To say that some people are “upset” about Steam’s recent decision to allow users to charge for mods would be like saying that the ocean is “wet” or that Konami is “clueless.” So when Gabe Newell went on Reddit to talk about it, things got a little... heated.
As you surely know if you’ve ever browsed Reddit, comments bubble up and down based on user upvotes and downvotes (reflected by the up and down arrows), which in theory is designed to make the best posts rise to the top while the worst ones disappear off the page. Although just about every regular Reddit poster has seen a comment or two get downvoted to oblivion, we’ll typically see high-profile people—celebrities, game developers, etc.—get a ton of upvotes no matter what they’ve written, if only so everyone can see what they have to say.
Not this weekend. This weekend, we entered the realm of the surreal, a realm where even Gabe Newell (one of the most beloved people on the internet), CEO of Valve (one of the most beloved companies on the internet), gets massively downvoted on Reddit. All because of Skyrim mods going for sale.
Look at those numbers! -4212, -549, -396: those are impressive stats, and although Newell makes some cogent points—”With the Steam workshop, we’ve already reached the point where the community is paying their favorite contributors more than they would make if they worked at a traditional game developer. We see this as a really good step. The option of MOD developers getting paid seemed like a good extension of that.”—it’s clear that not everyone agrees with his views on this subject, to the point where Reddit wants to drive his posts way down to the bottom.
As of right now, the top post on the thread reads: “If you are looking for Gabe’s Comments you will need to look at his profile as he is getting downvoted so much.”
We’ll certainly be continuing to monitor the paid modding situation as it develops in the coming weeks/months/years, but for now, if you want to see all of what Newell’s been saying, click his user page. After all, some of his comments won’t appear in the main thread.
Top photo: Isaac Brekken/Invision/AP