Modders should be able to make money from their work. That’s according to veteran game designer John Romero, who co-created iconic shooter franchises like and at id Software in the 1990s.
spoke to Romero recently about the issue, which has made headlines of late following Valve’s –and–of paid mods on Steam.
In the interview, Romero not only says modders should be able to make money, but he reveals that id Software even experimented with a paid mod system with Quake back in 1995.
“I’ve always believed that mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” Romero said. “In 1995, while we were making Quake, we had the idea to start a company called id Net. This company would be the portal that players would connect to and play other mod maker’s creations. It was to be a curated site, levels and mods chosen by us at id, and if we put your content on our network we would pay you an amount equal to the traffic that your content drove to the site.”
The idea for id Net was abandoned, according to Romero, because the team was stretched enough as it was just to release Quake. But Romero still believes in the concept, saying creators ought to be “rewarded for their hard work.”
Quake, of course, was the basis for the free Team Fortress mod. That game later spawned a full sequel—-which has become one of Valve’s most recognizable titles.
Valve , and amid . The company said one of its main goals for the paid mod system, which began with Skyrim and was to later expand to other titles, was to help modders make money so they could in turn be able to spend more time making better mods.
“We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free and paid,” Valve said at the time. “We wanted more great mods becoming great products, like , , , and and we wanted that to happen organically for any mod maker who wanted to take a shot at it.”
“It’s clear we didn’t understand exactly what we were doing.”
What do you make of Romero’s comments? Should modders be able to make money from their work? Let us know in the comments below.