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How to support modders
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The Problem:
With the new steam Mod Market, that has been implemented for Skyrim only, at the time of writing, BIS appear to be attracted to a more moneybased Modding community.

What's the Steam System like?
According to that System, Modders have the Option to charge money for each download of their content. The transaction is then split between Steam BIS and the modder, where the modder only gets a 25% cut, even though, he did ALL the work. This System is so flawed, that I don't even want to start spamming the problems in this ticket.

Here is a different Model I would suggest for Arma.

Whenever someone buys Arma 3, because he wants to play a specific Mod, then the modder should be rewarded for basically selling one more copy of Arma 3.
The new Player gets a function in the Main menu for up to 48 hours after the first start, where he can choose one or more optional Mods, that convinced him into buying Arma 3.
BIS is then collecting that information and splits 25% of the (currently) 44,99$ - 59,99$ price for Arma 3 between the mods, that were named by the new player.
Additionally give the player an option to send a message to the devteam of each Mod

This way the modder gets some financial and moral support for his work, BIS sells more games and the player feels like his money is being appreciated and handeled with care. Everyone wins and mods are still free.


Legacy ID
No Bug
Feature Request
Additional Information


Here I want to answer some of the most frequently used arguments which are trying to defend the steam workshop market:

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  • Modders need financial support, too.

Yes, at least some of them do (e.g. ALiVE). I do not question that simple fact. However, if someone decides to spend e.g. 4$ on a mod, I can not justify, why he only should get a 1$ cut.

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  2. The System encourages new modders to develop content.

That is certainly not the case. Steam is holding back any revenue below 100$, which means if a new modder creates a hq weapon and sells it for 0,20$ he would have to sell his weapon over 2000 times before seeing his first paycheck. By that time the new weapon would have collected 400$ from the community, of which 300$ were then payed to steam/BIS. If you find that motivating, then ok. Note, that for most modders 2000 downloads are absolutely unrealistic even, when their content is FREE. How many downloads will they get, once they have a paywall?

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  • The community would profit from higher quality content.

The first change, that we will certainly notice, are the bugcomplaints and hatemail, which will fill the commentsections of the workshop and replace the acknowlegdements that were building this unique community in the first place. The client-server-relationship is not the same as the player-player-relationship. Everybody should be aware of that.
Personally I'm ok which the current quality standard.

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  2. It is better, if we have a solid marketplace, where content can be traded, which deals with all the legal issues.

If that is your opinion, then you are certainly new to steam. Steam has lost almost all respect from gamers over the last few years, because of their quality control, community support or lack thereof.
Steam does not provide any legal support for copyright infringement or quality control.

quote from steam:
"Sometimes one mod may modify the same files as another mod, or a particular combination of mods may cause unexpected outcomes. If you find that mod has broken or is behaving unexpectedly, it is best to post politely on the Workshop item's page and let the mod author know the details of what you are seeing."

This is all fine now, when mods are free, but when you have to buy each mod, you will notice significant changes in the community behaviour.

In other words, Steam will not require a mod to be functional for more then 24 hours (some are multiple Gigabytes in size so you better download them fast, not to mention clan mod repositories). If it breaks something, you should hope, the modder will fix it. Remember: You have paid for it, and the modder has probably never recieved a dime, yet you would demand his full support. Please take a moment to think what this will do to the community.

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  • If you don't want to pay, then don't do it. Free market balances itself.

Yes, free markets are indeed balancing themselfs, but only after they have caused massive conflicts in prizetags, deep mistrust in copyright and multiple digressions because of clan mod packs and their pricepoint. Free markets are designed to organize and distribute Products in unmanageable Systems. Not to keep a community social.
Free Market is not free. It comes with a heavy price, which is a healthy community. Do we really want to pay that prize?

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-Other games (FSX) already support a similar System.
No, they don't.
If you build a mod for FSX, you may sell it and don't need to pay microsoft anything, unless you are including assets from the original game in your download (In that case you have to contact Microsoft and make a custom deal).
If you create an addon, that doesn't duplicate any game elements, it is all your ip. You can make your own texture and sell it. Microsoft owns nothing of that texture, but here BIS would automatically own about 75% of your texture. Don't compare those two.

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Now the biggest Mistake (probably an error from Steam and Bethesta for their convenience):

  • A mod is based on the game, therefor BIS has a right to take the biggest cut of the generated revenue.

This is WRONG
A mod is not "based on the game". It upgrades the game. A Mod does not take any assets from its basegame. They are already owned by the player. He payed for the basegame and bought all the assets with it. This argument assumes, that someone was selling a Mod, which included the entire Arma 3 Product and becomes a standalone game.
If you create a new weapon, you only sell YOUR WEAPON. Not Arma 3 with it. And the weapon requires the player to buy Arma 3 and therefor generates new income for BIS.
There is very little difference between a BIS employee and a modder. Only that the modder is not being payed by BIS for adding content/functionality, because he was not ordered to do so. The employment of Dean Hall and MANW were decent attempts to fix this paradoxon in a friendly manner and BIS gained a lot of respect for their community support. The Steam workshop market is the opposite of that.
Modders should sell their mods to the gamedev and not the players, because they improve the Product and the gamedev is increasing sales (like the DayZ Phenomenon or maybe an ALiVE followup).

Event Timeline

Lehmann edited Additional Information. (Show Details)Apr 26 2015, 2:07 PM
Lehmann set Category to Feature Request.
Lehmann set Reproducibility to N/A.
Lehmann set Severity to None.
Lehmann set Resolution to No Bug.
Lehmann set Legacy ID to 694230449.May 8 2016, 12:00 PM

Yea how about we keep mods exactly how they have always been in the past.

Throwing money into modding just mucks things up.

The mod creator gets to decide if he wants to sell their mod or not.
If the creator supports free mods, they'll make it free.
Really, even without the Steam paid mods, people can still sell mods as long as BI allows it.

I fear that this is not the question. Apparently Mods WILL be linked to money in the near future. The question is, who pays the prize and who gets the money. Currently BI is trying to let players pay the prize and BI put most of it in their pocket.
Some mods need financial support. Read 1

??? Currently it is illegal to sell a mod for arma. That makes it very easy to reuse and modify other peoples work. Everything is shared and this helped to build a strong community. That is how we got to the state we are now. Read point 5