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"Opening up Arma 3 to paid user-made content" - How?

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@indeed pete, I dont' really disagree that the execution has not been great so far, but so far has been a total of a day and a half, I think over time it will improve. Tons of (most) good things were crap when they first released, but time will tell.

They probably should have communicated that properly in the first place. I didn't follow the Skyrim modding scene but from what I read it hit many people unexpectedly. And the way it is right now, all seven gates to fraud and forgery hell are wide open. It's a common problem with internet content, also for many bloggers, that their stuff gets stolen and monetised elsewhere. Problem is most people don't have the resources to take on lawsuits every other week. Without money involved the damage for creators is far less if their content gets stolen. It really is a diffcult can of worms Valve opened there. Supporting modders is good thinking though I doubt Valve took that approach out of pure goodness. We'll see how it develops and if enough people storm the barricades to take down or change that system.

I truly hope BIS won't make the same mistakes and communicates with us long before introducing a similar system!

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They probably should have communicated that properly in the first place. I didn't follow the Skyrim modding scene but from what I read it hit many people unexpectedly. And the way it is right now, all seven gates to fraud and forgery hell are wide open. It's a common problem with internet content, also for many bloggers, that their stuff gets stolen and monetised elsewhere. Problem is most people don't have the resources to take on lawsuits every other week. Without money involved the damage for creators is far less if their content gets stolen. It really is a diffcult can of worms Valve opened there. Supporting modders is good thinking though I doubt Valve took that approach out of pure goodness. We'll see how it develops and if enough people storm the barricades to take down or change that system.

I truly hope BIS won't make the same mistakes and communicates with us long before introducing a similar system!

In all fairness, BI cares a lot more about it's customers than Bethesda does.

I can totally see Bethesda continuing the trend of half-assing their games and passing the honus onto mod makers to "fix" the game.

I think people are making out to be a bigger problem than it actually is, and it's not really Valve's fault, I have no idea why people think this way. It's 100% on the companies who do shitty work.

The reason why the Fallout and TES games are so mod-heavy is because the games are targeted for the lowest common denominator to begin with, most people I know can't enjoy them without adding mods because they're shit-boring otherwise.

That's 100% Bethesda's fault for not taking interest in what consumers are doing in favor of diversifying the number of people they can sell to.

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Time to uninstall Arma 3 and find a new hobby.

R.I.P. videogames

A bit overreacting don't you think? Arma's workshop is not pay for yet and not all addon makers, including mission makers and so on will be intending to use it if it does happen.

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I will say this, even though I'm not really averse to authors being reasonably compensated if the amount of work they've done merits it.

The one way BI will fuck this whole thing up is if they incorporate DRM for addons.

As far as I'm concerned the only reasonable implementation for the pay system is that it simply registers on steam after you've paid, that you're allowed to download that addon from steam.

If they start using BIkeys as DRM or checksums for addons or some garbage, that'll be it. They will have screwed the pooch.

It's one thing to offer a means to support addonmakers, it's another if it involves being more invasive and intruding upon the user's experience.

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I have to say it. I will never fucking pay for a mod.

Modding has been free for over two decades now. All of a sudden you want to change the modding landscape in one fell swoop? Not happening.

I will not shell out any money no matter the quality. It could be RHS, ALiVE, and TEI combined and that shit wouldn't fly. You were fine making it for free and enjoying the community for two decades and now you want money? Fuck that.

And the majority of gamers agree with me. I hope no BIS modder charges for their mod. If more games adopt this then that potentially means people will need to shell out thousands of dollars to mod their games. Imagine all the mods you have for ArmA III being nickled and dimed. That cost adds up. Imagine all the Skyrim, New Vegas, and Fallout 3 mods nickled and dimed. Not happening.

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Once you sign the NDA then give your work away... Wow Skyrim BS... Zenimax is evil..

As much as I like to see Mods be in the market place, Steam is shit, ELUA theft, pure theft. "But they pay you.." LOL They even took down the ability to donate.... They will take all your games if you sue them.

This is like the Music Biz till Digital freed the artist from thieving sharks/lawyers (not to be confused with pirating). As soon as you sigh the line THEY own your work, and can out Lawyer you. I see a class action in five years about this trend...

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@roshnak, Adobe does have a store where they sell extensions though, and you can bet your ass they have a revenue cut. They don't disclose how much it is to outsiders, but it's written there in the general terms of the service. I'm not sure how it is for Autodesk, but either way it's a much much smaller customer base, so maybe they just don't care.

I believe that Adobe's store would be more analogous to Steam in this case: taking a cut for distribution. I can't find anywhere in Adobe's terms of service that says that extension/plugin developers are obligated to give Adobe a percentage of their profits if they don't use Adobe Exchange.

Also, professional modders absolutely do exist and have existed for years in the flight sim community (and apparently in the train sim community, and maybe others). As far as I am aware, they don't pay a cut to the developers or publishers of the games that they mod for.

http://www.aerosoft.com/cgi-local/us/iboshop.cgi?show270

http://www.pmdgsimulations.com/pages/product/fsx.html

https://www.simshack.net/

A few examples.

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The cut isnt the issue... the ownership is.

If that extends to personal DRM, then it should never happen at all.

I believe in compensating quality content creators, but if it results in a more closed user community than it has been, then it's the absolute wrong way to go.

Perhaps a donation system is better overall.

I have no problem donating to content creators I appreciate.

Edited by Pd3

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I believe that Adobe's store would be more analogous to Steam in this case: taking a cut for distribution. I can't find anywhere in Adobe's terms of service that says that extension/plugin developers are obligated to give Adobe a percentage of their profits if they don't use Adobe Exchange.

Also, professional modders absolutely do exist and have existed for years in the flight sim community (and apparently in the train sim community, and maybe others). As far as I am aware, they don't pay a cut to the developers or publishers of the games that they mod for.

http://www.aerosoft.com/cgi-local/us/iboshop.cgi?show270

http://www.pmdgsimulations.com/pages/product/fsx.html

https://www.simshack.net/

A few examples.

If you look at Adobe's terms of service for their extension store, they say that Adobe receives a share of the revenue from all sales, they just don't mention how much. I imagine they don't tell you until you're ready to actually sell with them, or sign up for their service at the least. Even if they didn't charge, it appears that most of the store features require a yearly subscription cost for their platform.

I don't believe that many of those flight sim products aren't sharing a cut with the developers, seeing as how many of them are listed as official add-ons on steam, endorsed by the developers.

http://store.steampowered.com/dlc/292180/

I'm pretty sure that this is the way it works for any paid add-on content, or at least the vast majority, it's just not as plainly visible in raw numbers and percentages as this Steam program has been. You're just not allowed to sell content that straight up uses other people's work inside it like that, it's not legal in the large majority of cases. This is why in the past most mods that have 'made it big' (Counterstrike for example) were either hired by the the developers themselves, or turned the product into a full stand-alone game in cooperation with the developers.

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Here's an article with a bunch of good points:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/04/24/valves-paid-skyrim-mods-are-a-legal-ethical-and-creative-disaster/

all of which would be true for Arma3's paid mods. These paid mods isn't an effective way to help a modder, but rather it's a cash-in scheme for Valve and original game's developers for monetizing community-made content. Instead of "higher quality mods" it will lead to a split community, scandals, thefts etc. And I don't think there's going to be much money made in the end, by all parties involved.

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Here's an article with a bunch of good points:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/04/24/valves-paid-skyrim-mods-are-a-legal-ethical-and-creative-disaster/

all of which would be true for Arma3's paid mods. These paid mods isn't an effective way to help a modder, but rather it's a cash-in scheme for Valve and original game's developers for monetizing community-made content. Instead of "higher quality mods" it will lead to a split community, scandals, thefts etc. And I don't think there's going to be much money made in the end, by all parties involved.

Then perhaps the best course of action is for perhaps addonmakers to provide their own means for people to offer donations.

I don't know, this is all very new and striking a reasonable balance will be tricky without causing some potential problems.

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Dean Hall's thoughts on the 75% revenue split:

I think he makes a good point. A mod on its own is not worth anything. The majority of what you are playing is still the game, not the mod. So anything less than 50% of the revenue going to the developer would actually not make much sense. The reason this system works is that for bigger mods that constitute a larger portion of the player experience, they can carry a larger price tag. Still the same revenue split, but you're making more money with a higher price tag. And people can accept a higher price tag because it's a more substantial mod.

it's even more complicated

those about cuts, read those additional rules pages, in of them in section 2. is clearly explained the % and values ranges are setup by publisher and split inbetween

main mod developer, mod sub-developers, game publisher (game developer? if not same), Valve (and there is option for share of this to go to defined services like Polycount)

and that excludes taxes ofc

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It's weird as to why all subcategories (developer, publisher...) are united under "valve takes 75%."

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It's weird as to why all subcategories (developer, publisher...) are united under "valve takes 75%."

None of us really knows where that 75% is going - Valve is the easy target because they're the ones who have to say it. We all hate the taxman for taking our money, not the doctors who's wages are paid with it :p

(Of course, in this scenario, the doctor is actually a lawyer who's helping Zenimax sue John Carmack. I don't think corporate lawyers were even particularly well liked to begin with...)

Edited by BiggerDave
my teribul speling

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It's weird as to why all subcategories (developer, publisher...) are united under "valve takes 75%."

I don't see anything weird in it, Valve is the one that acts as the distributor and central contract party to all those affiliated so the contracts are made between Valve and modders when they push their product to workshop. The text is also obviously designed so that it can be used with any other publishers and games, not just Skyrim / Betheseda / Zenimax as it is now.

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@roshnak, Adobe does have a store where they sell extensions though, and you can bet your ass they have a revenue cut. They don't disclose how much it is to outsiders, but it's written there in the general terms of the service. I'm not sure how it is for Autodesk, but either way it's a much much smaller customer base, so maybe they just don't care.

please stop talking out of your ass, you're making a foul out of yourself. Autodesk has a similar userbase with adobe. for both adobe and adsk, most plugins, scripts and other similar tools are NOT sold on a set marketplace similar to steam, but on a really wide range of marketplaces (from personal websites, blogs etc), and neither autodesk or adobe takes a cut out of any of it.

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It's weird as to why all subcategories (developer, publisher...) are united under "valve takes 75%."

Because they're the ones holding the purse strings - all the revenue ultimately goes to them before the other parties get their cut and that only happens when their share since the last payment has grown to be worth >$100.

It's not really an issue for devs, publishers etc. since they have multiple streams of revenue through Steam so will accumulate >$100 every month and access to all the money generated by mod sales for their games each month will flow through that. The only people who will be denied payment for extended periods of time are the content creators waiting for their pot to fill, emptying it (if they get the chance) and slowly waiting for it to fill again before they see another cent.

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Wow, now that is some shady work there being sold. Gladly, it has already been reported. I mean, 250000 gold every other day? Really?! GOLD?! This bloody game has a cheat console! Since Morrowind I've been cheating my way through the Elder Scrolls games, just for fun! And now they're selling gold! As a mod! For 2.99$! That is ridiculous! Can't wait for Bethesda to remove the cheat console by patch so people actually have to buy mods for infinite gold... :D

Edited by IndeedPete

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Can't wait for Bethesda to remove the cheat console by patch so people actually have to by mods for infinite gold...

More likely no one sane will buy it. The more if paired with kind of quality approval requirement before can be monetized, because it's doubtful, they want turn this into lol-content fest. Financial and legal terms still suck atm.

It should be really exciting to see this experiment evolving into something stable (acceptable enough for all involved)... Or collapsing.

Of course, as any revolution, it's pretty noisy at the beginning due to protests of all, that are affraid of the unknown/change/new order. Some worries are valid, while other - pure hysteria. Interesting times indeed.

BTW none of the mods/custom content, I'm using for any of my games was taken via Steam. Hmm. In fact whole Workshop for Arma so far was for me a disappointment, even despite, I didn't expected much.

As for my personal opinion as a player this time, I have nothing against even if all mods would become paid. Simply because proper payment for the work done is fair. So at worst I'll use less of them and choose them more carefully or none. I can live with that, others can too. If a modder is so generous, and has chosen to give me all his work for free - awesome. If not - fair enough. Same, as for any other fruits of labor in life.

Still, as a modder, I would be really affraid of/cautious with entering this full of traps, monsters and dark corners dungeon of monetizing mods.

So, as for the shares - it's currently far from any fairness, thus it sucks. It's about business, means maximization of the profit, not about fairness, which would assume share proportional to the work put into sold thing (a mod). That means nearly all for the modder, some tiny share for Valve covering work/costs actually put into handling the monetizing system and maybe other tiny share for game publisher/developer, if he put any own work into this selling possibility too, otherwise - not a penny for him (no work, no money). And only then each pays the tax from his share according to the law in his country. Not in this world though.

Edited by Rydygier

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Because they're the ones holding the purse strings - all the revenue ultimately goes to them before the other parties get their cut and that only happens when their share since the last payment has grown to be worth >$100.

It's not really an issue for devs, publishers etc. since they have multiple streams of revenue through Steam so will accumulate >$100 every month and access to all the money generated by mod sales for their games each month will flow through that. The only people who will be denied payment for extended periods of time are the content creators waiting for their pot to fill, emptying it (if they get the chance) and slowly waiting for it to fill again before they see another cent.

Yes Valve is monopolist in regards to steam workshop - no other service allows stored mods to be downloaded straight in game.

(note Nexus and the Armaholic for example are external services, you gotta download and manually install/configure).In order

to get better reception Valve should be more open in this regard what goes where and why.But is evident that there is no

system in place to curate or sort mods with their price, no communication beforehand with community in regards to new system.

Take a look at this:

What happens if mod author don't release patch?

Sometimes one mod may modify the same files as another mod, or a particular combination of mods may cause unexpected outcomes. If you find that mod has broken or is behaving unexpectedly, it is best to post politely on the Workshop item's page and let the mod author know the details of what you are seeing.

Literally from steam workshop support mod authors webpage

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This whole situation is a mess on many different levels

Modders should be allowed to request money for their hard work!

Nobody denies that. If he feels he needs to be paid it's his choice. I've donated money to several modders, because I appreciated quality of their mod. It will lower overall quality of mods but solution is to that just not buy shitty mods.

Thing is Valve's system is unacceptable as alternative because:

  • Out of 10 eurobucks donated, €10 went to modder. Not €2.5, after 300% steam tax was substracted
  • I've played mods BEFORE donating, so I knew these are worth supporting.
  • There's no one responsible for quality control. If it's broken than sucks to be you. If it's broken by patch sucks to be you. If it bloats your savegame sucks to be you. Modder may fix it, but doesn't have to.
  • 24 hour "refund" is no refund at all. You pay real money, you get imaginary valvebucks back, while chargeback is a banable offence.

There's also issue of who owns the mod.

  • It's damn near impossible to remove stolen content from the workshop.
  • Above already causes people to withdraw mods, because they don't want to take part in such shady activities.
  • Even if mod gets removed somehow, Valve keeps money.

It's publisher's right to recieve share from derative work!

Someone who has Skyrim installed please paste part of Creation Kit EULA that says that. That should settle that.

Next thing you'll see will be publishers demanding money for using gameplay footage in youtube videos

Nintendo already did

What REALLY bothers me is lack of Bohemia's response to current situation.

In my opinion it means they want to take part in it (who would say "no" to free money of other's work?), but are afraid of beign caught in current clusterfuck, as there's no guaranty Valve's model will stay.

Edited by boota

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