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Cat Context 74: Valve’s Mod Debacle, SWTOR, Heavensward

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Usually Cat Context records on Sunday evening, but this week Liore, Ellyndrial, and Arolaide met up on a Monday morning to talk about MMOs and mods. We probably could have used some more coffee.

Elly considers getting back into Star Wars: The Old Republic and he gets the inside scoop from Arolaide. Do you need to subscribe? Is it worth buying the expansion? Are the space battle quests terrible? Whatever the answers, both Elly and Aro seem pleased at having a co-op Bioware RPG in their lives again.

Hey, it could be worse — you could be the person in charge of selling mods on the Marketplace at Valve. The gang talks about Skyrim mods, what “transformative work” really means, and GabeN’s disastrous “ask me anything” on Reddit. There is also a lot of arguing about copyrights and whether developers deserve any of the profit from mod sales. (Hint: Elly has the Wrong Opinion.)

Also now Liore is playing a weird Japanese mobile game about cats! Elly might have seen a famous person in Las Vegas! Aro is excited for flying fat chocobos in Heavensward!

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* A cool blog post on how to play Neko Atsume
* Free Music Archive page for our theme, in THE crowd by The Years

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Seraphgrim
    May 20, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    I feel like very frequently when it degenerates into Elly vs Liore and Aro, like it did at the end in this episode with the Valve $$$Mod$$$ mess, I generally agree with Elly and can’t believe that Liore and Aro aren’t on the same page.

    The biggest problem that I have with the Valve Mod debacle, which I think is one of Elly’s problems that he didn’t really explain in detail is that not enough of the relevant money is going to the content developer. This whole thing is being spun as a way to allow people to be professional mod makers, to get paid for their work, etc, but the cut of the pie that Valve gets is probably excessive, and I think the cut for Bethesda is similarly so. In a mod community like Skyrim’s, Bethesda is not the content creator. In this context, Bethesda created a toolset, but they are not the content creator that Valve is presumably trying to help get paid.

    As the creator of the toolset, Bethesda should get a cut, but at least half of the money ought to be going to the content creator. I’d feel a lot better about it if Valve dictated that everyone got the same cut instead of choosing the cut between them and their mod community, and it turned out something like 25% Valve, 10% Bethesda, and 65% ModCreators, or even 25/15/60. Something where at least half of the money involved goes to the content creators. If you’re not getting at least half the money to the content creator, then trying to tell us that you’re doing this “for the mod makers” or “for the mod community” is a straightup hustle, and that’s ignoring the prohibitive bar for cashing out at $100.

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