The Valheim devs have posted an update on the game's official website, detailing the attitude Iron Gate Studio has made towards its game. In short, mods are A-Okay, as long as they aren't paywalled and clearly marked as unofficial.
This post, an attempt to set straight exactly what kind of mods have the developers' approval, comes following months of community outcry for official mod support for the MMORPG. The game has had a dedicated modding community for some time now, however without an official stance on the subject, many have been confused and concerned on the validity of such content in the eyes of Valheim's creators.
The first major point of order addressed in the statement was the team's attitude towards mods for Valheim. "First of all, while we don’t have any official mod support, we are definitely happy to see that people are engaging with our game and creating their own mods for it. It’s definitely flattering that you want to be creative and add your own ideas! Iron Gate not having any official mod support essentially means that any creating and using of mods is done at your own risk, and that we can’t guarantee that mods will be compatible with newer versions of the game."
Following this, the team at Iron Gate Studio clarified its stance on paid mods. "The thing that we’ve been getting the most questions about, however, is the phenomenon where mods cost money. We definitely understand that you spend a lot of your time on creating a mod, and that you might want financial compensation for that, but Iron Gate does not condone locking modded content behind a paywall."
It continues: "We feel that charging money for a mod is against the creative and open spirit of modding itself, and therefore we urge all mod authors to make their mods freely available to all who want to play them. This should include the whole mod, and not just have part of the mod available for free while another part of it costs money. If you want to show your appreciation for a mod author you can of course still support them with a voluntary donation, but we do not want payment to be a requirement to access a mod."
Finally, the statement makes a request for modders to clearly mark their work as unofficial: "Additionally, we would also greatly appreciate it if mods made it clear that they are unofficial mods, both in game and on any website where the mod is available. Sometimes joining a modded dedicated server will automatically trigger a download of a mod, and we simply want to avoid confusion for players so that they can know whether or not they are playing a modded game."
The debate surrounding paid mods is an old one, made prevalent in recent years due to the overwhelming amount of work that goes into some of the more substantial creations out there. Regardless of size or scope, the argument that people should be paid for their transformative work is a convincing one: if you create something and put it out into the world, why shouldn't people pay for it?
However, this becomes a muddier topic when paywalls are introduced, as referenced in the statement from Iron Gate Studios. There are lots of concerns regarding charging for mods, including but not limited to how that would impact IP rights, how that would influence modders to create content for monetary gain rather than passion or genuine need, and so on.
EA Maxis actually enforced a something similar a while back when it comes to The Sims modders, too, requesting that no unofficial modded content should be put behind a paywall. This also caused an outroar among fans who gained income from their modding work.
It's due to these concerns alongside the Valheim team's own opinons on mods that has resulted in this solid stance on the matter. Do you agree with them on this? Let us know below!
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