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Valve now allows devs to charge for Steam Workshop mods, community riots

Hayden Dingman | April 27, 2015
Draw up a list of the Top 5 Reasons to be a PC Gamer and you'd better make sure mod support is at the top. The ability for the PC community to come together and fix games that are broken, extend the lifespan of old games, or even convert games to entirely new purposes is the best reason to stay away from consoles. Just last week I replayed Max Payne (released in 2001) and used both a community patch that fixes some audio glitches and a mod to play in widescreen. Amazing.

On the other hand...it's always been free. And that's part of what made it so attractive. People have fixed or worked on the most random of games and glitches, just from love of the source material. And when certain mods don't work, you just uninstall them and move on. You don't get mad. You don't feel burned. Charging for mods now brings a whole new level of developer accountability into the equation that was unnecessary before. What happens when a developer scams people? Or under-delivers on promises? Who's responsible?

I'm not ready to sound the death knell on mods yet. If there's one thing I've learned about PC gaming, it's that it's incredibly resilient. When damage occurs — whether DRM or servers being taken offline or a broken port or what have you — the community will rally and route around it. We'll just have to wait and see whether over time the community sees Valve's little experiment here as "damage" or something to embrace.

 

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