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Should Mods Be Paid For? Not In Valheim

Mods have for decades been a way for fans to create content for their favourite games, and for decades have been seen as a community pursuit, something free, something people do for the love of it. Over the last few years, though, that stance has begun to change.

The Week In Games: Wild At Heart

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From Skyrim to Grand Theft Auto, an increasing number of prominent mod creators have begun to lock their work behind third-party paywalls, most commonly on crowdfunding sites like Patreon. This is a thorny issue! On the one hand, if people are putting in work that others are enjoying they deserve to get paid. On the other, mods have traditionally been free, and a lot of mods are built on the work of other mods—not to mention the work of the game’s developers themselves—so where do those charging get to draw the line?

There’s no clear right or wrong here, which might explain why a lot of companies—at least those who haven’t tried to bring this stuff into the fold officially—have been content to let this simmer along. One studio that has come out with an opinion, though, is Iron Gate, developers of Valheim.

In a statement released yesterday, they say:

Seems fair! Their compromise solution, where a modder’s individual works are released for free but they’re supported generally on Patreon, seems the most workable in this situation, not just from a community standpoint but also a legal one: like Iron Gate say here, a lot of games don’t officially support mods, and so folks diving into the code of someone else’s game and making money off it sure seems like its fraught with peril when money starts changing hands.

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