The Internet had a tantrum, Valve and Bethesda gave in

Steam is a program made by Valve, the maker of Team Fortress 2, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, and Portal. It’s a place to buy and download PC games into a library where you can play with friends, stream your games to them, unlock achievements, and even gift a game to a friend. It has become a Mecca for PC gaming. Before Steam, I wasn’t much of a PC gamer. Nintendo was all I knew. But then the infamous Steam Summer Sale happened, when games can be sold for 75% off or more. Like this past summer, I already had Skyrim for Xbox 360. But I wanted to be able to play the game with all of the cool mods and get a chance to play Skywind. Morrowind and Skyrim are both needed to play it and it just so happened both games were on sale at once.

Then I discovered the power of having mods for Skyrim. You can make this game look absolutely beautiful and have so much more depth in gear, weapons, quests, and more. If you can think of it, it’s probably a mod for Skyrim.

DBZ Overhaul Mod by Redman and Rigormortician

DBZ Overhaul Mod by Redman and Rigormortician

On April 23, Valve implemented a system to allow mod creators to charge money for their work. That sounds reasonable, right? Modders put a lot of hard work into their craft and never get any monetary compensation for it. As a consumer, I was bummed about it because I don’t like to pay for things that just yesterday, I didn’t have to pay for. The modders would only receive 25% of the revenue from the content sold. The Internet lost its collective mind.

Protest sign mod in Skyrim

Protest sign mod in Skyrim

On April 25, Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve, hosted a Reddit AMA to answer questions and listen to concerns. Two days later, on April 27, Valve removed the pay feature from Skyrim mods on Steam. Well, that didn’t last long, now did it? So, what happened? Why didn’t this work? I can point to three things. People hate paying for things, especially after getting it for free for so long. Why all of a sudden can I not go to the well and get a bucket of water? Now I can only buy bottled water from this vending machine? The profit split with modders only getting 25% of the share and DRM or digital rights management concerns are the other two, which are more clearly explained here.

There were supporters of the paid mod system. Although the implementation was shaky, there were good ideas behind it. Some say there should simply be donations for mods if you wish to tip a modder for their hard work. But as one modder says, out of 200,000 downloads for a mod, he only received two donations, which means 0.001% of users donated. Valve claims it wanted to test this system out with Skyrim, but maybe such an old, more established mod community wasn’t the way to go. I hope they find a way to make this work, because I really feel like it could lead to some pretty fantastic mods that we as gamers would love to throw all our money at. Maybe we just needed to be dragged into it, kicking and screaming.

Evolve is out. Is your wallet ready?

What if I told you the game you’ve been waiting to play for over a year had a lack of content? What if I told you it was littered with microtransactions of DLC, even after paying the full $60 for the base game? Would you still want to play? /u/bm_nJoi says on Reddit’s /r/EvolveGame that buying the DLC is justified.

“I am fully prepared to pay 60$ for a flagship title, then tens and twenties and more dollars for continued awesomeness. If we stop supporting these titles, they disappear because Kim Kardashian’s (who needs to be deleted from existence) mobile game made 10x what these big budget titles did and every game dev company gave the f*** up on these titles.”

So it’s a war between high-budget next-gen games and free-to-play microtransaction mobile games? If we don’t open our hearts our wallets to developers like Valve, they’ll stop making games worth playing? Kim Kardashian will win. No, buying extra DLC on a highly-anticipated game is not going to stop the Kate Upton Game of Boobs train. It’s actually going to make Valve continue this behavior in future games. And what did /u/bm_nJoi get when he bought the season pass, which is $25 on top of the $60 for the base game?

“…not a single animation has changed, not a single inch of skin has a different texture, not a single appendage has been altered or added, and he’s got a slightly red tint to his skin that is mostly only noticeable at certain angles…”

Reskins. You bought $25 worth of reskins. So the people who bought the DLC are understandably upset. If you’re angry about it…”Then don’t buy them.” – /u/roshambojangles

There is over $130 of downloadable content available that isn’t included in the base game or the season pass. That is absurd. But what about the gameplay? Maybe I’ll just buy the game itself and nothing extra.

It seems Valve was sitting around, playing some Left 4 Dead 2 one day, playing a multiplayer game where four players are humans and four players are infected. One guy thought, “You know, we should make a whole game where one player is a monster, like Left 4 Dead’s tank, and the other four players have to team up to take it down. That’s probably where we got the newly released Evolve for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Tank Gameplay – The Neverlose2008

The gameplay for Evolve has…evolved from this encounter a little bit. You are a much larger beast, leveling up by eating smaller creatures to become powerful enough to take on the team of monster hunters. GhostRobo gave the game incredibly praise in this gameplay video back in August, calling it “one of my favorite games of the last decade.” That set me up for some pretty lofty expectations.

Reviews are out but they are subject to change. Since when did we have provisional ratings? Polygon gives Evolve an 8/10, which is pretty good. But they don’t send that score to Metacritic in case we have another Halo: Master Chief Collection kerfuffle. I have not bought or played Evolve. Honestly, I’m a little hesitant to put in the $60 for another multiplayer-only game like Titanfall that was super fun for about three hours. But it does look like a lot of fun, and I will probably pick it up to at least be able to update this post.

*I will not be a sucker and buy the DLC*