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There has been a growing rumor lately that paid mods for Steam are possibly making a comeback.

According to several sources across the net, the recent Steam update has flagged modded content off the Steam Workshop as “free,” which has spearheaded many rumors and speculation that Valve is revisiting paid content mods again.

Much of the speculation is detailed in a piece by GameRant, which points out that the “free” content line is highlighted by a Steam warning label- the green bars to catch the attention of players, along with a subscribe button. The image above, captured by imgur two days ago, is one example. Officially, all modded content has been reported to now have this green warning label and a subscribe button. 

This caption is on every single mod in Steam Workshop

This caption is on every single mod in Steam Workshop

Apparently there is more possible evidence of paid mods coming back. A month ago, a post on Facepunch by contributor EliteGuy, noted that “Valve just added a ton of strings to the STS related to paid workshop mods, detailing stuff like author controlled monetization, profit splitting and more,” which set off a firestorm of speculation as to what Valve is planning to do with the modding community and other content creators. 

At the time, Valve had already implemented  custom game pass for DOTA 2, where Valve stated that “purchasing a pass directly supports the creators of the custom game as well as granting you extra features for that game. All custom games will remain free to download and play.”

The custom game pass, some stated, was the beginning of a second attempt by Valve to allow paid mods on Steam. The first attempt, in a partnership with Bethesda to bring paid mods to Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, ended in failure with both Valve and Bethesda retracting paid mods for the time being after massive consumer backlash. Some of the reasons cited for the failure were the lack of transparency by Valve, an over-reliance on the modding community for self-curation, and the fact that the modding community often uses copyrighted material for their works, which can lead to possible legal troubles over copyright laws. 

We have reached out to Valve for a comment on this possible change, but they have yet to respond to us. We shall update the story when more information is released.

So what do you think about all of this? Leave your comments below. 

Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.