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Valve: Skyrim was the wrong place to try and debut paid mods

Some Valve staffers believe the company's short-lived paid mod initiative was a good idea launched in the wrong place at the wrong time, & they seem open to trying again -- with a different game.
"We need to be the people who are making sure that value is being compensated for appropriately. We think people getting paid is really important."

- Valve's Erik Johnson reflects on the company's decision to debut paid mods on Steam, starting with Bethesda's 2011 hit Skyrim.

At least some of the people working at Valve believe the company's short-lived paid mod initiative was a good idea launched in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they seem open to trying again -- either in a Valve game, or with something entirely new.

"I don’t think it matters whether it’s a game of ours or not,” Valve representative Erik Johnson told Kotaku, during a conversation about allowing mod creators to charge money on Steam for their work. “but I do agree that walking into a pre-existing, very mature community is probably not the best place to start."

Johnson also expressed regret over Valve's failure to roll the program out with a showcase product -- a mod that clearly required significant effort to produce and therefore made a more immediate case for paid mods.

"You need something that’s like, ‘Here’s the new thing. Somebody spent a couple years on it, and it’s amazing. It’s for sale,’” said Johnson. “We didn’t really have anything like that [last time], so it came across poorly."

These comments echo Valve's statement back in April that "we didn't understand exactly what we were doing" and that the company would be analyzing "a dump truck of feedback" after it abruptly removed paid mods from Steam just four days after they debuted

For more thoughts from Johnson and fellow Valve staffer Robin Walker about the program, check out the full Kotaku article.

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