BEDA 2015: 26 – The Paid Mods Debate


So I like playing games with mods, one of which being Skyrim. So with no new topic for today I figured I should express my thoughts on the whole paid mods thing that happened a few days ago. The screenshots I’m using aren’t of the paid mods but rather of my most recent playthrough and the mods I’ve installed.


Now I can understand the reasons for doing this. Mods take a lot of work to make and rewarding the mod creator for their work. If they’d introduced a donate button so that you could choose to pay a mod creator for a mod you liked then no one would complain. But of course that would mean Valve and Bethesda couldn’t take a 75% cut of the profit.


Another problem is how mods are going to pile up. Someone who is fine paying for mods is going to start buying several as many of the paid mods I’ve seen add one sword or set of armour and when I play Skyrim I like to mix and match several mods. Now of course that’s completely up to you but if one paid mod requires another paid mod (which you know is going to happen) you’ll be paying for two mods when you’re only interested in one. And of course if someone who makes a mod several other free mods require to work decides to charge for their mods that’s going to result in people paying money to use a free mod (or pirating it).


So will this destroy the mod community? No, of course not. There will continue to be free mods for Skyrim on both the Steam Workshop and the Nexus. But it will change things and if you don’t want to pay for any mods you’re going to end up missing out on mods or finding a way to get it for free despite the mod author’s wishes. People on both sides are going to be upset no matter how things move forwards. Personally I think that there should be a donate button on mod creator pages so all mods are free but you can pay the creator if you like their mods and want to reward them for their work. As things are I look at a paid mod and think “yes that looks cool but it’s not worth paying for when this even cooler mod that adds more is free”.


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