Gabe Newell defends paid mods against the fury of an angry Internet

Brace yourselves, the downvotes are coming

The PC gaming community has been up in arms ever since Valve announced a few days ago that the Skyrim Steam Workshop would start allowing modders to charge money for previously free user-created mods. To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Internet was less than excited about the news.

Following what has no doubt been a torrential amount of hate mail, Valve CEO Gabe Newell has chosen to deal with the issue in the bravest way possible: by starting an AMA on reddit.

Users were quick to fling accusations at Newell, but some genuinely good dialogue has emerged from the thread. According to Newell, Valve firmly believes that paid mods will have a positive effect on the community and “increase the investment in quality modding, not hurt it.”

“Our goal is to make modding better for the authors and gamers,” said Newell. “If something doesn’t help with that, it will get dumped. Right now I’m more optimistic that this will be a win for authors and gamers, but we are always going to be data driven.”

Newell confirmed that modders will not only have the option to keep their mods free, but will also be able to use a ‘pay what you want’ styled system instead of a set price. While it’s not quite the donate option Steam users have been petitioning for, Newell seems confident its a step in the right direction.

I’m not sure if Newell’s comments will help put Steam users at ease or just poke the fire but people are still furious judging by the reddit thread. With some paid mods already being pulled from the Steam Workshop, I don’t expect this conversation to quiet down any time soon.

Alissa McAloon