Daybreak’s John Smedley: ‘Modders getting paid is an awesome idea’

    
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Where do you come down on the subject of paying for game mods? While the reality of the issue might be off the table right now thanks to Valve pulling its paid Skyrim mods program, it’s definitely poured out a big bucket of discussion in the game community.

As for Daybreak President John Smedley, he’s firmly of the opinion that paid game mods are great, if done right: “Look at the Valve mod payment thing, for example; it’s a great example of — of course they’re smart for doing that. Modders getting paid is an awesome idea and I wish they’d stick to their guns, but sometimes you think you have a solid plan and it gets in front of the players and they’re like, ‘Yeah, we don’t like this,’ so it changes.”

Smedley also praised Valve for listening to its customers in this instance, something that he says is a priority for Daybreak as well.

[Source: PC Gamer]
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TitianHero
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TitianHero

Of course JohnSmedly loves the idea of having people work for him for free and then him getting 75% of the cut from said person’s work. Valve’s little scam was essentially turning the mod community into slave labor, then kicking them back a handful of peanuts for picking valve’s cotton once they reached a quota. It was a disgrace and thankfully the community caught onto every aspect of the con and shouted it down.

Diaskeaus
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Diaskeaus

This will be a rather unpopular opinion, but I’m not looking forward to the day when modders are paid as a general rule.

Just because you start charging for something, doesn’t mean the quality will go up. More inevitably will be the scum who invade the modding scene to try and make a quick buck and end up forcing the modders who actually care out of the circuit or force them into “modding companies” that earn income through gaming mods rather than the mostly creative enterprise mods are today.

I think modding as practice is great for the community, as it gives potential developers much needed critique when there isn’t money on the line. I’m not necessarily against crowdfunded modding, but I I really believe once you start charging people prices for dowloading mods, the whole scene is going to become corrupted.

There are far too many established shanty town programming companies already in the market because of the Google Play and App Store. Once modding becomes a market, not only will many game companies *stop* developing their games to a certain point (because of modding), they will also start designing the basic game to allow for modding and simplify the systems, and companies will see bsaic software packages as the main competition rather than crafting quality gaming experiences.

Sure, you’ll get some good mods, but how much money will you need to spend to eventually unlock a great game? I had 200+ mods on Oblivion, because the system was designed to support the modding community to such a great extent. It was a great experience by the end, but even if each mod cost $1, that means I would have spent more than $260 on one game alone. Is that the future you want?

Crow God
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Crow God

The problem isn’t whether or not modders should get paid for their work. The problem is Valve’s lack of quality control. Someone was trying to sell a horse genitalia mod for one hundred dollars, and to top it off I’m pretty sure it was stolen assets. In fact a lot of people were trying to sell stolen assets. You also have to question what do you do about mods that use other mods in it? The entire thing was just a complete mess. It would have been easier to have a button that allowed you to donate money to modders.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

dirtyklingon I don’t know. A lot of people have been complaining about the money split, when it’s the same money split that Valve uses for their other games. TF2, Dota 2, and GO take that 75% 25% split where the modders get the 25%. Which is where I think they pulled that money pool from. 

It’s just a little bit hypocritical that a lot people are completely ignoring the other three games that also have a rather large modding community (I mean, not on the sense of scale as Skyrim, but still large enough to have their own dedicated websites for modding them) that have the same 25% 75% money cut.

MatthewWard
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MatthewWard

This worries me.. SInce first hearing about Landmark, I was of the opinion that it meant EQ:N would be a game mainly created by the community rather than a AAA title with a professional team of artists and writers crafting the world. 

The fact that Smedley is so enamoured with paid mod probably means I was right. 

EQ:N will just be a skeleton world with a cash shop and player created crap.

Techbot Alpha
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Techbot Alpha

MetaDune I think it’s less to do with ‘establishment’ and much more to do with the lack of content control, ease of theft, especially of non-priced mods, and the fact that Valve and Bethesda tried to take a 75% cut for doing absolutely no work whatsoever.  
You can already pay good modders via donations and paypal. This would have been a step BACKWARDS from that.

Techbot Alpha
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Techbot Alpha

quixadhal This right here, people. Anyone defending the stunt Valve and Bethesda tried to pull clearly didn’t look into how that mess actually worked.

Ket_Viliano
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Ket_Viliano

Esoteric Coyote  Part of the problem with mods, for any game without an API, is that they are hacks. If DLC is going to be paid for, the creators should have a license to do so, and access to the original source files and engine, so as to help assure quality.

Ket_Viliano
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Ket_Viliano

The point I made over on Gamasutra, is that you really need to get a license agreement before you start work, so as to make clear what everyone involved is going to receive. No one should volunteer their time and effort to a group project, only to find out that another group member put the work up for sale without prior agreement. Lawsuits would just mess everything up, obviously.

Being mindful of copyrights / IP is also important. You cannot just have random people putting Batman and Masterchief in Skyrim, and trying to get paid for it.

Further, for third party paid DLC, which is what paid mods are, a certain level of quality control is a very good idea. All 3rd party paid DLC should have been checked for compatibility with other 3rd party paid DLC, and if incompatible, there should be a sufficiently obvious note to that effect. This is good for the brand, and if not done it’s bad PR.

crawlkill
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crawlkill

everyone I’ve heard talk about this who actually makes mods or games has seemed to be pretty in favor of it. I heard the reaction described as “a union I didn’t ask to exist whose members don’t actually participate in the activity in question forcing Valve to do something I don’t want for my sake.” many pointed out that getting a 25% cut is absolutely not a bad deal compared to what many amateurs who want to go pro have to accept. just another case of gamers ruining things for everyone, themselves included. never trust anyone who’d label himself (and I do think I mean HIMself) a “gamer.”