The popular video game mod hub Nexus Mods is looking to implement a new system that will see mod creators earn income for the content released on the platform.
It's quite a different take on the 'paid mods' model some game companies have tried to adopt in the past through cash-for-mods storefronts. While Nexus Mods' system does take cues from some of the conversations stirred up by those past attempts, the mod site's model is instead a donation-based system that will offer the creators of popular mods a slice of a site-wide cash pool.
Nexus Mods, which itself hosts mods for close to 500 PC games, will contribute between $5,000 to $10,000 to that pool on a monthly basis, with additional options for the platform's 13.7 million members to contribute funds to the stockpile as well.
The more unique downloads a creator's total mods receive, the more donation points that user will receive to later redeem for cash or physical goodies down the line. At the end of the month, the proposed system will total up the amount in the donation pool and the number of unique downloads that month and allocate points based on those numbers. Right now, the system equates 1,000 donation points as $1 and, as Nexus Mods owner Robin Scott notes, the payout "definitely isn't going to let any mod author quit their day jobs."
"However, it should fulfill that original wish many mod authors have expressed for years now of wanting at least a little something tangible back from their modding hobby, even if it's just some recognition and a couple of free coffees/beers each month to keep them topped up while they're working on their mods," explained Scott. "On a personal level, I've been wanting to find a way to personally donate to mod authors past the occasional donation I throw out to mod authors whose mods I use, from Nexus Mods to you, for a long time now, and this seems like the best way of going about doing that in as fair a way as possible."
Since mods are inherently fan-made creations that unofficially alter some aspect of an existing game, there is naturally the risk that the new monetization option will run afoul of some game publishers' legal departments but (using Bethesda as an example), Scott says he and his counsel aren't currently anticipating any legal fallout.
Scott's full rundown of the upcoming system and his thoughts on potential issues that may arise can be read on the Nexus Mods website.