Valve introduced the controversial concept of paid mods to the Steam Workshop, which didn't go down at all well with the modding community.
Since then there's been a raft of so-calledpopping up, along with some less creative but no less passionate dissent, which has lead to Valve's CEO setting up a to try and set the record straight.
Newell points out the storied history of modders turned developers, from John Cook and Robin Walker (Team Fortress) to(DotA). He suggests that the ability for modders to make money from their work will lead to better quality work, rather than the opposite.
"Our view of Steam is that it's a collection of useful tools for customers and content developers,” Newell explained. “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."
Responding to accusations that Valve has been censoring discussion on paid mods, Newell wrote: "Well, if we are censoring people, that's stupid. I'll get that to stop. On top of it being stupid, it doesn't work (see Top Gear forums on Jeremy Clarkson)."
There are still big questions yet to be answered; how will Valve deal with the inevitable plagiarism accusations that are almost certain to crop up? Will the company's reluctance to step in and interfere with content creators' work lead to the Workshop being stuffed to the gills with utter dreck?
At least Newell is responding to the community's concerns. Theis well worth checking out.