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Server monetization program

Monetization program  

204 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you feel that the current monetization program is / was beneficial for the community at large?

    • YES
      27
    • NO
      177
  2. 2. Would you agree with server monetization program

    • YES
      40
    • NO
      164
  3. 3. Would you agree with addon monetization program

    • YES
      54
    • NO
      150


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5 minutes ago, NeoArmageddon said:

[...]

The bigger mods like Ace, RHS, etc may profit from it [...]

note here, since you've mentioned it: 
RHS will ALWAYS remain free for its users, and there will be NO monetization whatsoever.

 

there is no relation between this thread and RHS, carry on ;)

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Just now, PuFu said:

RHS will ALWAYS remain free for its users, and there will be NO monetization whatsoever.

 

there is no relation between this thread and RHS, carry on ;)

 

Not wanted to imply that. Just saying that only these kind of mods (size, scope, etc) may even be able to profit from addon monetization (next to hat mods of course).

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Everyone related to running servers (Server Admins/GSP's) and playing (Twitch/Youtube) have the option to monetize. While proven content creators are left with an unsustainable hobby that demands more time than anyone can justify. 


Hence why most members of modding teams fade away leaving only a few stubborn members. Then a new team pops up and slowly learns the same thing and the cycle repeats.
 

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4 hours ago, PuFu said:

4. there are people that, although do not want their addon to be monetized, they don't have the time and resources to go ahead and hunt the people that are infringing their rules. After a few reports and frustrations they ussually say fuck these and stop modding altogether - this is a hobby, and it should be treated like one.

 

i would sign this all day.

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I would be ok with allowing modders to charge a small price for the content they make. I think they should require the servers that use their mods to pay for that content as well.  

 

Perhaps 3% of the price could go to BIS since they provided the platform for others to profit from?

 

I think that competition would keep modders from charging ridiculous prices since hopefully no one would pay $60 for a few rifles and a Hello Kitty Bulldozer. 

Also, it should be a one time price, not like a subscription to keep using the mod every month, that would be terrible.

 

 

As for Clans/servers like Hostile Takeover - King of the Hill... They don't require you to have a subscription to play on those servers, the first 89 slots are free for anyone to join. When the server has 90 people that's when the remaining slots are reserved for VIP members.   - I think this is the way to go. 
 

 

Personally I don't like using mods, the only mod I've used a lot was IronFront. I have RHS and all that but it stopped working and I never cared to fix it. I enjoy playing on servers that use vanilla/DLC content.

 

MY WISH...

 

I'm not sure who would have the power to do this, but my wish/hope would be that someone would design their addon or BIS would design the game so that addons would be like DLC content. This way you can still join a modded server if you don't have the mod, you just can't use whatever content is modded.

 

(I realize this might ruin the immersion or theme for some servers so I guess you should be able to choose to block or allow vanilla content as well.)

Perhaps though, this would open up more game mode/ server options for vanilla/DLC players like myself. 
 

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1. Do you feel that the current monetization program is / was beneficial for the community at large?

I see no benefit in it, first of all it has caused more issues and more work for everyone involved. BI has to approve them, mod authors who don't want their mod to be used on a monetized server have to bother with it. I am not saying people were not charging for things they shouldn't before, but at least it was all clear that they shouldn't all-together.

Secondly, some (I can't say how many or anything) monetized server admins say they need a lot of money to run a server. That is simply not true at all. Perfect example is recent petition to keep allowing monetization, in it was a price for a server, quote from highlights section:

Quote

Running a small server cost atleast 50 USD and can run to 500 a month!

This is completely absurd, if it isn't plain lie than someone is seriously overpaying it.

 

There was also another figure:

Quote

our costs are over $5000 per month because our community utilizes professional content creators

We can debate stolen content and whatever, but that's not the point. This is exaggerated either way, coming from a Life mod, there is no chance they have content that is worth that. I would be interested to see where that money actually goes.

 

2. Would you agree with server monetization program

Servers can run perfectly fine purely on donations, many if not most communities do and are operating perfectly fine.

 

3. Would you agree with addon monetization program

Mods should always be free. Again, there are donations that can be done. Monetizing addons means more problems with usage and hunting down who shouldn't use what... etc. Just keep it simple.

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I only voted Yes for Server Monetiziation because especially in the Life and Exile community (It's always nice to call them out :D) I feel like the Audience is very young and young people are not very inclined to donate to the Server owners for doing their work.

Though young people are even more inclined for giving money to have a small benefit which is exactly the Market for Mobile games for example Clash of Clans. They make millions of kids paying money to be better than other kids.

This makes it way easier for Server owners to get their cost back in.

But of cause I feel like it's also being misused by many Server owners that know that kids are more inclined to pay, Targeting their monetization to get all the money they can get. Making a profitable business out of it instead of just covering the costs.

Monetizing Servers is fine for me if it doesn't get out of hand. For example to get a reserved Slot in case the Server is full or something. Of cause that money should then be used to get a better Server with more Slots, which most Servers probably won't do. But if you allow people to take money there will always be People misusing it.

 

Arma is a Game for some. But for most People it's more of a Hobby.

Of cause I would like to get some money for my Hobby, but thats what Donations are for.

 

I can see Modders wanting a small Fee for big Servers that use their Mods like Infistar does. Because big Servers mostly have the money to spent (As long as server monetization is allowed). But Modders taking money from the Players is wrong IMO and I don't think its possible anyway.

And don't say Modders are left behind because they are not allowed to monetize their work. Just put a Donation Link up and say "Please help me keep working on these Mods as a Hobby"


I also got some Money for Modding around. Just People that appreciate my work and want to Donate something. If you don't have People appreciating your work enough to help you a bit you are doing something wrong. Sometimes People just don't think about it, so write a small notice on the Download page or in the Readme. No one would get angry about that.

 

 

4 minutes ago, jonpas said:

Secondly, some (I can't say how many or anything) monetized server admins say they need a lot of money to run a server. That is simply not true at all. Perfect example is recent petition to keep allowing monetization, in it was a price for a server, quote from highlights section:

Have to agree. I hosted Servers for about 30 People with just $15 a month. Of cause it skales upwards but if you are too dumb to choose what you need it's not the Players fault. A community I'm playing with is paying 70€ a month for their 10 members. Thats just overkill. In Todays day and age you have a choice.

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Alright, so my opinion on the topic.

A while ago I ran a gaming server for a different game and paid out of my own pocket. I am by no means rich, so I realize that this impacts your finances. The game in question did not allow monetization of servers, still there were several thousand servers out there and to the best of my knowledge there are some still today.

 

Personally, I think that money is poison. This is a hobby for most of us, and hobbies cost money. If you cannot afford it, look for a different hobby. I feel that, like PuFu said in the first post, you would either need to allow monetization for everyone, or for no one. Personally, I have expenses as well (I have a Photoshop subscription, buy software like Quixel and 3d Coat) and have spent endless hours with modding and mission making - I daresay more than any server admin will have to ever invest into his server. My feeling is that allowing monetization for servers only is unfair, and if at all it should be extended to addon makers as well.

 

However...

 

Monetizing addons will split the community. If I think about our server, having X paid addons would mean some of our players might no longer be willing to play because of this. Not to mention what could happen when the usual addon stealing starts and people sell addons they don't own, or that they ripped from other games. We see it already in how many times CUP is illegally used on monetized servers, and I imagine that the same is true for other big addons like RHS. I just don't think that it is feasible.

 

Hence, "no" to monetization from me.

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On 2/4/2017 at 9:59 PM, fn_Quiksilver said:

im just not sure what is wrong with the current monetization program?

The current monetization program allows server hosts to ask money for their services, mainly to allow them to recover costs of a server.

The same grace is not extended to modders at all. 

However, speaking as a CUP member, I can assure you that having "a server" is vital for larger mods as well. You all know our CUP issue tracker, which is hosted on one server, while the website is hosted on another. These servers cost as much money as the game server that people are allowed to charge for, while modders are not allowed to charge for it.

Moreover, monetizing servers are basically allowed (if the modder allows it) to make money out of the mods that modders create. See the problem here ? The server admin can use the work of modders for monetary gain while the modders are not allowed to do this. This is clearly unfair.

Yeah, servers cost money. So do our internal servers that we need for our modding efforts. So, I'm 100 % with PuFu here, either allow it for admins AND modders, or none at all.


Personally, I think monetizing, whether it's servers or mods, is poisonous to the community. It will lead to secrecy, jealousy, infighting, one server reporting the other server for violations because they have been found out but the other wasn't. It will only create bad blood. I'm 100 % against paid servers and paid mods.

Naturally, three times NO from me
 

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On 2/5/2017 at 9:56 AM, PuFu said:

one solution would be to simply disallow any mods to be used on monetized servers by default, unless the owner comes forward with a list of addons that are to be used, and that list has permission in writing from their respective owners (and there is a real confirmation beforehand anyways). 

 

What i am trying to say is that in the current situation only one part has something to gain at the expense of everyone else...there is no real framework that allows control over the way these monetized servers are running their "business".

 

PS: i am not saying everyone is a dick about how their run their servers, i am saying that from my own experience 80% are though


Written text to say monetization is allowed will have no real effect.
People are required to ask permission beforehand atm.
You have to remember BIS has setup the current system to require as little work as possible on there side.

Mainly because they aren't making any money of the current system to pay for hours.
Also increasing the workload means less money to spend on game development.

Also people will always be people that say screw it and ignore the rules regardless.

Atm its up to addon authors to decide if people want to montize.
I am actually surprised no-one has made a tool to report all monetized approved servers running X client addons.

-----------------------------------

Personally i think addon makers should be allowed to monitze via steam workshop if they like to.

Valve / BIS / Uploader all takes a cut

Person that uploads doesn't receive any money for the first months.
This is done incase the money has ripped / stolen content it can be refunded.
Money towards BIS can go towards Server Monitization & Addon Approval to get monitzed (if required).

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Modding is a hobby and should remain like that only. The steam paid mods never went well so neither would an attempt by BI work either. Also in relation to the eventual mention of servers only being able to survive through making money from modded work. If you cant afford to run it why begin it in the first place?

 

Inb4 someone mentions if it wasn't for their paid server nobody would play arma 3. Ofp, A1 and A2 all managed fine without monetisation, I'm sure arma 3 is completely fine without it as well.

 

Arma could probably use with a few less dead servers anyway.

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On 2/5/2017 at 2:24 PM, NeoArmageddon said:

Another thing is: Even that CUP is completly free, people are already flipping the finger at the project for "just ripping A2 stuff without doing actual work" on it.The average user just doesn't understand how many hours of work it takes to get a simple addon release ready, be it completly new from the ground up, or an port/derivate of something else.


Exactly. We've recently made a rough calculation about how many hours were put into CUP by all it's members, and we got to something in excess of 10000 hours, including the work on the mod itself, the website, tools written,etc

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49 minutes ago, squirrel0311 said:

I would be ok with allowing modders to charge a small price for the content they make.

 

I wonder, why are you saying "small price" ?

Are you aware of the prices some servers ask from their users ? We've seen sites that charge you in excess of 50 Dollar per month for in-game items (like, sniper rifles) which is of course completely illegal since they aren't allowed to sell anything that's not cosmetic. But why are you saying "small price" while people sell clothing items in their server shops for 10 Dollar ? 

But there you see the problem with the whole scheme, and why I think it shouldn't be there in the first place

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I just want to address an argument that's always brought up from the "Pro Monetization" side (and has been brought up in this thread, too): Needing the monetization money to pay for the server.

 

As a leader of one of the larger ArmA communities in the german sector, I can say: this is simply not true. There was a time where I paid our server myself, with my own money. About two years ago (IIRC, exactly two years ago), we started to do so called "donation runs", where we would give members of our community the opportunity to donate some money if they wished so - completely voluntarily, without getting anything in return. Since then, I never had to pay the server with my own money again. Our last donation run was in December 2016 and collected over 1100€, which will pay our server for more then the next two years (the server is ~40€/month, and it's running several websites, Arma servers and HCs without any performance problems). 

 

So whenever someone says he needs monetization to pay for the server, I just don't get it. If you can't run your community by voluntary donations or your own money, you probably shouldn't be running a community at all.

 

//Edit: In case anyone still wanders: I'm on the triple-nope-train.

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So here are my 2ct...

First of all, i'm riding the "tripple-nope-train" here.
As soon as money is involved shit is about to get down, and that's a fact! Everybody can see it, because otherwise this topic would have never came up...

I would be more than happy to shut this whole thing down, but i'm affraid this will never happen. By allowing the monetization BI opened up pandoras box and will never be able to close it.
Sure, some rules are set to get an approval by BI, but those rules are not enough. Not even closely...
Nobody knows how much money those admins really make, mostly without even paying taxes. This is shady as fuck IMO. There must be addintional rules set like:

  • Only one legal way to purchase money to the server admins (e.g. paypal)
  • montly paypal reports from the approved servers to BI about income and also make them puplic visible
  • maximum payment per player/server (5€ player/month)
  • maximum allowed income per server admin (i'd say 200€ is more than enough to keep a root server running)
  • enforcement of lawsuits against violaters and not just shutting down the server / steam workshop
  • approval for monetization requires to send in a copy of an ID or passport to get a hold on a person for lawsuits if violation happens

Once this is done, we can take care of the modders. I got an idea about that also:

  • every approved server has to pay a percentage fee to BI
  • every income that is over the max. allowed income per server goes to BI
  • the split and the overplus that BI receives goes to a central account
  • every modder must be allowed to join some sort of organisation that gets the split and the overplus of the monetization programm.
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If server monitization continues it is unfair to keep addons and mission non-monetizable. The reason many monetized servers have their appeal is that they use content from the community.

 

However it has shown that even server monetisation already creates an extremely hostile environment for mods. Certain server owners cobble together anything they find on the internet, just for the sake of getting money for it (most in the RP/Life servers). They seek support for whatever they try to do in the community, only then to keep what they learned to themself and not help any other in return. Anything original they might do themself is kept under lock as best as they can, as someone else might steal it from them to use it for money. That such "mods" have terrible quality is obvious, and also contributor to arma's public performance reception.

#not all life mods   #but most of them #not only life mods

 

So even though i like money, i rather have a modding friendly community than the invasion of people with outright parasitic behaviour we currently have.

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Money is super space cancer to modding. The moment you introduce money to modding it all goes to shit in a really swift manner. Just look at the total trainwreck that was Skyrim paid modding.

 

Forever Free!

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I would be ok if BIS hand pics well executed mods (or missions) and offers the creators to sell them as "community DLC", using the DLC approach that they have used for their products (provided that the content is suitable for such things). After BIS ran the mod through quality controll (performance etc) they will provide technical assistance. The modder must ensure that quality problems are adressed and that all license issues are solved. BIS receives a proportion of the income due to work involved. Price should be proportional to efford required, but should generally be fairly low.

 

Quote

Just look at the total trainwreck that was Skyrim paid modding

Thats because neither bethesda nor valve wanted to make their hands dirty with quality controll, or price regulations. The rest was people beeing cheapskates and not putting money where their mouth is.

 

"rofl lol lol modders can do it better than developers themself" ... "but i'm still not giving them anything. I payed 50€ for the game 4 years ago after all"

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I would say they should only be able to monetize it if it's distributed through the Steam Workshop so people can rate the addons, rate the developer, provide comments, request refunds, file infringement claims, etc. and all of that would be handled by Steam (hopefully), not BIS. I'd still be a little leery of monetization because the community has produced so many addons already without monetization being a factor. I would just worry that the 'spirit' of things would change once money was directly introduced but I would accept it if it's something that happened because if it is someone's work, I believe they have the right to profit from it if they decide to pursue it however the 'market' would probably self regulate. Communities will probably avoid low value relatively high cost mods in an effort to retain members so the problem of direct addon monetization might be a problem that solves itself. The combination of community reviews and poor sales due to a desire for community cohesion may end up discouraging dabbling in the market by flaky profit seeking devs and continue to encourage free to use releases. I'm just saying: Destruction of the ARMA community due to addon monetization is probably something you wouldn't have to worry about anyways.

 

The only time where I feel addons authors should absolutely be allowed to monetize is if servers continue to monetize and use addon content, with the authors permission of course. Servers, if monetized, should be restricted to using only Steam Workshop distributed content (no A3Sync or alternative)...so that the content can be inspected and validated rather easily if an allegation of content theft is brought up. If you set a 'monetized' flag in the server.properties file, they should be required to specify links to workshop content (also in the properties file). The server executable should then verify and continue to verify that only the workshop content is loaded. So if the monetized server runs, with permission, an addon, an arrangement can be made to compensate the addon author for the addons usage on the monetized server...and this would be completely separate to the addon authors monetization requirements for the community in general.

 

So with that kind of a setup, an addon author may release an addon that's free to use for all non-monetized servers but in the case of a monetized server, the author can flag whether or not they are open to negotiate the price for their contents usage on a monetized server. As of right now, I don't think that's allowed? General milsim or other non-monetizing communities can continue to use high quality addons, assuming the author does not monetize, and continue to retain members while monetized servers potentially have the ability to pay for addons and addon makers in that situation would receive compensation.

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3 minutes ago, x3kj said:

Thats because neither bethesda nor valve wanted to make their hands dirty with quality controll, or price regulations. The rest was people beeing cheapskates and not putting money where their mouth is.

 

Why do they have the right to regulate QA or prices over other peoples work though? That should solely be decided by the content creator. If the community feel its an unjust price then as the saying goes "tough shit" because typically they don't have anything to do with the work an individual has created. The best way to avoid all this is to disallow any form of profit making regarding servers/mods.

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4 minutes ago, don_prince said:

Donations are ok, forcing pay im less okay with...

donations != monetization and not the subject of this thread

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Quote

Why do they have the right to regulate QA

Because thats what is to be expected from a product sold through official channels. If the mod has shit performance, BIS can find out fairly easily by checking the files. Users can not find out that stuff and other modders generally dont have access to it, or have their own problems or simply have no interest or time in trying to do that for other modders. And not many modders are knowledgeable about how to make stuff performance friendly in the first place. In addition having BIS involved and some form of contract, it reduces scamming potential, as the modder has to put in work to meet QC beforehand, instead of taking the money and then running off. 

 

The unregulated attempt from skyrim failed (not the sole reason, but a big part of it).

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