A Valve employee under the name of Alden has made an official post declaring that the payment system for mods in the Skyrim Workshop on Steam is going to be taken down following an intense backlash from the community over the past few days. Furthermore Valve and Bethesda will refund everyone who purchased a mod.
“We’re going to remove the payment feature from the Skyrim workshop. For anyone who spent money on a mod, we’ll be refunding you the complete amount. We talked to the team at Bethesda and they agree.”
Presumably the mod creators will be able to keep their small portion of the profits, but nothing has been confirmed or denied at this point. Alden went on it admit that Valve didn’t fully consider the ramifications of their actions, stating:
“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. ”
Alden took the opportunity to explain the company’s goals when launching the new system, saying that, “our main goals were to allow mod makers the opportunity to work on their mods full time if they wanted to, and to encourage developers to provide better support to their mod communities. We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free & paid. We wanted more great mods becoming great products, like Dota, Counter-strike, DayZ, and Killing Floor, and we wanted that to happen organically for any mod maker who wanted to take a shot at it.”
“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.”
Finally Valve are promising to work through the vast flood of feedback, and asked people to leave more in the comment section. Notably many comments were calling for Valve to simply enable a donation button, and revise the system so that the mod creator gets a much larger cut.
The wording of the post certain points to Valve perhaps bringing the system back some time in the future, but for the time being this is one of those rare cases where the majority of the community not on agreed on something but also managed to work together to say no.