Jun. 12th, 2017

owsf2000: (Default)
Looks like Bethesda is at it again with paid mod systems. I agree with various people in the comments about how any kind of paid mod system is going to just destroy the modding community as a whole.

The current attempt is at least trying to avoid the obvious problems of their Steam workshop attempt of a year or so ago where you immediately had people submitting other people's mods as their own. It's also apparently not going to try to stop free mods from happening - although like any company we can see that stance changing once they get a taste of the money.

But as I was thinking over this, I realized that this is just the next step down that slope of shit the video game industry has been taking for the last decade. The whole idea of cranking out games faster and cheaper with a higher price tag - with massive side effects.

1. Not doing proper QA/Beta testing - why do that when they can have the gamers themselves do the beta testing, or the bulk of it, after the game is released and patch it up (potentially) after the fact.

2. Cutting content, sometimes significant content, out of the game to sell as DLC later on. Sometimes as unlock codes for stuff already done. Other times (And more common now) with the dev teams just explicitly planning on the content to be done after a release date is set.

3. Cutting back on packaging with physical releases - gone are the days of the manual. Nowadays if a manual is included a company will even toot that as SPECIAL BONUS!

... It's early, I don't really feel like listing ALL the shit that's been happening right now, but you can get the idea. Basically games aren't actually sold complete anymore.

But really these paid mod systems are just the latest advancement on these cutbacks on paid labor.

After all, these things are basically nothing more than DLC. DLC the devs no longer have to plan for or write themselves. But they can take a chunk of the price tag for having someone else do it with a minimum of QA done on top.

As time goes on, if it catches on, you can expect games to come out more and more bare bones with the explicit intent that modders will willingly finish the game for shit pay after the companies take their share. (This particular attempt will have Bethesda taking a 30% cut. But as companies continue with this practice you can expect to see that percentage go up and up, bit by bit, until finally modders just stop applying to be slave labor. And then it'll go down a couple percentage points and everyone will thank the publisher gods for their kindhearted gesture to only request 85% of the profits instead of 90. :)

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