Galactic Civilizations 3 lead designer Paul Boyer has said choosingThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as the 'flagship title' for the new integrated market for selling mods was "a poor choice" given its established community of creators.
Inon the space 4X, he says it 'understandably upset' people. Overall a market for purchasing mods would be "great for the game industry." It would need a new game to work.
Simply opening up an existing ecosystem for community content creation to monetary transactions won't work, he argues. Especially given the huge ocean of creators and mod users for RPG Skyrim. Instead there would need to be a game designed with such as system in mind so they can flourish together.
"...I will say that I think Skyrim was a poor choice to promote that idea. It really needed to happen with a new game, one which can then grow with that model. But if you choose a game where people have been getting free stuff for years, and then suddenly you start charging, people will get upset regardless of any good arguments you might make in its favour."
Paul Boyer began his career atthrough creating and selling icon packs.
"...and I made some royalty money off of it - and man did we get yelled at for that! “Skinning should be free, icons should be free,” but then eventually it worked out. There’s a tonne of free packs still, but some people make a bit of money off it," he told us in our interview.
From icon packs to designing an empire of stars in Galactic Civilizations 3. It worked for him, and he believes it's an excellent way for modders to cross over into full game development.
"Eventually I think some kind of payment model would work for modders and actually would be great for them, great for the game industry. You could get these people like Derek Paxton, who did the Fall From Heaven mod (for Civilization), he did that for free, but he became a really great designer and eventually got a job."
"If you can make money from modding, you can spend more time doing it, and then eventually you can start making your own games. I think there’s some strength to it, but I don’t blame people for getting mad about it, especially when it was floated with a game like Skyrim that has such a vibrant community around it already."
Check outwith lead designer Paul Boyer as we discuss Galactic Civilizations 3, which exits beta in next week on May 14th.