Nexus Mods, one of the leading modding communities for games, will introduce a system that will allow its creators to be compensated for their work.
Robin Scott, Nexus Mods co-founder, published a blog post that described the new system as "something I've wanted to do for a long time" - a way of rewarding mod creators that goes beyond spontaneous individual donations.
The system, which is "completely opt-in", will award "Donation Points" to mod creators based on how many unique file page downloads they receive. Those points can then be redeemed in various ways through a Nexus Mods storefront.
"Let me cut to the chase and clarify right now that this system definitely isn't going to let any mod author quit their day job," Scott wrote. "However, it should fulfill that original wish many mod authors have expressed for years now of wanting at least a little something tangible back from their modding hobby, even if it's just some recognition and a couple of free coffees/beers each month to keep them topped up while they're working on their mods.
"At the end of the day, this is going to be a way for Nexus Mods, and the users of Nexus Mods, to donate to and thank all the mod authors on Nexus Mods collectively."
"This system definitely isn't going to let any mod author quit their day job"
Nexus Mods has pledged to donate between $5,000 and $10,000 each month to a "central donation pool", which will be the minimum handed out on that month. Nexus Mods users will also be able to donate the pool, with full transparency on the split between Nexus Mods' donation and money sourced from the community.
Donation Points will have a monetary value: a constant rate of 1,000 DP for $1. Mod creators will be able to redeem their points for "PayPal donations, Amazon gift vouchers and the like," but very likely also games, hardware, and subscriptions and licenses for popular modding software.
Scott also addressed a potential conflict with Bethesda's games, which are popular among modders in general, and were the sole focus of Nexus Mods in its early years. Bethesda announced its own system for paying modders, Creation Club, in June this year, but Nexus Mods seems unwilling to hand the publisher the power to intervene.
"Bethesda have made it very clear over the years that if you force them to give you an answer on a particular issue it's much easier for them to say 'no' than it is to say yes. However, if you simply get on with it and don't ask them, they don't need to say 'no' or 'yes' and they'll let you know if they have a very serious issue with it.
"As far as my solicitor and I are concerned, there really shouldn't be a legal issue here. I'd talk it through with them for sure, but if they're adamant that it has to be removed then I will remove it for any Bethesda games we host, as I'm sure you can appreciate getting into a legal fight over this wouldn't be prudent.
Scott added: "It would obviously result in a system that benefits far fewer mod authors on the site, but I'm not going to let Bethesda dictate functionality on the site that is about more than just their games now, and has been for many years."
Nexus Mods plans to roll out its new system in the first quarter of 2018.