Valve Software has opened up a program that allows people to make money off items created through its Steam Workshop modification toolkit. The move allows modders – who previously offered up their work free of charge – to attach a price tag and make some money off custom items they designed for “Skyrim,” a popular RPG from Bethesda Softworks.
Item creators can set their own price for their work, and will then get paid once they make $100 off their sales. There’s one wrinkle – according to Ars Technica, mod makers will only get 25 percent of the item’s sale price, though they’ll be able to direct some of the other proceeds towards a donation to one of a handful of causes and projects.
It’s an extension of existing Steam Workshop functionality in other games, like Valve’s Team Fortress 2. Under the existing system, modders can upload their creations and then game developers can pick their favorite items and turn them into paid downloadable content which then pays out a share to the original creator.
Theoretically, this system could make it possible for people to become creators of in-game content as a part of their job. That said, the cut Valve takes from the sales combined with what’s sure to be a competitive market means that it’s not going to be an easy road by any means.
It’s likely that Valve will expand the system in the future to encompass other games beyond Skyrim, though it’s not clear what sort of timetable the company is under (if any) to advance those plans.