If there’s one thing I remember about gaming in my youth, it’s the mods. Playing with a flamethrower in AvP2 or Weapons of Destruction in Quake II are some of my fondest memories of way back when. I realize that we’re living in a different world now, but it’s hard to believe these things didn’t survive natural selection.
From where I’m standing it perplexes me. Here we have an almost unlimited workforce. Droves of individuals who work tirelessly to improve the experience of the original game, and they are snubbed. At this point it seems pretty clear to me that people like building things just as much as playing with them. Games have an amazing ability to bring these communities together, I only wish the corporate side of things would see it that way.
They seem scared. They try to silence the masses and force prepackaged content down their throats. It’s confounding. Why would you not take advantage of such a golden opportunity. In a community inundated with content creators, the people at the top classify these dedicated individuals as plebeians. “These modifications to our games are an affront to our business model and must be contained/controlled.” I imagine them saying. Why not take advantage of the momentum?
Whenever these content creators are given license to work within the business model, it works out for everyone. When we give tools to builders, more things get built. Period. It’s not a difficult concept. If you give these people the tools to build amazing mods, they will build amazing mods. If you give them the ability to charge for their services, they will charge for their services. If you then take a percentage of the sale, where’s the harm? What’s the downside? Who’s being hurt? Is the intellectual property somehow deluded just because someone added an awesome feature to the game? Can they not be paid for adding to the experience in a way you failed to?
How many copies of ARMA2 did DayZ sell? How many people wouldn’t touch Skyrim without the modding community supporting it so heavily? How many Minecraft mods helped steer the final direction the game has taken? Where in Gods name is the console mod marketplace? How can this not exist?
You can keep selling us expansions all you want. We’ll keep buying them. Season pass? Great. Sure. Why not? If you ever want to see a market explode, let these communities sell their productions. It will only improve everything, for everyone.
The sooner we push past this the better everything will be. For all sides.