When Valve released an update to its Steamworks platform last week to enable paid mods, I’m not sure it realized what kind of backlash could result. There’s been some incredible debate since the feature rolled-out, and it’s been fascinating to watch. Let’s dive in and take a look at this problem from a couple of different angles, shall we?
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If there was ever any doubt that the game modding community is passionate, I think it’s been obliterated given the events that have transpired since Valve updated its Steamworks platform to allow the sale of mods.
It’s not often in gaming we see a backlash of this scale, or one that manages to 180 the opinions people have on a company. With the advent of the PC Master Race, Valve’s Gabe Newell has been heralded as the savior of PC gaming, a mindset that, for the most part, extended to Valve itself. Today, though, it’s difficult to predict how people will feel after all of this settles down.
Up until the launch of Steam’s mod marketplace, it almost felt like Valve was invincible. While there were a number of faults people could have found with the company (customer service being a major sticking-point), it seemed like most were in favor. And it’s no wonder: it’s pretty hard to hate a company that regularly gives you the opportunity to purchase great games at incredibly low prices. That perk has long been one of the most-favored anti-console arguments, as even when games go on sale for Xbox or PlayStation, they rarely bring the “wow” factor that anyone who’s ever looked at a Steam sale has experienced.
Proof of Valve’s and Gabe Newell’s lack of invincibility became clear over the weekend when the CEO took to reddit to conduct an AMA (ask me anything). While it would have been hard to imagine that PC gaming’s lord and savior could ever be downvoted, we saw it multiple times in this thread.
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