Valve and Bethesda’s experiment with paid mods couldn’t make it a day without controversy.
Destructoid spotted the controversy as it happened. You can see screenshots of the now deleted comments on their site.
Here’s what went down.
There was just one problem. The fishing mod contained assets from another mod – Fore’s New Idles in Skyrim. And, it was used without his permission.
It all started when one steam user, Devon, asked Chesko, “I wonder whether you have any permission from Fores New Idles in Skyrim to use his assets in your mod that you charge money for?”
Fore jumped in and said, “No, he has not.”
Fore also gave his opinion about yesterday’s announcement for paid mods.
“And making money with mods is totally against my attitude. It’s the end of a working and inventive modding community,” Fore wrote.
Chesko offered this explanation.
“I would like to make it clear that I have been under a non-disclosure agreement for over a month, and was unable (not unwilling) to contact others,” Chesko wrote.
Chesko continued, “I asked Valve specifically about content that requires other content, and was told that if the download is separate and free, it was fair game. In the case of this mod, the animations are not required and the mod continues to work. However I will defer to Fore’s decision, which will issue a refund to all subscribers.”
This is the exact situation most people were concerned about with yesterday’s announcement.
It’s funny Valve/Bethesda didn’t even vet the initial batch of paid mods. I know Valve/Bethesda won’t be able to check all the mods now, but at least double check your first batch.
I wrote yesterday that Valve’s biggest issue would be policing against people using others work without permission. I just didn’t think it would happen this fast.
Valve does have ways for modders to address concerns of others using their work. Valve’s FAQ says concerned modders can issue a DMCA takedown notice.
Valve also lets items with multiple modders split the revenue. But, all the modders have to give permission for their content to be used.
The first day was a bumpy one for Skyrim paid mods. What do you think it will look like after a few months?