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Default Skyrim - Paid Mod Status Update(Re-Opened)

April 27th, 2015, 04:06
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Where did you get this stat? IIRC most sales were on playstation, not on xbox. But I might be remembering it wrong…
http://www.statisticbrain.com/skyrim…-v-statistics/

As always take any sales stats with a grain of salt. Also the site does not site sources, so there is that. However even if they are wrong by a big margin (which isn't very likely as data from Wikipedia and other sources is similar) it’s indicative of the picture that we see in the market (there is a reason why DA:I has such crappy M+K support).

Skyrim for PS3 sucked and had very bad word of mouth until they fixed the save bug and it had an impact at early sales.

People confuse a statement by Todd Howard that "Skyrim did better than we’ve ever done on PC by a large, large number" to mean that it sold more on PC than on consoles (which is sadly not even remotely true).

http://www.neoseeker.com/news/16252-…e-on-consoles/

PC numbers piled up in later sales (holiday sales at 50-75% at Steam in the last years) and are now about 5mil of copies sold on Steam but at a fraction of profit and still a small percentage to the latest 26mil tally…

In short: modding will have to be ported to consoles and it will have to be paid…

Valve will test flight the scheme and be the first to make it work, as usual
Last edited by sibroc; April 27th, 2015 at 04:32.
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April 27th, 2015, 04:33
@Sibroc

The article you link to is from 2011, the Howard quote from Feb 2014. Regardless, I agree that his statement says nothing about comparative sales.

As for your "statistics", the site-first one that comes up on google- pulled those numbers out of their ass. Steam does not give out sales numbers, so there's no way to accurately determine PC sales. What we do know is that companies that were once hostile to the PC are coming back in droves.

It's not hard to imagine PC sales catching up to, and surpassing console sales over time. Steam sales will always move product, and over time the total volume of sale -at a lower price- "could" result in higher profits.

Ask yourself, would they be pulling this dickish move if PC sales were insignificant?
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April 27th, 2015, 04:35
@sibroc, I think the point that was getting raised regarding PC sales is that the they make up a larger portion of the sales generated after the fact, I imagine a majority of the console sales were made in the first or second year. The reason for PC sales still going strong even to this day is to some part due to the modding community, which is hardly an extraordinary occurance given this is observed to have occured in other games with strong modding scenes. Though the keyword here is 'longevity', no one is suggesting that PC sales smashed consoles due to the sole virtue of modding, but it's still going strong as a result.

Anyway, to my orignal post.

It’s interesting some of the points that are being raised. I’m trying to be overall optimistic in this situation, though it’s hard to be so when the scheme has negligible benefits and most pro-paid mod arguments seem to boil down to “It won’t f**k modding too much” and "try to ignore the cons".

Modding will of course survive, that wasn’t in question, but it will suffer effects from Valve’s decision in the long term. The real question is how is the scheme changing it, and if it is for the worst or for the better.

I understand where people are coming from when the points are raised of “25% of something is better than 100% of nothing” and the suggestions that this will act as an incentive to enterprising modders as well as to modding teams to produce higher-quality content. But the payoff involved for modders being a part of this scheme (As I understand it, 25% of all profits exceeding $400 dollars in total revenue earned for the mod), is fairly meagre and offers diminishing returns fairly early on in terms of effort and time invested in a mod versus profits, especially if you take the division of profits among team members into account (I speak of incentives in terms of modders/modding teams being motivated to mod specifically due to being paid, not pre-existing teams choosing this path as an option having previously formed on the assumption of making $0 for their mod). I would see this at the most drawing a flurry of quick bite weapon and armour mods from pre-existing modders more than anything else (for the most part, I understand exceptions exist).

As for the broader points of drawing new modders into business of modding… look above; Modding is intimidating business. Learning how to mod, even with the many tools being available online to aid in learning, is still an involved and daunting prospect for most people (I speak as someone who felt the same way when learning to mod for the first time). The payoff for modding under Valve’s meagre scheme is so minimal that I seriously doubt that anyone who wasn’t already a modder or already drawn to become one would feel motivated to pursue modding solely because of that.

Also, I need to reiterate my previous arguments that, given the amount of cross-pollination and sharing of resources that go on in the modding community, this scheme will serve to hinder and cripple effective collaboration. The major modidng projects almost always make use of the resources of other modders because doing otherwise is a significant amount of work and a substantial time investment, rather pointless when it’s easier to make use of pre-existing resources and customise them to suit your specific project (Plus it requires more in-depth and further knowledge of modelling and scripting). But with the introduction of paid mods, suddenly these resources may either be locked off, due to the modders in question either wanting a cut, not wanting their resources be used for profit, or are using the resources for their own paid-for mod. Even if your mod that you wish to use these resources for is free itself, it still means that there are some resources that are locked off from you for whatever reason, limiting your choice. This flies in the face of the argument of this scheme motivating teams to create mods like Nerhim etc. in order to gain a profit, because that very system in fact acts as a major disincentive for said teams due to (among other, aforementioned reasons that Ive gone into in a previous post, such as discouraging team cohesion, conflicts of divsions of profits and limiting the talent pool available) the lesser amount of resources available to utilise.

Also, I need to make a separate point. Personally, I'm not a fan of the idea of creating a system of paid mods obviously, but there is a difference between the broad concept of paying for mods and Valve's specfic implementation of it. Valve's approach is hardly the only way that this idea can be implemented, so defending the overall concept of paid mods is different to defending Valve's current scheme, keep that in mind. Valve's approach to this has frankly been worthy of contempt, given their stated reasons (support modders) isn't matched with the reality of a 25% cut to said modders, while their method of introducing this scheme has only served to agitate and increase division within the community instead of convincing them of the virtues of this scheme and easing them into it.

PS: @Aubrielle, your post was rather excellent and helps to capture the spirit of why modder's are for the most part unenthusiastic regarding this new scheme by Valve.
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April 27th, 2015, 05:23
@Charlemagne3.0 & Matin Sanguine

As I wrote the numbers are indicative, not gospel. As close to truth as we can get in the internet. They represent initial early data and estimations. But they do paint a picture.

The most important part of Howard's quote was his reference of transferring the mod capability to consoles. That's the juicy part. And that can not happen without a paid scheme.

Two last comments:

I am not sure if people are against the broad concept of paying for mods or against Valve's specific implementation of it (for which from what I understand there is a misconception that it's Valve's idea to pay 25% to modders) .

Percentage
there are three parties involved:
Valve (facilitator – store)
IP owner –developer
and Modder

Store gets 30% (pretty standard and fair)
Store lets IP owner to determine Modder percentage. Also fair (If you can't see why it's fair there is no argument to make you see it).

Big IP, Big Brand, Big Percentage for the IP and small for the modder. Consider this though. Small Brand, new IP, well known modder with thousands of downloads, what happens then? There is a whole new dynamic here.


Sharing of resources - cross ownership

Hate to break it to you, but this has been solved in the software world ten times over. Open source thrives, commercial software using open source components thrives, innovation has not been trampled so far, mixed projects are spawning all over…

The technicalities and legal stuff will be ironed out in time, they always do.

Need to sleep…
Last edited by sibroc; April 27th, 2015 at 05:49.
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April 27th, 2015, 06:07
And I am off,

probably the best read so far about the subject:

from Iced_Eagle @ Gabe Newells reddit

"Hi Gabe,

I worked on Eternal-Silence, which was a HL2 space combat mod released many years ago. We even got to present our mod to Valve many years ago (2006-ish), and suffice to say, I would not be working in the games industry now if it wasn't for that opportunity and experience with Valve back then, so thank you to all of the team at Valve for everything over the years. Also, I want to add that I'm viewing the workshop changes through the lens of my own experiences working on a total conversion mod.

Now, I do think offering content creators the option to have the ability to create revenue for themselves is an extremely noble goal. I'm not completely sold on the current direction, but I believe your north star is true. After all, it's the dream of many modders of total conversions at least, to be able to create enough interest where they one day can devote the massive amount of resources required to turn their mod into a full retail game, which is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

However, there are two tweaks which I would consider: - Publisher/developer education on appropriate revenue splits for mods. I think it's fair that there should be a split, but with Skyrim, I think the pendulum is not enough in favor of the developer of the mod, who were the ones to devote their time to build on their game. Yes, Valve and Bethesda created the platform and tools inside of the game to allow mods to happen (which is why I think the split is fair), but the actual developer(s) of the mod may have spent a lot of their time and resources working on a mod. Previously, yes, they would get nothing, but as of now, it's tough to imagine anyone to be able to count on the Workshop revenue as something that they could live off of. For smaller mods, let's say a new sword or armor, you likely would need to achieve a large volume of mods and sell those cheap and overall you could make a decent amount of revenue especially compared to the time investment. However, if you work for 3 years with 10-20 people on a total conversion, getting 25% of potential revenue would be extremely rough because you will only have a single mod to sell, and thus can only bank on your mod being extremely successful (which let's face it, statistically is unlikely).

Two-tiered system of content creators. By this, I mean that if you are a new author to the workshop, you have certain limits on what you could charge, until the author can develop a sense of trust with their customers. Let's say that at the beginning, I can only use Free or Pay-What-You-Want. Once I have X amount of downloads/payments, or perhaps if there were an author rating system where I could achieve 4+ stars out of 5 from the community, I would then graduate to have the ability to be able to create a static price mod. Maybe this would be too unfair, but the root of my concern is that there needs to be a trust relationship between the mod author and their customers. If a game update breaks the mod, and I had $15 for the mod, I want to have trust that the mod author would help their customers and fix the mod.

The root of that two-tier system is from a very old Valve presentation on surviving modding. In the presentation (which I can not find unfortunately), the general advice was that if you created a mod that was able to sustain 5,000 players on a consistent basis, you would be considered to be "successful" or at least have a fun mod, and Valve may look into helping you become a retail title. Having a structured system in the workshop like that old advice may be something worth investigating.

Finally, I wonder if it would be feasible to have a humble-bundle style slider system when you do payments. Perhaps create a floor for which category, and it would of course require buy-off from the developer/publisher, but it would be interesting if as a customer, I could influence where my funds went. Most of the time I may just leave it at defaults, but if I thought the developer deserved more, that would be my choice.

If you read this, thank you, and I hope you are enjoying your coffee. As I live in the Bellevue area, I would be more than willing to talk to you in person to have a larger discussion (private message me). However, as I said, I think your north star is true, and I'm glad you are soliciting feedback from the community and open for changes to make this a good system for all parties involved."
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April 27th, 2015, 06:40
Originally Posted by sibroc View Post
Some data that could maybe put things in perspective:

Skyrim Sales stats:

3.500.000 units in 48 hours, 20.000.000 units sold in 26 weeks.

Skyrim Sales By Platform
XBox 360 59 %
Playstation 3 27 %
PC 14 %

Mods available only on PC…
By April 23, there were 8,674,505 owners of Skyrim on Steam. Now with the free weekend there are 25,438,018 Steam users who have the game. How many of those will end up buying it, we will see after the weekend. But still, the PC market of Skyrim is big and with a huge potential.
Source: http://steamspy.com/app/72850
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April 27th, 2015, 07:02
Originally Posted by Arahael View Post
By April 23, there were 8,674,505 owners of Skyrim on Steam. Now with the free weekend there are 25,438,018 Steam users who have the game. How many of those will end up buying it, we will see after the weekend. But still, the PC market of Skyrim is big and with a huge potential.
Source: http://steamspy.com/app/72850
Excellent data, thanks for posting. Did not know about steamspy, very useful!

Please notice that the numbers I posted were referencing the first year sales.
I had read about an estimate of 5-6m steam sales but it seems the 75% holiday sales did very well.

So the PC volume (ie items sold) could be about 35% of total after 3-4 years.
Revenue off course is another matter entirely as these late sales are at 55% average discount.
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April 27th, 2015, 07:48
Sales are only half the argument; the only reason Skyrim is RELEVANT today is due to moddability - just like its predecessors. And, although Xbox purchases have likely slowed to a trickle long ago, new PC purchases remain somewhat steady (albeit discounted). Bethesda has Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim modders to thank for those extended revenue curves, not to mention free marketing for subsequent titles in the franchise…

Meh, they can go to hell, I won't be buying TESVI; I'd like to say the same for Fallout 4, but I've been waiting for it for so long that I'll undoubtedly bite the bullet, despite knowing full well it'll be a slipshod Bethesdian joke of an RPG. But I'll be doing so off of Greenmangaming, not Steam.
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April 27th, 2015, 08:24
Originally Posted by sibroc View Post
Two last comments:

I am not sure if people are against the broad concept of paying for mods or against Valve's specific implementation of it (for which from what I understand there is a misconception that it's Valve's idea to pay 25% to modders) .

Percentage
there are three parties involved:
Valve (facilitator – store)
IP owner –developer
and Modder

Store gets 30% (pretty standard and fair)
Store lets IP owner to determine Modder percentage. Also fair (If you can't see why it's fair there is no argument to make you see it).

Big IP, Big Brand, Big Percentage for the IP and small for the modder. Consider this though. Small Brand, new IP, well known modder with thousands of downloads, what happens then? There is a whole new dynamic here.
There isn't a "whole new dynamic" created here because the smaller brand/IP would mean less exposure for the modder in question. Even if they got a higher percentage, it would be equaled out by the lesser sales generated due to smaller exposure.

And that's operating off of the assumption that the owner of the smaller IP/brand would even be interested in increasing the percentage for modders at all, as well as supporting modding in general, which is a fairly big one to make given the nature of some of the companies out there.

Originally Posted by sibroc View Post
Sharing of resources - cross ownership

Hate to break it to you, but this has been solved in the software world ten times over. Open source thrives, commercial software using open source components thrives, innovation has not been trampled so far, mixed projects are spawning all over…

The technicalities and legal stuff will be ironed out in time, they always do.
So I should essentially twist my fingers and hope for the best?

Simply saying that it could be addressed sometime in the future due to this having supposedly "been solved in the software world ten times over" is vague and meagre arguement given we are currently grappling with its ramifications now; This is hypothetical pro at the very best.

I also just wanted to address an older point if you'd please

Originally Posted by sibroc View Post
Perhaps this will help shed some light why a donation system cannot work:

A “Mod” is work done on IP property belonging to someone else and with tool-assets created by someone else. If someone wants to get paid for a Mod then this can only happen with the explicit license of the owner. It’s pretty simple actually.

Interestingly enough, although everyone sees the potential problem of using assets that belong to someone else (i.e. another modder), this concern does not seem to extend to the assets and tools that are created-provided by the developer, when a donation system is proposed.
It's not really that interesting considering the scheme you discuss as being unable to work is already in place in the largest modding website (Nexus). If there had been any real concern from any IP holders regarding this then it's unlikely that said scheme would have persisted for as long as it has. Previously, so long as donations didn't act as a perquisite for the mod itself nor were actively enticed for future reward, donations could be made to the mod author. So you can see why people don't see too much of a problem with some sort of donation scheme being established for the Workshop.
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April 27th, 2015, 12:51
Originally Posted by sibroc View Post
Sharing of resources - cross ownership

Hate to break it to you, but this has been solved in the software world ten times over. Open source thrives, commercial software using open source components thrives, innovation has not been trampled so far, mixed projects are spawning all over…

The technicalities and legal stuff will be ironed out in time, they always do.
The problem with this analogy is that the world of software has always been dominated by the commercial, with open source as a disruptive force. The world of modding has always been collaborative and non-profit.

If the wider world of computer software had always operated on an open source basis, and suddenly propitiatory software were introduced, I think the consequences would be widely felt. Some might well be positive, but I think it's hard to deny the downsides.
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April 27th, 2015, 13:08
There are already takedown notices on some great mods because they use or are based on other mods, so they want a piece of the money too. This whole thing sucks in so many levels.
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April 27th, 2015, 13:27
I can't shake the thought that the first millionaire modder will be the guy who puts up 1000 separate swords for a quid each distinguished only by them all having a slightly different colour or something.
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April 27th, 2015, 13:34
I can't imagine the chaos involved with troubleshooting and having to provide support for something you've sold.

TES modding is notoriously unstable - and if you charge for your mod, you better be ready to help people - or they'll be pissed, regardless of who's to blame. In fact, they'll be pissed anyway, if their problems persist.

Personally, I certainly wouldn't bother - unless we're talking something super simple like a weapon model/texture.

For anything involving scripting, you're just asking for trouble if you take money.

I don't mind the concept of people being paid for their work, but it seems to be pretty counter to the spirit of modding. Donations would be a smarter solution, in my opinion - and I don't see the PR upside of splitting anything. Let the people doing the work be paid, not the people who already earned their pay through a sale.

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April 27th, 2015, 13:45
This sounds like an excellent idea, it'll either force Bethesda to make better games that don't need a lot of mods to even be playable with a little bit of enjoyment or hurt their sales a lot. Both of which would be a huge step forward for the gaming industry.
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April 27th, 2015, 14:18
I bought the game this weekend as it was just $5. I already had it on Xbox and have played thru it it without mods and still had fun. I'm not interested in even looking at the paid mods but I am looking forward to seeing how nice I can make it look, tweak a few things that annoyed me the first playthrough and try again.

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April 27th, 2015, 14:38
Originally Posted by sibroc View Post
Excellent data, thanks for posting. Did not know about steamspy, very useful!

Please notice that the numbers I posted were referencing the first year sales.
I had read about an estimate of 5-6m steam sales but it seems the 75% holiday sales did very well.

So the PC volume (ie items sold) could be about 35% of total after 3-4 years.
Revenue off course is another matter entirely as these late sales are at 55% average discount.
So you have realised that you have used misleading statistic to support your arguments? Well, guess what? Arguments based on misleading data are misleading as well.
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April 27th, 2015, 14:40
Hilarious: http://www.pcgamer.com/fake-protest-…team-workshop/
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April 27th, 2015, 14:58
What a shitstorm this is creating. Yikes!

I have faith that Valve is strong enough in their vision to work through the hard times and stick with it. Once all the kinks are worked out and the angry mob dies down, this will be a great incentive for modders to take advantage of.

What I see from this shitstorm right now is akin to fans of music artists being mad that their favorite artist "blew up" and is making money now. I've seen that happen a million times. It sounds like you are a bunch of entitled children who only want the artists to profit when it suits your own needs.

Sure, let's just give them donations. "Why should they try to sell their work? That's selling out, yo!"

And the modding scene was so pure and stood for something, man! :tokes his weed:

In this thread, we're all afraid of change.

Meanwhile, how many people *actually* donate to these talented artists?

I will smile and be patient with it, and I can't wait to see what sort of great new projects are undertaken now because of this bold move. I may even get cracking on my own mod now.

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April 27th, 2015, 14:58
The Skyrim modding community took an arrow to the knee !
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April 27th, 2015, 15:09
Originally Posted by wiretripped View Post
Hilarious: http://www.pcgamer.com/fake-protest-…team-workshop/
From comments there:
The Steam Workshop Mod http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile…07&searchtext=

It includes a spell that takes away everyone's money but you only receive 25% of the money.
10 / 10
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