We all remember what happened last year when Bethesda and Valve teamed up to bring paid mods to The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. We also remember that the implementation to the game resulted in a lot of public outrage and before you could mutter ‘horse armor’, Valve removed the functionality from the workshop as fast as they had implemented. Paying for mods has since become a concept Valve has been less than willing to talk about. Until now.
Valve has devised a new approach to the same subject, and one that is on its face a lot fairer to the player base while still giving modders the opportunity to receive some monetary support for their work. They are now introducing a Custom Game Pass that will be tied to a very limited number of custom games for Dota 2, and will only be made available to the select few who made something truly exceptional. You can view this as a way to thank a modder for their hard work, and not as you having to shell out to get certain important features that will be unavailable to you otherwise. Creators will get the same revenue share as other developers using the Steam Store, with Steam getting 30% of the revenue.
Buying one of these passes will cost you 1 dollar for 30 days, and unlocks some extra perks for that particular custom game. The first game to get this treatment is Roshpit Champions, a “Co-op PvE RPG with permanent character saving” that supports teams of up to 4 players each playing one of 12 heroes as they take on waves of increasingly difficult enemy monsters. While everyone who downloads this custom game has access to all the game’s features for free, people who purchase the Custom Game Pass will gain access to an extra stash and additional character slots, as well as several other perks for the duration of the pass.
Keep in mind that this is not a subscription! You buy each Custom Game Pass one month at a time, so you don’t need to worry about getting charged for something because you’ve forgotten to cancel a subscription. The pass you buy will only work for the game you buy it for, so if you want to get access to other features offered in other custom games you will have to purchase a pass separately. If you feel like you’ve bought into something you ended up not liking, you can make use of Steam’s refund policy by requesting a refund within 48 hours after purchasing it.
Valve themselves are also making sure that modders aren’t too aggressive with the perks they put up behind the paywall. Valve is curating the system and they are only picking games who already have an established player base and they will suspend any modders abusing the system, which is a far cry from their hands off approach to paid mods for Skyrim.
Valve has also set up a handy FAQ page with all the details you might want or need! They also did an interview with PC Gamer about the Custom Game Passes.