Elevate your enterprise data technology and strategy at Transform 2021.

Valve has recently updated its Steam digital-download service with a post about mods (via NeoGAF), and it still has an answer up about why you have to pay for certain ones.

In April, Steam and publisher Bethesda worked together to introduce a new system where mod creators could charge for the add-on content they built for the megapopular role-playing game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Gamers did not react well to this — with many arguing that Bethesda, Valve, and modders were greedy for charging for labor that previously went unrewarded. This led to Bethesda and Valve quickly ending the paid-mod idea just days after introducing it. But it may make a return.

Here’s what the Steam page still says about paid mods even after getting updated today:

Why are some mods free and others cost money?

Each mod author decides whether they think there is enough customer interest in their mod to list it for sale. Just like buying a game, paying for a mod helps to support and reward the team (sometimes consisting of just one person) who have worked hard to create that new content.”

We’ve asked Valve if this means that the return of paid mods is imminent. We’ll update this post with any new information.

The timing of this post is interesting. We’re about two months away from the debut of the next Bethesda release, Fallout 4. That game, like its predecessors, is bound to have a highly active modding scene. And while that might seem like it would make Fallout 4 ideal for the reintroduction of paid mods, the company says that isn’t necessarily the case.

“[We’re] focused on finishing the game,” Bethesda communications boss Pete Hines told GamesBeat. “We will focus on mods, mod tools, and the rest after we’re done.”

It’s possible that Bethesda wants nothing to do with paid mods after Skyrim, and Valve is just prepping to reintroduce this feature for another game.


GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member