Valve’s boss takes questions about paid mods on Reddit

Gabe Newell, the co-founder of Valve Corporation, is taking questions in an AMA on Reddit right now regarding Steam’s introduction of paid mods in its Steam Workshop.

“Our goal is to make modding better for the authors and gamers,” Newell said in reply to one Redditor. “If something doesn’t help with that, it will get dumped. Right now I’m more optimistic that this will be a win for authors and gamers, but we are always going to be data driven.”

“As a baseline, Valve loves MODs (see Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, and DOTA),” he said elsewhere. “The open nature of PC gaming is why Valve exists, and is critical to the current and future success of PC gaming.

Others asked about moderators handing out bans to those who complained about paid mods on Steam forums. “Well, if we are censoring people, that’s stupid. I’ll get that to stop,” he promised.

This week Valve announced that it would introduce a system whereby creators of modified content for existing PC games sold on Steam could sell that work, with a hefty cut of the revenue being split by Valve and the original game’s publisher. The program is beginning with The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, which has seen some 24,000 mods since its introduction in 2011.

The new program has convulsed the modding and PC gaming community, with some saying it will kill modding’s hobbyist culture and others arguing that hard work deserves to be compensated.