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Author Topic: Now you CAN'T donate cuz $ made/gudwill lost is negative.  (Read 9082 times)
Paelos
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Reply #70 on: April 28, 2015, 11:00:11 AM

Main issue (as gabe admitted) is them attempting to monitize the community after its already been established for years.  This wouldn't have been an issue if they had launched the game with built in support for paid mods (as I'm sure all future Bethesda and Valve games will).

Correct, that's the main issue. It's something that people who are trying to monitize news sites are finding out. People don't want to pay for something they've been getting for free for years.

Now that doesn't mean people don't want to support people who create mods. But trying to half-assed regulate that while taking a healthy cut of the profits? That's not cool.

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tazelbain
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Reply #71 on: April 28, 2015, 11:08:00 AM

Still I am less inclined to buy the next TES game, because the mods that make the game playable are going to cost money. Sure, for the titty mods this isn't a problem

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Reply #72 on: April 28, 2015, 11:45:17 AM

To me this whole situation is just shockingly stupid. If they had just added a button that said "DONATE" next to every mod and kept 10% of all donations as transaction fees, Valve would be knitting yet more money hats. Oh, and the entire internets would be applauding their integrity and generosity to boot.
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Reply #73 on: April 28, 2015, 12:04:32 PM

To me this whole situation is just shockingly stupid. If they had just added a button that said "DONATE" next to every mod and kept 10% of all donations as transaction fees, Valve would be knitting yet more money hats. Oh, and the entire internets would be applauding their integrity and generosity to boot.

That would still have required legal negotiations with Bethesda. What we don't know at all is the extent to which Bethesda were the driving force behind this, or how much they were the ones that pushed for the 75/25 split or whatever.

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Reply #74 on: April 28, 2015, 12:08:28 PM

Communism!
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Reply #75 on: April 28, 2015, 12:09:38 PM

I think Carnifex is correct, though. It might have required more wrangling with Bethsoft but in the end, it would have been better for everyone involved.

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Reply #76 on: April 28, 2015, 12:16:26 PM

Am I missing something, then? I thought this was a voluntary deal, where mod authors could put up stuff for sale on the workshop if they wanted, or continue to release stuff free through Nexus or their own goddamned website.

There's a lot of 'free' that shouldn't be.

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Reply #77 on: April 28, 2015, 12:24:51 PM

To me this whole situation is just shockingly stupid. If they had just added a button that said "DONATE" next to every mod and kept 10% of all donations as transaction fees, Valve would be knitting yet more money hats. Oh, and the entire internets would be applauding their integrity and generosity to boot.

Kind of pointless, though, given how unused most donation systems are.  Unless you've got something in the mod itself pointing you to the donation button (and the instant THAT happens you know the exact same shitstorm would spin up) most people don't donate.  A lot of these mods already had donation buttons on Nexus, but still made more in one day of direct sales than they did in years of voluntary donations (or so sayeth Bethesda's blog, anyway) and that's even WITH Beth eating most of the pie.

If Valve had added a donate button for every mod I doubt the internet would even notice or care, much less trumpet their praise from the rooftops.  The only way this was going to be more than a blip on anybody's radar was if they fucked it up.

Edit:

What we don't know at all is the extent to which Bethesda were the driving force behind this, or how much they were the ones that pushed for the 75/25 split or whatever.

Bethesda says Valve takes 30% off the top, and they elected to take 45% for their cut because it's the "industry standard" (I assume they're getting this from F2P games like TF2 and Dota 2 where workshop content is vetted by the publisher and integrated into the in-game shop, but I'm not sure).
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 12:30:52 PM by Kail »
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Reply #78 on: April 28, 2015, 12:34:46 PM

Am I missing something, then? I thought this was a voluntary deal, where mod authors could put up stuff for sale on the workshop if they wanted, or continue to release stuff free through Nexus or their own goddamned website.

There's a lot of 'free' that shouldn't be.

Yeah, you're not missing anything.  Under the system that was rolled back mod authors could also make their mods "pay what you want", which is what people claim to want.  What they object to is the mod authors being the ones to make that choice.

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Reply #79 on: April 28, 2015, 12:38:50 PM

Am I missing something, then? I thought this was a voluntary deal, where mod authors could put up stuff for sale on the workshop if they wanted, or continue to release stuff free through Nexus or their own goddamned website.

There's a lot of 'free' that shouldn't be.

Yeah, you're not missing anything.  Under the system that was rolled back mod authors could also make their mods "pay what you want", which is what people claim to want.  What they object to is the mod authors being the ones to make that choice.

As others have said, they also inserted themselves into a really well established modding community and made a major change that no one was asking for.  I agree that in principle this is a non-issue.  But the way they did it in practice was bound to upset people.  This will be back before long and done in a slightly different fashion that will still get some people upset, but not that many, and then it will just become a stock feature of steam that everyone uses regularly.
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Reply #80 on: April 28, 2015, 12:39:12 PM

Am I missing something, then? I thought this was a voluntary deal, where mod authors could put up stuff for sale on the workshop if they wanted, or continue to release stuff free through Nexus or their own goddamned website.

There's a lot of 'free' that shouldn't be.
The issue is that a great many of the mods are reliant on each other.  The skyrim community is a several years old collaborative programming project, where people have created something, then others have integrated it into their own (with permission), and so on.  People programmed and designed their mods with the assumption that all the other mods they built dependencies with would always be free and available.  

But now, years into the collaborative project, their trying to introduce random pay walls.  One guy pay walling his mod can fuck up a bunch of others that were dependent on it.  If the mod had been pay for from the get go, others would not have made themselves reliant on it.  Doing it after the fact hurts a lot of people, and many of the mods out there were written awhile ago.  The guy who made it has probably moved on and not paying attention anymore, so you can't count on him to go reprogram the mod to use something else.

It was a dumb move that would have severely impacted a lot of people.  Thus the consumer uproar.  You can't paywall bits and pieces of a giant collaborative programming project years after the fact without breaking the whole fucking thing.

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Reply #81 on: April 28, 2015, 12:44:55 PM

The issue is that a great many of the mods are reliant on each other.  The skyrim community is a several years old collaborative programming project, where people have created something, then others have integrated it into their own (with permission), and so on.  People programmed and designed their mods with the assumption that all the other mods they built dependencies with would always be free and available.  

But now, years into the collaborative project, their trying to introduce random pay walls.  One guy pay walling his mod can fuck up a bunch of others that were dependent on it.

One guy could just as easily withdraw permission for other people to integrate his shit into their mod, without a paywall being an issue.  Unless he's granted you a perpetual license to copy his stuff for inclusion in your own mod, in which case him putting his version behind a paywall doesn't affect you.

Basically if the entire modding community is a house of cards built out of gentleman's agreements and/or theft, as you're indicating here, you don't need the addition of a paywall to bring it all tumbling down.  Either you trust all the people whose stuff you're borrowing, or you don't, and you either don't borrow from them, or you get some sort of solid assurance that they're not going to be able to yank it out from under you.

Maybe this stuff just seems stupid to me because I'm a software developer and this is exactly the same thing that happens in other collaborative development efforts, and there are already solutions that seem very obvious to me (or other ways the problem can manifest that make this new variable irrelevant), and for the rest of you it's like Columbus discovering the New World.   awesome, for real
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 12:50:51 PM by Samwise »

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Reply #82 on: April 28, 2015, 01:03:37 PM

Modding communities have "always" been ad hoc collections of people with varying skills and visions being vaguely collaborative.  The game I modded the most was Neverwinter Nights and it was basically a free for all.
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Reply #83 on: April 28, 2015, 01:43:19 PM

Yeah, similar to any free software community. 

What all this outrage is about is the theory that people who have previously been giving stuff out for free out of the generosity of their hearts will be suddenly and irresistibly corrupted by the lure of monetization once that option is available, and that they should therefore not be trusted with having the option to monetize.

So (a) to the extent you had gentlemen's agreements for them to let you use your work for free, you think they're going to welch at the first opportunity, and (b) you think that because you've been borrowing their work for free up to this point, they now owe it to you in perpetuity even if there was no such agreement.

If I were one of these modders who apparently can't be trusted to ask for five bucks for years worth of work, I'd be annoyed.

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Reply #84 on: April 28, 2015, 02:13:01 PM

Hey man, nothing has been stopping them from selling there mods through their own web page before this.  If they had really wanted to sell the mods for money, they already would have.  Obviously none of them really wanted this.   why so serious?

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Reply #85 on: April 28, 2015, 02:14:42 PM

Yep, that argument goes both ways.

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Reply #86 on: April 28, 2015, 02:24:59 PM

Not really.  The argument you're making is that making it EASIER for the mod authors to monetize is a bad thing.  That giving the mod authors more tools/choice is detrimental to the mod community.  Being as they're the ones who make the mods, saying that they're the enemy and that something which is good for them is necessarily bad for you is pretty fucked up.

(edit) The part about selling mods through your own web page is why the complaint about Valve taking 25% is so dumb, though.  You know why Valve gets to take 25%?  Because it's fucking worth every penny, given how much of a pain in the ass running a store is.  As evidenced by the fact that nobody's doing it themselves.  If you actually thought it were a bad deal for the modders rather than a fair deal, you wouldn't be so worried about modders taking them up on it.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:50:10 PM by Samwise »

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Reply #87 on: April 28, 2015, 02:55:20 PM

Hey man, anything to drive down prices.  When did you become so pro-buisness and anti-consumer?  Are we going to have to ban you from the politics forum soon?   why so serious?

But seriously, I have nothing against them charging for their mods.  Suddenly throwing a pay wall over something that has been free is of course going to piss off customers, however.  Then due to the way the mods community works, it also breaks a ton of free mods unless you want to spend money on the few who decided to paywall.  Mods that were designed with the idea that the other ones would always remain available, and would have made different design decisions if that wasn't the case (which you may find naive, but this has been the status quo for mod communities since the beginning of the Internet).  It would have caused a lot of strife in what was a vibrant modding community that was the sole reason skyrim is still one of the most played games on steam.  And finally all the legal issues they face by people uploading copyrighted shit, as well as people profiting off mods that others have released for free.

So pissing off your customer base, gimping the one feature that drove new sales of your old game, and setting yourself up for a lot of potential QA/legal issues, means a lot of us were confident to call this a really fucking stupid idea. If you disagree with all that, we'll just have to agree to disagree, heh.

These issues (except the need to actually pay people to monitor what users are uploading for sale), will go away if they launch with this feature already in place.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:58:08 PM by Teleku »

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Reply #88 on: April 28, 2015, 02:58:47 PM

Suddenly throwing a pay wall over something that has been free is of course going to piss off customers, however.

Well, yes, especially given that the target demo is largely composed of whiny bitches who have been living in their parents' basement rent-free since they finished college.   Ohhhhh, I see.  Being pissed off doesn't make them right.

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Reply #89 on: April 28, 2015, 03:01:45 PM

Sure, and having worked private sector software for years before this, I'm well aware the customer is the enemy.  But unfortunatly you have to try not to rabidly piss them off if you want them to keep giving your company money.  It's always a hard choice!

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Reply #90 on: April 28, 2015, 03:03:51 PM

Sure, and Valve probably made the right choice caving to the tantrum here.  There's no reasoning with a spoiled brat.  I'm just surprised to see anyone here expressing the view that it was a well thought out tantrum with some solid points.

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Reply #91 on: April 28, 2015, 03:06:41 PM

(edit) The part about selling mods through your own web page is why the complaint about Valve taking 25% is so dumb, though.  You know why Valve gets to take 25%?  Because it's fucking worth every penny, given how much of a pain in the ass running a store is.  As evidenced by the fact that nobody's doing it themselves.  If it were a bad deal for the modders, you wouldn't be so worried about modders taking them up on it.

They don't take 25%, they LEAVE 25%.  And Valve at least is providing a service to the modder, Bethesda is just milking this for even more than Valve is.  By Bethesda's own admission, the sales of mods were a fraction of a percent of what they pulled in from box sales.  If you're charging $4 for your mod, and someone wants to play that mod, then they already have to pay $20 to buy the game to do so (and that's the reduced price not including DLC etc.) which the mod author doesn't see a penny of.  For Bethesda to come in and then demand from you $2 more comes off as petty when you're already driving sales to them.  With something like TF2 or Dota you at least have the excuse that A) the base game is free and selling content is their only revenue stream and B) the game costs a ton to keep running and updating, but Skyrim has neither of those excuses.

If you're serious about wanting to encourage modders then skimming 45% of their net sales is not the way to do it.  If it's just a cash grab then it's not a very lucrative one.  But it's got to be one or the other, you can't play the "we just want to help you" card while you're gouging your content creators and then "but we hardly made any money off of doing it" when people complain, then you just look stupid.

I'm not saying 100% of proceeds need to go back to the modders, there are costs involved in establishing and running this kind of thing, but the more prohibitive you make those costs the more dis-incentivized people are to use the system in the first place.  If you want people to make mods and produce content for your game then you should be giving them as good of a deal as you can and they'll flock to it.  Otherwise what's the point of this system in the first place if it's not making any money by itself?
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Reply #92 on: April 28, 2015, 03:08:02 PM

Its not about EASY its about SURPRISE PAYWALL. I guess don't understand why people who were expecting to get paid were working on mods unpaid 2+ years. I, as a programmer, always figure how I am getting paid before I start. I thought these guys were hobbyists doing it for fun. Guess not. I don't really have anything against them, my problem is more due to how these development houses has leaned on these guy's free labor to make their game playable.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 03:38:50 PM by tazelbain »

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Reply #93 on: April 28, 2015, 03:30:46 PM

Where do tantrums enter the equation? Market bears what the market bears.


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Reply #94 on: April 28, 2015, 04:17:18 PM

The 7D2D devs were talking about this before locking the thread and they seemed to think the cuts for the developers were pretty reasonable, though a better split would have been 30/30/40 Valve/Zenimax/Author.

Since it's optional and it's a way for people to get paid for their work if they choose to, I'm all for it. But I guess I've made my point and will just wait out the gnashing of teeth until this inevitably goes live, as it should.

My statement about mod devs in general is that I'd like to see it lucrative so there is a reason for them to continue when the whiny Internet cunts' ceaseless roar of entitled, unhappy selfishness drives them to abandon otherwise amazing works (see: minecraft mods).

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Reply #95 on: April 28, 2015, 04:36:23 PM

Where do tantrums enter the equation? Market bears what the market bears.

The market had nothing to do with it; the driving force behind Valve's decision was people who'd already bought the game and were just spamming them with whiny emails and black page faxes.

I suspect when the next game rolls around and this is a feature out of the gate, there'll be minimal whining and then we'll see that the market will bear it just fine, because whatever threats they might make, none of these kids want to be the only one on their block without the latest toy.

And we'll probably find out that in practice most modders keep making stuff for free just for fun, and when one or two of them do decide to try charging something, the world won't end.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 04:46:37 PM by Samwise »

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Reply #96 on: April 28, 2015, 04:49:21 PM

The market had nothing to do with it; the driving force behind Valve's decision was people who'd already bought the game and were just spamming them with whiny emails and black page faxes.

I kind of doubt it, though it's hard to say what the "real" reason is.  You don't launch a feature designed to make piles of money and then cancel it because somewhere someone on reddit is angry.  Both Valve and Bethesda have said that this wasn't making much money, I suspect if there had been actual profit here we'd still be dealing with it.  See also: early access, Steam Greenlight, all the other initiatives that people have bitched and moaned about but which are still around.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 04:50:55 PM by Kail »
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Reply #97 on: April 28, 2015, 04:57:06 PM

Oh it definitely wasn't making them piles of money; I don't think it was ever intended to.  But Gabe said in his AMA that the sheer quantity of customer emails they'd gotten on this issue (which they have to read and possibly respond to) essentially cost them $1M worth of their employees' time.  So it wasn't just people being angry on reddit, they were basically getting DDOSed and decided (wisely) that it wasn't worth making a stand over when they could just do it again later with a different game after the outrage machine has spun down.

Ironically, the 25% cut that Valve was taking was probably intended to cover the cost of shit like that (rather than actually making them piles of money I'd guess their aim was just to more or less break even after they'd paid people to process refunds, answer stupid questions, etc) and it turned out to fall far short; they might well change up the percentages next time to account for that.

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Reply #98 on: April 28, 2015, 05:10:46 PM

I've seen it said that it was a 30% for valve and 45% for Bethesda, 75% total.   Not the 25% you keep quoting.  Makes it far less attractive and far more likely to be abused by bad actors, IMO.  If I can't make money I'll scam it.

It's fun watching though. The software debs who are always so "it should be free" on tech and art copyright are suddenly demanding pay models be respected in their sector.

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Reply #99 on: April 28, 2015, 05:29:03 PM

I've seen it said that it was a 30% for valve and 45% for Bethesda, 75% total.   Not the 25% you keep quoting.  Makes it far less attractive and far more likely to be abused by bad actors, IMO.  If I can't make money I'll scam it.

I saw 25% for Valve and 50% for Bethesda.  Since most of the hate seems directed at Valve their cut seems like the relevant piece.  50% for Bethesda's cut does seem on the high side to me, but ultimately it's their IP and their platform so they get to set those rules.  Modders looking to sell stuff on the workshop would have been the ones to decide whether to play along or to just keep doing what they've been doing (whether that be giving it away for free or selling it some other way or what).

I dunno if you can even draw comparisons between this tantrum and pushback in other sectors to copyright enforcement.  What we've got here is the equivalent of people protesting and DDOSing the iTunes store because MUSIC SHOULD BE FREE, MAN, and their favorite indy band might start trying to sell their album instead of giving it away in clubs.  It's not even like this shit would have been hard to pirate or that there was any hint that they'd be sending SWAT team door to door for unauthorized mod usage, it was the idea that someone might even ASK for money for their work that was enough to set off the Internet hordes.

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Reply #100 on: April 28, 2015, 05:37:01 PM

It probably wouldn't have been a big deal had it been in from the inception of Skyrim but it wasn't so it turned out it was a bad idea.

Also that itunes comparison is really dumb.

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Reply #101 on: April 28, 2015, 05:54:07 PM

Also that itunes comparison is really dumb.

It's true; for iTunes the artist only gets a 10% cut of the sale.  That's at least twice as outrageous.

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Reply #102 on: April 28, 2015, 07:42:33 PM

It would be annoying to pirate, assuming mods weren't listed on Nexus. Trying to search YARRRR for Necessary_UI_MOD_2.1.7.42 to get Bouncy_Titties_MOD to work would be fucking obnoxious.

Plus, paying for something feels like it guarantees that said thing will always work. I'd be pretty resentful if I bought a mod and then a patch to Skyrim broke it. That situation gets even more awkward because sometimes other people take abandoned mods and update them for current compatibility; who gets to charge for the content in that case?

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Reply #103 on: April 28, 2015, 11:58:48 PM

I don't imagine doing tech support around the clock for a bunch of whiny / entitled gamers that paid $0.50 for Slightly Better Looking Building Shadows ("I paid ~good money~ for this, you'd better resolve this mod incompatibility that is not actually your fault or I'll downvote you and demand a refund, you fraudster") would be particularly pleasant for the modders, either. On the other hand, they'd get a taste of what real game development feels like, I guess?  why so serious?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 12:00:31 AM by Zetor »

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Reply #104 on: April 29, 2015, 12:12:29 AM

Not really.  They'd just ignore it and let the sweet sweet pennies roll in while not touching the mod, while valve QA would have to deal with endless tickets demanding refunds because valve sold them a product that doesn't work.

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