Valve backs away from an enraged modding community.
A mere four days after allowing mod creators to sell their work on Steam Marketplace, Valve has done an about face and removed the feature from Steam. Following a discussion between Valve and Bethesda, users who have already purchased mods for Skyrim, the first (and seemingly only) game to have featured paid mods, will be receiving a full refund for those purchases.
The decision to create a paid mod marketplace was met with considerable criticism from mod creators and users alike, with concerns ranging from fear that capitalizing mods would damage the mod community to the profit share which saw creators receiving only 25% of revenue from sales. A Change.org petition collected more than 130,000 signatures from people opposed to Valve's move over the weekend.
The announcement was made by Valve's Alden Kroll, who explained some of the logic behind the decision to offer paid mods, noting the company's prior success with revenue sharing programs for community creators in their own games. Kroll states that Valve, "underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim's workshop," noting that, "stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating."
Of course, that statement does leave the door open for other games in the future. Kroll also comments that Valve, "believe there's a useful feature somewhere here," which likely means community created mods for a price could yet return to Steam at some point, but they seem to have learned their lesson about getting involved in an entrenched community such as the one Skyrim has.