Paid mod support for games??

#1 Posted by darkknight9174 (224 posts) -

Don't know how common of a practice this is, but since I doubt we are ever going to see free mod support anymore, do you think it would be a good idea (for gamers and for the entertainment companies) if they offered mod support as a premium feature? For example, the base game would cost $60, but if you paid $20-30 you would have access to the mod tools and would be able to play any of the mods that anyone else made. Still make money, make the people that bemoan the lack of mod support/"consolization" happy (or rather less angry).

Thoughts?

#2 Posted by verbalfilth (4584 posts) -

They shouldn't be charging for mod support. If anything, they should be giving out mod tools in spades for free. Ensuring mod support will keep their games relevant. Look at the biggest names in the gaming community that have mod support. Quake, Unreal, Crysis, Skyrim etc. Those games would have come and gone with the wind if it weren't for mod support.

#3 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (15917 posts) -

MS Flight Simulator X is a good example of a game that has both freeware mods and payware mods long after its developer was disbanded. The game itself costs only $30 nowadays. But, I think it's pretty good considering it came out back in 2006. Some of payware mods for it are more than double its price.

http://www.flightsimstore.com/index.php?cPath=114_115

#4 Posted by uninspiredcup (7837 posts) -

If I can optionally pay money for a mod supporter to help them add custom things like music, voice acting and in general production values, great.

#5 Edited by darkknight9174 (224 posts) -

verbalfilth: Quake, Unreal, and Crysis already have come and gone regardless of mod support. Honestly, no big publisher is going to give out mod tools for free anymore when they can make a mod and sell it as a new game. Yeah, games used to come with free mod tools, but why should anyone just give it away for free? This isn't communism. If publishers thought the mod support would make more people buy the game then they would include it. If they thought they could make more money by including mod support, then we would get mod tools back. So, the question is: do people care more about getting stuff for free or having mod support?

There is a difference between selling a half-working or non-working product and making a product that is only slightly updated. The former is considered a form of "consumer abuse" when a large number of promises, or a handful of very large ones were broken. The latter is just them thinking: "well, let's see, it takes a team of 100 3 years to make completely new game, but we could just tweak this, update that, etc. in half the time, sell it and the same amount of people would buy it". There is nothing evil or morally wrong with the latter. These publishers are out to make as much money as they can and they will continue to push gamers to see just how much they will tolerate in terms of DLC, microtransactions, etc. before they finally say "no, that is enough". As long as they aren't swindling the consumer by promising outlandish things there is nothing wrong with this. It would be different if they sold a product that people relied heavily on for a decent quality of life, like medicine, food, etc. but they don't, they are only offering a form of interactive entertainment.

Now, I will say that I absolutely abhor the shit that has gone on with EA and Activision working salaried programmers 60-80 hours per week to make ridiculous deadlines, all while telling them that the increased workload is only temporary so that they can "coast at the end of the project" or whatever nonsense they told them in one of the cases. But something like them not releasing free mod tools is not anywhere close to this.

#6 Posted by krazyorange (2619 posts) -

What the hell are you yammering about? PC games have and will always have mod support. The only type which will eventually start charging for "Desine Ur Oyn Levls Lel" DLC will be EA and/or the ridiculous FPS cash cows. Even if it's not officially supported there are always ways to mod a game if people care enough about the IP.

#7 Edited by verbalfilth (4584 posts) -

@darkknight9174: verbalfilth: Quake, Unreal, and Crysis already have come and gone regardless of mod support. Honestly, no big publisher is going to give out mod tools for free anymore when they can make a mod and sell it as a new game. Yeah, games used to come with free mod tools, but why should anyone just give it away for free? This isn't communism. If publishers thought the mod support would make more people buy the game then they would include it. If they thought they could make more money by including mod support, then we would get mod tools back. So, the question is: do people care more about getting stuff for free or having mod support?

Its not about Point A and Point B. Its about the distance between the two. Every game will come and go eventually but the support it gets is what determines its success..especially when it comes to the PC gaming community. As for monetizing modding or not, its entirely up to them. They can do whatever they want, but charging people a fee for it will have a rippling effect on the game. The modding community will most likely not support the game as much as they normally would with a pay wall behind it. as for your final statement on that block, the question isn't a matter of having something for free or having mod support, its a question of whether companies should charge people money to improve their product and increase that product's longevity. The simple answer is no. But this isn't communism, so the answer to say yes is fully permissible. You have the right to shoot yourself in the foot in the end. After all, it is your foot.

My two cents on the matter: if you want to charge money for something, then don't charge money for the tools that people are using to improve your product. The devs should make their own in house "mods" and charge for the products they create. Or seek licensing fees/percentage compensation if modders are actively selling their mods.

#8 Posted by nutcrackr (12465 posts) -

Gamers would hate it, instantly bag out the company who did it. It would also drastically limit the proliferation of mods. Now you don't just buy the game and get the mod, you buy the game, then the premium service with the mod support and get the mod itself.

I think big companies rely on the profits of the DLC packs, with mod support they suddenly have competition for their own game. So they would probably need to charge a fee for each mod as well.

There is no easy solution that keeps everybody happy.

#9 Edited by wis3boi (31115 posts) -

yeah, no, i'd eat my hat first

#10 Edited by skipper847 (3167 posts) -

I think You had to pay extra for the SDK for Flight simulator X and you can also sell your mods on that game. This is the only game/sim I can think of doing this.

#11 Posted by Mozuckint (786 posts) -

Mods are still decently plentiful.

How about giving us our Dedicated server software config files back? THOSE are something I rarely see anymore. I sure as hell want an option to still play online or be able to with my friends when company x stops supporting the game without having to use a 3rd party service or reverse engineer the back end.

#12 Posted by KHAndAnime (13436 posts) -

What the hell are you yammering about? PC games have and will always have mod support. The only type which will eventually start charging for "Desine Ur Oyn Levls Lel" DLC will be EA and/or the ridiculous FPS cash cows. Even if it's not officially supported there are always ways to mod a game if people care enough about the IP.

That's not true at all. Some games can be modded without direct developer support, but there are tons of games are more or less unmoddable.

#13 Posted by krazyorange (2619 posts) -

@krazyorange said:

What the hell are you yammering about? PC games have and will always have mod support. The only type which will eventually start charging for "Desine Ur Oyn Levls Lel" DLC will be EA and/or the ridiculous FPS cash cows. Even if it's not officially supported there are always ways to mod a game if people care enough about the IP.

That's not true at all. Some games can be modded without direct developer support, but there are tons of games are more or less unmoddable.

Hence my caveat "if people care enough about the IP." And besides, you're forgetting about cheat engines, trainers, and aimbots. Those are forms of mods as well.

#14 Posted by illmatic87 (15157 posts) -

Paying for mod support/tools just wont work. Modding is a voluntary commitment, so if modders have to pay for tools, you'll see less community support in general from modders and users alike. What's killing modding is developers/publishers committing franchises into bi-yearly or even yearly release cycles and DLC. Developers wont implement modding if it means there's a sequel in the following year to encourage people to buy the next game or buy DLC. And I dont think modders would want to waste their time on a mod where a chunk of its community will jump to the next game.

This is why Bethesda implement mod support to their games. Despite being a large and successful studio and release DLC, there are large gaps between their releases. By providing mod support, it allows their game to attain a continued stream of revenue to keep the game relevant, continually played and constantly purchased. I know of 3 friends who have bought a PC version of Skyrim due to mods despite already owning a console version.

However, I have no problems supporting modders by throwing money towards mod authors. Modders have been making awesome stuff for free for a very long time now. So I dont mind giving back for their personal time commitment towards a passion project of theirs. I have made donations to modders in the past, though, alot less that I would have liked.