Despite only having been in place for a few tumultuous days, paid Steam Workshop mods are no more.
We're going to remove the payment feature from the Skyrim workshop,” Valve has said. 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.
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.”
Valve added that its chief motivation was purely to allow mod creators the opportunity to go ‘professional' and better service the mod communities.
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,” it added. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there's a useful feature somewhere here.”
In a separate statement prior to Valve's, Bethesda had at one stage argued at length as to why it believed in the idea.
In our early discussions regarding Workshop with Valve, they presented data showing the effect paid user content has had on their games, their players, and their modders. All of it hugely positive,” it originally wrote. They showed, quite clearly, that allowing content creators to make money increased the quality and choice that players had. They asked if we would consider doing the same.
This was in 2012 and we had many questions, but only one demand. It had to be open, not curated like the current models. Three years later and Valve has finally solved the technical and legal hurdles to make such a thing possible, and they should be celebrated for it. It wasn't easy. They are not forcing us, or any other game, to do it. They are opening a powerful new choice for everyone.
However, shortly after the post went live it was updated with the following brief statement: After discussion with Valve, and listening to our community, paid mods are being removed from Steam Workshop. Even though we had the best intentions, the feedback has been clear – this is not a feature you want. Your support means everything to us, and we hear you.”