DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate.
Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for Skyrim, things went south, fast.
Despite the recent furore, this isn’t a new idea. Speaking to GamesIndustry, Romero said id Software once planned to try the same thing.
“I’ve always believed that mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” the industry veteran said.
“In 1995, while we were making Quake, we had the idea to start a company called id Net. This company would be the portal that players would connect to and play other mod maker’s creations.
“It was to be a curated site, levels and mods chosen by us at id, and if we put your content on our network we would pay you an amount equal to the traffic that your content drove to the site.”
The plan was scrapped because id was throwing all resources at Quake’s development; Romero still thinks it’s a good idea.
“I still believe that creators should be rewarded for their hard work. That’s what we do in our game companies, why would it be so different for outsiders?” he said.
Valve and Bethesda have scrapped the paid Skyrim mods workshop. Many users complained that they feared the end of free mod, and some even sent death threats to participating creators, but Bethesda’s intentions seemed pretty decent.