Seriously, what’s the fuss?
So, now that Steam has put up paid mods for everyone’s consumption, and then just as quickly taken them away, I really don’t know what all the fuss is (or was) about.
Firstly, why shouldn’t modders get some fee for their work? Modders are the unsung heroes of the PC gaming community. They put in heaps of their own time and skills to make things for players who, by and large, are only capable of whinging when something isn’t absolutely perfect, and appreciate the effort as much as your local beach appreciates a fresh oil slick.
So, I’m sorry PC gamers, as much as I think we’re the master race (of gaming everywhere), sometimes the sense of entitlement and tunnel vision from members is stupifying. Yes, there will probably be some crap mods. How is that different to some of the fully craptacular games made by professional studios that people buy and play? I mean, would you rather pay retail price for Duke Nukem Forever, or a microtransaction that gives you a rendered uber sword?
There has to be some common sense employed in whether or not a player actually buys the mods on offer or not, just like we all make decisions about what game to buy. This isn’t Pokemon where you aim to catch them all.
Here’s the thing. If modders, like developers and authors are at least able to generate an income from their hobby, they will likely be able to develop their skills enough make their own fully fledged indie games, or their skills are such that they’re hired by big studios, and work on big budget projects we can all drool over. In turn, games in the future might become easier to mod, or modular, where you could add your own content as long as it was compatible with the engine.
The sad thing is, PC gamers can sometimes be their own worst and most vocal enemy. Yeah, there are likely going to be problems with paid mods in the future. And you know what? We’ll solve those problems, as we always have. But if we don’t change how we reward people for their efforts, how will the software evolve to become better and more accessible for us all?