fallout 4, the moddability of the game would need to be restricted, which would kill interest.

Bethesda already indirectly makes bucket loads of cash from modding due to interest in playing their games with mods. TESV: Skyrim is one of the few multi-platform games with higher sales for PC than either console, especially since many people bought the PC version having started with the console version.

captcha - saturday detention (THE BREAKFAST CLUB!!!)

If Bethesda want to revisit the paid mods system, they need to do it from the game's launch. That was the problem with bolting it on to the Skyrim community. Too many mods making use of other modders work, modders suddenly locking updates behind a paywall, no curation, etc etc...

If you are going to have paid mods announce it before the game launch, like, right about now, and curate it heavily. If they try to add paid mods for Fallout 4 at a later date, once people have gotten used to them being free? Another backlash is inevitable.

Well I certainly don't see them ever coming out and saying this shit is launching, they didn't do it the first time and what is more modders who were invited to do mods for them weren't allowed to talk about it either, so do not expect them to ever tell you how things will go down. Expect them to deny everything until you have irrefutable proof.
If it's coming it will be so far under the radar no one will even know about it until weeks later, most likely they will just put some stuff on offer in their store (yes they are coming out with their own store client), and once people start noticing that stuff came from community creators then Bethesda will tell you... some PR bullshit, I was going to say the truth but that just isn't how business works.

And I don't have a problem with well packaged and tested content coming from community, just don't muddy the waters between random fucking around mods and legally accountable consumer products, these things are worlds apart.

I personally think the way to do this would be less of a paid modding system and more of a licensing system for unofficial DLC. With content being vetted before and not after being released to the public. At least to start off with.

Allow modding teams to approach Bethesda with ideas, prototypes, examples of past work etc. to obtain a license. Only granted when you're dealing with Falskaar-level quality. Then before release check the quality and legality of the work and finally release it as unofficial DLC if it passes.

At the end of the whole thing you want to end up with 20 or so high quality paid mods.

That's something that'd convince me paid modding could work.

"Currently".

But still, it shows they're putting some thought into it. Payed mods weren't a problem in and off themselves, but the slap-dash way they were first introduced and what it meant to the whole modding ecosystem at large.

We will see.

Hey, you know that digital platform Bethesda revealed to distribute their games and modded content? Yeah, that surely won't be used to maybe act as DRM for the next iteration of the Creation Kit and for modded content for their future games. I'm so SURE that the way Todd worded it by saying there are "currently" no "plans" for paid mods is SURELY not some way to weasel word their way out of this.

Yeah no, I stopped trusting Todd after his mountain climbing and spears limitations tripe.

LordLundar:
"no plans" is a weasel phrase. It essentially boils down to "right now we won't but we'll probably change our minds when we see just how much we can milk out of it." Blizzard is notorious for using the phrase and then implement whatever they had "no plans" for within 3-6 months.

Frankster:
I'm not breathing easy at all.

For starters within this very thread there are people who WANT paid mods, all it takes is one moment of weakness, one moment of enough people going "duuurr huuur let's give paid mods a chance, EVERYONE will benefit!" and once it's entangled with enough gamers then it becomes very hard to get rid off.

The language used by the devs show they haven't exactly put the matter to rest either, there are no "current plans" because the backlash is still fresh, but they haven't forgotten about the idea completely, it's lurking around there still.

Vigilance is eternal.

DeepReaver:
As long as it is not at launch, it will be a PR disaster once the community is established and they try to do what they tried to do with skyrim. They cannot afford to destroy the mod community given that although there is money there, it is a nightmare of legal issues on copyright's alone. On-top of that there is the maturity issue, how they will manage sex mods without locking them out? How will they deal with modders building off of one another... Then there is the lack of sales through piracy given the loss of complicity in mods, it is a mess.

Modders building off each other is one of the biggest problem implementing paid mod feature on an already released title. They need to release a new game with paid mods in mind, and mess with a released game.

The guy does not even know how long his own paid mod system worked and he is mocking fans? It is a very legitimate concern considering they are launching their own online platform that they claim is, amongst other things, for mods and that they are bringing those mods to Xbox. But of course people are going to ignore it and praise him for saying that they dont plan to rape their game. Not doing monstrous thing is something being applauded, what a strange world we live in.

008Zulu:
As someone who downloads their mods pretty much exclusively from Nexus, this was never a concern for me. My biggest concern at this point is if Bethesda.net will be a digital distribution service required for Fallout 4.

It should have been, though. During the Skyrims dark week there were authors that pulled their mods from Nexus entirely to monetize in steam workshop and others that stuffed their Nexus one with a popups ingame with advertisement hoping to annoy you to pay them. Yes, in under 1 week we already reached the popup hell stage with mods.

Strazdas:
It should have been, though. During the Skyrims dark week there were authors that pulled their mods from Nexus entirely to monetize in steam workshop and others that stuffed their Nexus one with a popups ingame with advertisement hoping to annoy you to pay them. Yes, in under 1 week we already reached the popup hell stage with mods.

The mods I really only get are those with high endorsement ratings. Mods with all that popup crap usually find themselves at the bottom of a very long list.

I'm of the mind that all mods should be free. If you make a mod then it should be free because you are doing it for the love of the game. If you want money for content, then make your own game.

008Zulu:

Strazdas:
It should have been, though. During the Skyrims dark week there were authors that pulled their mods from Nexus entirely to monetize in steam workshop and others that stuffed their Nexus one with a popups ingame with advertisement hoping to annoy you to pay them. Yes, in under 1 week we already reached the popup hell stage with mods.

The mods I really only get are those with high endorsement ratings. Mods with all that popup crap usually find themselves at the bottom of a very long list.

I'm of the mind that all mods should be free. If you make a mod then it should be free because you are doing it for the love of the game. If you want money for content, then make your own game.

The mod with popups was Midas Magic. The file is currently set to hidden, but before paid mods it was the most popular spells mod in skyrim. So yes, those with high endorsement ratings did it. SkyUI - the mod so popular it has twice the endorsements the 2nd place has - went paid mod route and abandoned nexus version making it outdated. So simply using popular mods isnt really a solution.

I agree with you that mods should be free, but that does not mean that paid mods attempts pose no danger to mods that were free before.

Now, keep in mind that Howard did stop short of saying "no paid mods ever," and Valve specifically stated that it wasn't shelving it's paid mods initiative permanently, stating that it "believes there's a useful feature somewhere here," and it would re-visit it with a community that is not quite as entrenched as Skyrim's.

Okay, so they've quite rightly decided there would be too much whiplash effect in Skyrim and (possibly) Fallout's established modding community, and they therefore need another community that is not entrenched.

I wonder how this gels with Bethesda's other recent announcement about working on whole new projects. They wouldn't be designing these whole new projects to be extremely moddable games that they can bring paid mods to from the start?

Maybe a little too tinfoil-hatty, but maybe not?

 

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