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May 10th, 2013, 09:58
Edge has a new article on the founder of the Nexus Mod sites Robin Scott.
Scott got into the game website business when he was 15, and had built and sold two networks by the time the Nexus was rebranded in 2007. He is now 26. In the eyes of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, he is his company’s fifth employee, alongside four programmers: two for the site and two for Nexus Mod Manager, an increasingly invaluable tool for all but the most hardcore modder.

“But I don’t really see myself as an employee,” he says. “I reply to all the private messages and emails because I want to keep the site going. As soon it becomes a pain, or I stop enjoying games, I think there might be an issue, but it’s not. I’ve got three monitors in front of me. I’ve got shares running down the left-hand side of my monitor, because I do quite a lot of the share market. A lot of people say that I must be doing pretty well. And the Nexus does do pretty well, but the money it does pretty well with just goes right back into hiring more people and buying more servers.”

Scott blogs regularly about the trials and tribulations of running such a bandwidth-hungry monster without totally selling out. Things have certainly improved since the days when the sites would regularly crash, keeping him up in the dead of night restarting MySQL. Nowadays, bedtime is just after 2am, taking him past US peak time, and breakfast is at around 10:30am, after which he gets right back into the routine. He starts by checking emails and private messages, most concerned with site registration delays and the like, and three hours later he talks to the programmers.

“They’ll show me what they’ve been doing, and I’ll try to show them what I think it should look like. I’m working on a few new designs for the Nexus sites right now. Every once in a while I’ll dabble in the code, but it’s so far above me now that I can’t just bring up a PHP file and start editing away. It just looks like Japanese to me,” he admits.

“Steam Workshop’s been great for a lot of things, but if you look at the Valve games, they’re making games like Dota 2 that they’ll give away for free, then they’re making so much money on those microtransactions. The one thing I do buy is the subscriptions to the tournaments; that’s brilliant, I really love that idea. But if you look at TF2 and Dota 2, it’s not the modding you and I know. It’s not the modding Nexus does. It’s a completely controlled, exclusive-to-Steam modding where they get to choose the mods that go on their service based on how well they think it will sell.

“If you say to mod authors that they can start making money out of their mods, are they going to be inclined to share their secrets, the stuff that they found that makes modding easier? That makes it great? Or are they going to hold on to it, because [that] means fewer people are doing what they’re doing? The general dilemma we’ve got with modding at the moment, with what Valve are trying to do, is that people are now competing financially with other people and are going to be a lot less helpful.”
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Last edited by Couchpotato; May 10th, 2013 at 10:30.
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May 10th, 2013, 09:58
Worst thing that happened to modding is nazi creeps like this kid trying to completely dominate the scene. I bet if somebody asked him, he'd say he's totally in favor of open platforms and decentralized systems, too. All tech geeks are. Aren't they? It's pretty much mandatory. Gotta wear the retro Old Spice even if you reek of Google ethics.
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May 10th, 2013, 14:47
I really admire this guy for everything he has managed to do. Nexus is a great site and I can't imagine how horrible it would be to have to hunt down mods from a dozen or more sites. Most likely wouldn't bother. He and his team do a great job moderating the plethora of self-entitled whiners and lazy/stupid players that seem to infest the internet. While there are many pros and cons to both centeral and decentralized systems I think in this case it makes good sense to have a central place for mods. I am just happy this guy is doing what he can to avoid selling out to advertisers and also provides a free service.

I also like Steam Workshop okay but find it often lacks in quality, tends to have more superficial mods (but that could be my bias in general clouding my view point), and lacks the flexibility and freedom you get on Nexus.

I am looking forward to the changes on Nexus to be able to include mods for a bigger variety of games.
Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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