Paid Mods Are Being 'Re-Evaluated' at Bethesda

By Ian Dransfield on at

Paid mods might have died just days after they began, but Bethesda's Pete Hines doesn't sound like a man who's totally given up on them.

Speaking with Gamespot, Hines was pushed into giving something up about the controversial move to monetising unofficial add-ons:

"I think our stance on it is we're going to re-evaluate it going forward," he said, "I think that we feel like there is a case to be made that people who spend a lot of time working on mods ought to be able to have a way of monetizing what they're doing.

"Certainly some of the folks that we talked to were very interested in and supportive of the idea. We had creators who said, 'I've been asking for donations for years and never saw anything, and I made more in one day.' So why would I not support that?"

It's the sort of logic you can understand – pay the author, and all that – but Bethesda and Valve's initial cut of 45 and 30 per cent, respectively, rubbed people up the wrong way.

Maybe we'll see paid mods return with a different split in the earnings; I know for one I'd like to be able to reward the likes of Enderal, or maybe the upcoming Forgotten City mod for the amount of work put in. I'd put XCOM: Long War in there too as it's ace and its creators deserve financial reward, but I did a voice for the game so conflict of interest.

But for now Hines maintains the studio is focused on other, Fallout 4-shaped things:

"I honestly, genuinely, don't know what it means for the future. It was an idea we worked on with those guys for Skyrim; it didn't pan out. It came back down.

"Honestly, [we have] bigger fish to fry right now than sorting that out."

If you need a reminder on just what happened with the whole paid mods thing, we posted an excellent feature from Edge just the other day. Give it a shufty, it'll tell you all you need to know.