Valve has removed the Steam Workshop feature, which allowed creators to sell their mods for Bethesda's Skyrim.
Last Thursday, Bethesda and Valve decided to make Skyrim the first game to benefit from the integration of paid mods via Steam's Workshop. The feature was planned to be further expanded to other games in the coming weeks. However, it seems that's no longer the case, since Valve has announced the removal of any Steam Workshop integration, and will offer full-refunds on all Skyrim mods purchased in the few days said mods were available.
"We've done this because it's clear we didn't understand exactly what we were doing," Valve stated in a community update. "We've been shipping many features over the years aimed at allowing community creators to receive a share of the rewards, and in the past, they've been received well. It's obvious now that this case is different."
"To help you understand why we thought this was a good idea, our main goals were to allow mod makers the opportunity to work on their mods full time if they wanted to, and to encourage developers to provide better support to their mod communities. We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free & paid. We wanted more great mods becoming great products, like Dota, Counter-strike, DayZ, and Killing Floor, and we wanted that to happen organically for any mod maker who wanted to take a shot at it." the post explains.
"But we underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim's workshop. We understand our own game's communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there's a useful feature somewhere here. "
The decision to remove paid mods came just several hours after Bethesda posted a blog-post titled "Why we're trying paid Skyrim mods on Steam." defending the paid-mods system.
Back when it was running, the Workshop payment feature allowed mod-creators to place whatever price-tag they wanted on the mods, or make them available for free.
The functionality has been the subject of controversy, with Skyrim mods saying "free the mods" or "no paid mods" becoming popular on the Workshop, and a change.org petition reaching 133,012 supporters for Valve and Bethesda to "roll back the paywall that they have created."