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Paid mods encourage developers to release broken games

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It’s been four days since Steam announced it was introducing paid mods, starting with Skyrim, which means every gamer and their dog has had plenty of time to say that it’s a bad idea. The popular argument seems to be that paid mods will lead to the destruction of the modding community. Turning modding into a quick buck rather than an artistic endeavor done out of love for a game goes against everything that modding is supposed to be. There’s also the potential for abuse. People were quick to point out that unscrupulous modders could overcharge for work that takes only a couple of hours, or that buggy mods would rip people off, or that modders might charge for work that isn’t theirs. The latter actually occurred a couple of days after the paid mods scheme was introduced, with a mod called “Art of the Catch” being taken down for apparently using content from another modder, Fore, without permission. That mod maker, Chesko, has since said that Valve told him it was okay to use content from other people’s mods.

Then there’s the argument that Valve is messing with a system that works. Modding has been around almost as long as gaming, and plenty of the titles that are staples in any Steam library today owe much of their success to the modding community. Case in point: Skyrim, and any other Elder Scrolls or Fallout game. The free availability of a multitude of mods has meant those games continue to be bought and played long after they otherwise would have. Skyrim itself, now three and a half years old, continues to be played by countless gamers because of the plethora of new and interesting mods being made available on the Steam Workshop and on Nexus Mods. People are rightly saying that it’s a bit rich to hear from companies like Bethesda and Valve, both of them companies that owe much of their success to the modding community, that they now want us to pay for mods.

And then there are the proponents of paid mods, though you may struggle to find them. Most of their arguments have been drowned out over the din of people angry about Valve’s decision to mess with modding. Gabe Newell himself went on Reddit yesterday to defend the move, but you may struggle to find some of his comments, with many of them downvoted to oblivion. Their number one argument is that having paid mods is no big deal. Nobody’s being forced to pay to for them, and modders can still choose to make their work free. And since modders are always asking for donations anyway, how much has really changed? Right? Well, it turns out modders might have to continue asking for donations because Valve and Bethesda are taking 75% of profits from all Skyrim mods. How much goes to Valve and how much to Bethesda hasn’t been disclosed, but unless modders are selling their work by the bucketload, they shouldn’t expect to make a lot of money out of this. And in his AMA, Gabe Newell himself stated the paid mods had only generated $10,000 of revenue. And only 25% of that went to modders.

This brings us to the argument not a lot of people seem to be making, or at least the one that hasn’t been shouted the loudest. It’s not about how paid mods will affect the players. It’s about how they’ll affect developers. Now we all know there are plenty of big developers who have struggled over the past few years to, you know, actually finish their games before they release them. Players are sick and tired of paying top dollar for games that are so buggy they’re barely playable. *Cough* Watchdogs *Cough* Assassins’ Creed Unity *Cough* Well, you know what they are. So how are players going to feel now that developers have even less incentive to release working games? I guess we’ll find out soon, because that’s exactly what’s going to happen thanks to these paid mods. Remember how broken Watchdogs was when it first released? I myself had to download a mod patch just to get rid of the game-breaking lag. Imagine if there had been paid mods back then. Modders would have been stumbling over themselves to release their own patch for the game, which means we would have had to shell out even more money just to get the game to work. And where would 75% of that money have gone? Straight back into Ubisoft’s hands.

This is the real problem behind paid mods. It’s not that it’ll destroy the modding community – it’s that it’ll destroy anybody’s ability to trust that when they buy a game, they’re buying a complete, finished product. Developers can save money by releasing broken, unfinished games, and then rake in even more money as people pay for the mods to fix the games the developers should have finished in the first place. So developers actually make more money by making their games more broken. It’s not paying for mods that’s the problem here. It’s who’s being paid. Maybe hard working modders should be able to make some sort of profit – even a living – off their work. It’s not going to destroy PC gaming as we know it. But paying developers for mods just might.

Rhiannon likes video games and she likes writing, so she decided to combine them. As well as writing about video games, she also belts out the occasional science fiction or fantasy story, edits videos, and eats strawberry oreos. In that order.

Gaming

The director of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is making a final plea to content creators regarding spoilers

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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is on the horizon, with our review already available. There’s just one week left until the game’s official release on February 29th, exclusively on PS5. This highly anticipated sequel to Remake, based on one of the most beloved video game stories, is best experienced without any spoilers, according to creative director Tetsuya Nomura.

On Twitter, Nomura made a final request for players and content creators to avoid spoiling the game for others, especially on social media and video-sharing platforms, where spoilers can spread rapidly. Naturally, there’s a specific moment that everyone is eagerly anticipating to see how it will compare to the 1997 original, and it’s bound to be quite chaotic on launch day. Nevertheless, Nomura still holds onto a glimmer of hope for humanity and has made a seemingly impossible request for content creators to exercise a degree of restraint.

It’s important to remember to include spoiler warnings when sharing content related to the game’s story on social media and video-sharing sites to avoid spoiling the experience for others. I would greatly appreciate it if you could avoid using scenes from important parts of the story in your video thumbnails.

https://x.com/finalfantasyvii/status/1760605439698591859?s=20

Nomura points out that the developers intentionally did not limit the recording and sharing features of the PS5 for any aspect of the game. They believe players should have the freedom to share and discuss their favorite gameplay moments. It remains to be seen if that trust was justified.

Do you think players and content creators will follow Nomura’s request and minimize spoilers? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Xbox may want to become more acquainted with the Platinum Trophies on PS5 and PS4

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Obsidian’s first Xbox game, Pentiment, a historical adventure, is now available on the PS5 and PS4. From what we’ve seen, this port of a highly popular game seems to be solid, and we aim to provide you with a review soon. Meanwhile, one aspect caught our attention regarding the conversion that Microsoft may need to address in the future.

Pentiment’s list of Trophies perfectly mirrors its Xbox Achievements, featuring identical descriptions, titles, and icons. There is a slight variation between the two versions: PlayStation offers 42 trophies to unlock, whereas Xbox provides 41 achievements to earn. The distinction lies in the Platinum Trophy, which is awarded once you have collected all the other trinkets in the set.

Since it’s not included in the original game, the developer has not named the trophy, so it appears as ‘PlatinumTrophy’ in the list. This has already generated amusement among Trophy enthusiast communities. “They chose such a basic name for the Platinum Trophy and somehow still messed it up,” a fan expressed.

This issue is quite insignificant in the bigger picture and could likely be fixed with a quick update or patch. As Microsoft gains more experience with PlayStation development, we hope their command of the Trophy system will improve. After all, those platinums are difficult to earn and deserve a more memorable name.

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Brock Lesnar and Vince McMahon have been excluded from the final roster of WWE 22K24

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2K Sports unveiled the complete roster for the upcoming WWE 2K24, featuring more than 204 playable superstars, including 70 Legends who are no longer part of the main rosters, along with eight managers. However, fans were quick to point out the absence of some notable names from the list: 7-time WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and former WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. Lesnar was previously excluded from the Forty Years of WrestleMania edition.

Following accusations of sex trafficking against McMahon by a former WWE employee, a report from the Wall Street Journal brought the issue to light. Although Lesnar’s name was not directly mentioned in the proceedings, insiders informed the WSJ that he was the unidentified WWE champion in question. McMahon refuted the allegations but stepped down as WWE CEO the day following the federal lawsuit.

Nonetheless, Lesnar and McMahon will still be present in the game. GameSpot has reported that the Lesnar vs. Undertaker match from WrestleMania 30 may be included in Showcase mode. It is speculated that another match already confirmed for Showcase mode (Stone Cold vs. The Rock, WrestleMania 17) will probably include an appearance from McMahon as well.

WWE 2K24 will be available for purchase on March 8th for PS5 and PS4, or March 5th for those interested in the Deluxe or WrestleMania editions.

 

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