Digital Extremes has just announced a new feature for their game Warframe, namely a dedicated Steam Workshop called "TennoGen." In it, users will be able to submit their creations for the game, starting with weapon skins.
Warframe isn't the first to open up the Workshop for user-made content. Team Fortress 2 has a whole Workshop filled with items that pass the review, ready to be voted upon by users like you and me, and possibly even meet the stage of becoming a purchasable item. But more recent games, such as Killing Floor 2 have also opted for this method of new content. However, unlike a Workshop with the more traditional "mods," these items are often not directly available to try out. Some creators have an external location where you can install their item as an actual replacement of some items, but this kind of Workshop does not function as a mod-source platform where you can install the mods at will like Skyrim's Workshop.
It very much looks like Digital Extremes is testing the waters, as their Workshop for now only accepts reskins for a specific set of items, ranging from weapons and Warframes to cosmetic items, such as Syandanas and the Liset (the players personal ship). The announcement notes that, while users can vote on and rank the creations made by their fellow "Tenno," it is the DE team itself that will review the submissions on their own time. Once approved and put up for sale, the creator will receive a 30% cut of the sales received on their item.
Think Digital Extremes is making a good move? How do you feel about that 30% cut, is it enough? Could this possibly be the fate for future videogames?
Not discussing the cut the creator receives, the rest of the idea largely seems sound. Challenging the community to design items is one way to engage with potential talent. But a part of me worries on what basis an item may get approved. A popular reskin may look pretty, but also horribly out of place with the game. But reversely, only accepting submissions that fit the game could stifle creativity.