On one hand, we get that it takes a lot of time and effort to mod a game and one should be entirely thankful as a consumer. However, we think some practices you might see on Patreon encourage piracy simply because the modder is seemingly being too greedy. LukeRoss RealVR mod springs to mind, where you have to keep paying if a game update breaks the mod each and every time.
In the instance with the just released UEVR mod BETA, we believe Praydog could easily have charged a one-time payment for the REFramework and UEVR mods but has chosen not to. Instead, he’s adopted an optional donation via Patreon. That’s legendary stuff right there to the point where we believe it encourages donations, or at least we hope it does.
That said, most people are cheapskates, and if something is offered for free they will gladly take it without tipping the creator. So, there is a fine line between modders overcharging to get some payment for the effort they have put in, or undercharging and not seeing the financial reward that is perhaps rightfully deserved.
Ever since Bethesda announced modders could charge for mods in their games some years ago and the subsequent backlash it created followed by a u-turn, we think you can sit on either side of the fence. It’s a tough call isn’t it, especially when modders are making bank from other people’s IPs and effort to create mods varies greatly. At one point, modder LukeRoss was making over $20,000 per month.
For us, we favour the one-time-payment (OTP) option as a whole, but obviously some modders don’t agree with that whereas some do. Given VR is niche, and a slightly different market compared to flatscreen gaming, we are wondering what the consensus is from the VR gaming community. If it wasn’t for people like LukeRoss, then we wouldn’t be able to play great experiences like Cyberpunk 2077 in VR for example. But when does supporting a modder financially out of respect, turn into being needlessly fleeced for cash to fill the modder’s pockets especially considering no-one is forced to buy these mods. Oh wait! Yes they are. In the case of LukeRoss’ RealVR mod as previously mentioned, a game update will break the mod and require a further payment to get a revised fixed version that works with the updated game. Ouch!