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Valve kills paid Skyrim mods feature

"It's clear we didn't understand exactly what we were doing"

Just days after introducing it, and following an outcry from the PC gaming community, Valve has removed the payment feature from the Skyrim workshop on Steam.

The feature allowed modders to sell their Skyrim mods. Valve now says despite good intentions it did not fully appreciate the impact the feature would have.

"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," it said in a statement.

Valve added that it had Bethesda's support on the decision and those that had already paid for mods would be refunded.

"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," said Bethesda in its own post.

Valve had hoped the paid mods would follow the path travelled by Valve's own games like Team Fortress 2 and mods turned games like Dota, Counter-strike, DayZ, and Killing Floor, but admitted those hopes were a mistake.

"We underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim's workshop," said Valve.

"We understand our own game's communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there's a useful feature somewhere here."

This weekend Valve boss Gabe Newell took to Reddit this weekend to respond to criticisms of the scheme.

"Let's assume for a second that we are stupidly greedy," Newell said.

"So far the paid mods have generated $10K total. That's like 1 per cent of the cost of the incremental email the program has generated for Valve employees (yes, I mean pissing off the Internet costs you a million bucks in just a couple of days). That's not stupidly greedy, that's stupidly stupid."

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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